“Wellness Tourism” is being exploited by some tourism businesses. Photo: Quang Sang
Eager to “meet” Hue
After many delays, my college friends finally chose Hue as the destination for our 2023 summer reunion. From the Southeast, a friend from Dong Xoai messaged me: “Let’s check out Thanh Tan hot mineral spring this time. I heard that the water there is brought back from the streams on Truong Son Mountain. Coming here, adults like us can get detoxified and rejuvenated with mind-body care activities, while the children are free to try out sports like ziplining and rope balancing...”
She seemed as though she knew Hue very well, even though she lives in Binh Phuoc. “My back often gets hurt whenever the weather changes. On this trip to Hue, I planned to stay for a long time, taking advantage of resting and hanging out; at the same time, looking for treatment for my back pain in Hue, either Western or Eastern medicine,” she texted. It turned out that she was not only aiming for Hue's entertainment but also seemed to be very interested in the “2 in 1” services that the Ancient Capital is currently focusing on: sightseeing tours combined with medical examination and treatment.
Not only my group of friends, but even my brothers and sisters from the central region of Nghe An also choose Hue for their family gatherings during the children's upcoming 2023 summer vacation. The gals choose Hue for its closeness, friendly people, and general safe environment, while the guys, for a change, look forward to having Hue Oriental Medicine doctors feel their pulses, diagnose them, and “awaken their senses” with the nourishing and life-enhancing remedies used in the days of Emperor Minh Mang.
Thua Thien Hue has all the advantages of natural resources for tourism development, with ecological diversity, unspoiled nature, a fresh environment, and many beautiful beaches. As the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue had Thai Y Vien (the Royal Health Institute), a central-level medical agency formed during the reign of Emperor Gia Long and completed under the reign of Emperor Minh Mang. Regarding Western medicine, Hue Central Hospital is the first Western medicine hospital in Vietnam, established by the decree of Emperor Thanh Thai (1894). Hue Central Hospital is currently one of the three largest central general hospitals in the country and has always been a pioneer in many fields as a specialized medical center of the central region. This is an advantage for Thua Thien Hue to promote the development of resort tourism combining medical examination and treatment - wellness tourism.
Tourists having beauty treatments and dermatological care at Hue Central Hospital
Connecting to go further
Aiming to become one of the specialized medical centers of Southeast Asia in the period of 2021-2025 with a vision for 2030, Thua Thien Hue clearly defines the goal of building and developing Thua Thien Hue into a center of science and high-tech in medicine, on par with major medical centers in the country and Southeast Asia, with modern and advanced facilities and equipment, and promoting medical care as an important economic sector of the local.
With that roadmap, Thua Thien Hue will build and reestablish the Thai Y Vien Hue on the basis of the Hospital of Traditional Medicine. At the same time, combine traditional with modern medicine in disease prevention, medical examination, treatment, research, preserve, and promote the value of Hue traditional medicine, especially that of Thai Y Vien of the Nguyen Dynasty. As a result, a training center for traditional medicine and tourist attractions will be established, with the goal of promoting the traditional medicine of Thua Thien Hue in particular and Vietnam in general.
Basing on the current state of the Traditional Medicine Hospital - a Grade II Specialized Hospital, the Department of Health is mobilizing resources to invest in equipment and facilities to meet the needs of medical examination and treatment of the people, and is proceeding to the construction and establishment of Thai Y Vien Hue as planned.
At the 2022 tourism forum recently held in November 2022, the two “government officials” of Thua Thien Hue, namely the Department of Tourism and the Department of Health, signed a cooperation agreement between the two sectors and with a number of travel agencies and businesses in the province on providing health care services. This can be seen as a new chapter of Thua Thien Hue as it tries to turn the potentials and strengths of the locality into specific economic products.
“The Department of Health will be the focal point to help us connect healthcare services with specific medical facilities. We hope that this connection will add one more potential types of tourism in Thua Thien Hue, complementing heritage sightseeing tourism and community tourism, as well as keeping visitors in Hue for a longer time and encouraging people to spend more through experiencing resort services combined with high-quality wellness,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Director of the Department of Tourism.
By Dong Van