Develop Jurong Lake District into wellness precinct

Wellness, which encompasses fitness, nutrition and mind relaxation, is a recent phenomenon that has taken the young and old by storm.
Wellness, which encompasses fitness, nutrition and mind relaxation, is a recent phenomenon that has taken the young and old by storm. PHOTO: ST FILE

I suggest the authorities study the feasibility of implementing a concept of wellness at the Jurong Lake District as a unique offering to locals and tourists (Jurong Lake District to host new tourism hub from 2026, April 17).

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness economy in 2017 was worth US$4.2 trillion (S$5.7 trillion) and is expected to grow at an average of 5 per cent over the next 10 years.

Wellness, which encompasses fitness, nutrition and mind relaxation, is a recent phenomenon that has taken the young and old by storm. It is an industry that is innovative and adaptable, and small and big business players can co-exist to serve the differentiated groups of customers.

Relaxing spas and wholesome foods, like farm-to-table concepts, are attractive to the senior and aged populations, and the younger generation today is interested in many types of fitness and sports activities.

The sizeable plot of land available could be developed into an iconic wellness district to brand Singapore as a trendsetter in this industry.

Imagine a mall with a holistic offering of products and services in fitness and health, nutrition, aesthetics as well as spas, all located within reach for customers.

To ensure that visitors stay longer in the mall, experiential activities, like the trapeze arts, body-building competitions and sports fashion shows, can be organised.

To cater to sports tourists, a luxury sports hotel, possibly Asia's first, focusing on nutritious food, a clean environment and fitness activities can be built to make this district unique and attractive.

The wellness concept is an exciting proposition as it addresses the high rate of medical problems in society, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, and also fulfils the aspirational goals of the younger population to live healthily.

Investing in wellness is about investing in the population's longevity, and it makes dollar sense to invest in the well-being of our future generations.

This will also allow Singapore to set the bar for other countries in holistic wellness and care.

Frankie Mao

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2019, with the headline 'Develop Jurong Lake District into wellness precinct'. Print Edition | Subscribe