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Published on June 13, 2014

To revitalize and further promote Indonesia’s very own traditional Spa treatments, the National Conference on Indonesian Traditional Spa was held at the Hotel Grand Inna Sanur, Bali, on 8 May.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy together with the Ministry of Health and attended by stakeholders and representatives of 9 of Indonesia’s unique traditional spa treatments.

It became clear that the Indonesian islands own a wealth of well preserved regional cultures for Relaxation. For, besides able to offer the perfect surroundings for peace and serenity, – necessary for complete relaxation of body and soul , – there are accompanying age old traditional recipes and treatments to completely relax both the body and spirit.

Nine kinds of Traditional Spa treatments have been identified and studied, these include the Oukup/Markup adhered by the Batak ethnic group in North Sumatra; the Batangeh tradition of the Minangkabau in West Sumatra; the Tangas from the Betawi’s in Jakarta; the Javanese tradition of Lulur; the So’oso from Madura island in East Java; the Boreh of Bali; and many more.

Following the conference, delegates issued the “Sanur Declaration for the Development of Indonesian Traditional Spa” which was formulated based on input from the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, the Minister of Health, and representatives from 9 Indonesian traditional Spas.

Spa stakeholders of The Sanur Declaration stated that, recognizing the wealth and diversity of Indonesia’s traditional spa and their potential to be developed as indonesia’s prime tourist attraction, traditional spas in Indonesia should be revived and mapped out, to include other traditional Spas across the archipelago that have as yet not been studied, since until today their information and documentation have been minimal.

Indonesian traditional relaxation treatments form a significant contribution to the richness of Indonesian culture. Therefore, developing traditional Spas will be conducted under the national framework since they hold precious cultural value as Indonesia’s national identity besides providing economic benefits. These treatments, being the result cultural process through generations,must be viewed, therefore, from the aspects of their philosophical values, process, and activities.

The Declaration also acknowledged that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, together with the Ministry of Health need to cooperate with all related stakeholders in every sector to develop Indonesian traditional Spa. Additionally, there must be more intensive education and training, knowledge and technology, to present and promote the authenticity and uniqueness of true Indonesian Traditional Spa.

These treatments, having their roots in 9 different cultures, moreover, need to take into consideration global trends and improved management. They must also be professionally organized to ensure their attractiveness and continued existence.

Since traditional Spas play a growing importance in the global development of Indonesian tourism, the Sanur Declaration also stated the need for strategic, systematic, and sustainable steps to be conducted by all stakeholders. As a follow up of the declaration there will be a national movement of meetings at city and at provincial levels as well as in international forums to identify and utilize all their potentials to further promote Indonesian traditional spa as one of Indonesia’s prime tourist attractions.