The government and Indonesian SPA Association (ASPI) aim to promote nine traditional spa treatments as icons of the Indonesian spa trade in a bid to develop the country’s potential in wellness tourism. The commitment was expressed during the National Conference on Traditional Spas organized by the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry on Thursday, which was held on the sidelines of the Wonderful Adventure Indonesia: Asia Pacific Hash 2014.
“We’ll promote the nine treatments to be the icons of authentic Indonesian spas. So far, only Javanese and Balinese treatments are well-known, the other seven should be further developed and promoted,” said Akhyaruddin, the ministry’s director for meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE) and special interest tourism.
Each of the nine treatments would be researched and developed by a team of traditional medicine experts, working together with spa businesses, he added.
The nine traditional spa treatments include two of the country’s most popular treatments: Javanese lulur and Balinese boreh, while the other seven are the Bugis treatment tellu sulapa eppa, bakera from Minahasa, the Batak oukup, Betawi tangas, Minang batangeh, Maduran so’oso and Banjar batimung.
Batimung, from Banjar, is known as the rejuvenating herbs of Borneo. The concoction uses rainforest plants, including jasmine, rose and pandanus. Used for body masks, steaming and exfoliation, these plants have been proven to help improve blood circulation and reduce body odor caused by the toxins of everyday living.
The so’oso treatment from Madura is proven to tremendously improve skin condition through exfoliation using egg protein. The old kingdom of Madura is a hub of traditional Indonesian remedies and healthcare. It is also famous for the long comforting strokes of its massage to enhance physical and spiritual energy.
The traditional Minang batangeh treatment has been clinically proven useful in detoxifying the body and aiding tissue recovery from long-term chronic illness. The Bugis ethnic group in Sulawesi has a philosophy of wellness traditions known as tellu sulapa eppa, which means living in harmony. The treatment is termed bedda lotong and uses a traditional body scrub made of mashed rice and rempah-rempah (spices).
Firmansyah Rachim, the ministry’s director general for the development of tourist destinations, said there were many areas nationwide with great potential for the spa and wellness industry in addition to Bali.
“Spas have always been associated with Bali. But what about other areas? In fact, we have a lot of other places to get authentic traditional treatments,” he said.