Spa conference inks Sanur Declaration

Javanese SPA and Massage Training- The outcome of the National Conference on Traditional Indonesian Spas, held in Sanur on Thursday, was the Sanur Declaration, in which stakeholders committed to championing the country’s time-honored treatments. The declaration affirmed the cultural importance of spas in Indonesia and that the roots of the tradition were age-old healing and beauty rituals. This legacy, which has been handed down from one generation to the next, utilizes the archipelago’s abundance of traditional herbs and natural ingredients. It also stated the importance of developing this tradition further using science and technology.

For the initial phase of development, the government, the spa industry and scientists agreed to focus on the promotion of nine traditional treatments, which would serve as the country’s iconic spa treatments.

The nine treatments include two of the country’s most popular treatments: Javanese lulur (body scrub) and Balinese boreh (body mask), while the other seven are the Bugis treatment tellu sulapa eppa (body scrub; the Minahasa bakera (herbal steam bath); the Batak oukup (herbal steam bath); Betawi tangas (feminine smoke or steam treatment); Minang batangeh (traditional sauna); Madurese so’oso (exfoliation treatment using egg protein); and Banjar batimung (detoxifying ritual).

These nine treatments were considered to “represent the diversity of Indonesia and the uniqueness and authenticity of spa traditions”.

“The Sanur Declaration is a joint commitment from related government institutions, spa experts, practitioners, academics and therapists to develop heritage spa as a ‘national action’,” said Firmansyah Rahim, director general for the development of tourist destinations.

He added that the declaration urged stakeholders to enhance cooperation and play an active part in the development of Indonesian spas.

The conference also proposed that Indonesian spa treatment be given an umbrella name, which would truly reflect its identity and characteristics. It could then be used as a “national brand” when promoting Indonesian spas globally.

“Many countries have named their traditional treatments, such as Shiatsu from Japan and Ayurveda from India, but Indonesia has not. That’s why we came up with this idea in the conference,” he said.

The name “Husada Tirta”, meaning “being healthy with water”, was selected from a short list of three names.

The other two were Tirsa, which is short for Tirta Amarta Santika meaning “water gives health and life”; and Swanusa, which is short for Seni Merawat Kesehatan dari Nusantara and means the Indonesian art of maintaining health.

Firmansyah explained that national branding was necessary to market Indonesian spa treatments abroad. At this stage, traditional treatments have been promoted at some major tourism exhibitions.

Aang Ramadhan from the West Java-based Perkasa Wellness Art, who represented therapists participating in the conference, said the conference would advance the wellness industry in Indonesia.

“It also reminds us of that it is our responsibility to preserve this tradition,” he said, while stressing that certain treatments must be patented to avoid claims from other nations.

The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry and the Health Ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreeing that both institutions would work together to enhance wellness tourism.

The Health Ministry is tasked with improving research and development for spa products and jamu (traditional herbal medicine), while the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is responsible for identifying potential areas that could be developed. Wellness tourism is one of the ministry’s seven areas of tourism set to be developed.

Both institutions will also work with spa industry players and academics and establish a working team for Indonesian Wellness Tourism to follow up on the agreement.

“We’re committed to cooperating in developing wellness tourism, which has been one of the engines of economic growth in the Asia Pacific,” said Firmansyah.

According to the 2013 report from the Global Spa and Wellness Summit, wellness tourism accounted for about 14 percent of all domestic and international tourism expenditures. Wellness tourism is a US$438.6 billion global market, and a rapidly growing niche within the $3.2 trillion global tourism economy.

This segment of tourism is projected to grow by 9.1 percent annually through 2017, a growth rate that is nearly 50 percent higher than that of overall global tourism. Over half of the projected growth in wellness tourism trips through 2017 will take place in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *