Kjetil, the manager of Ko Tao Massage is the founder and CEO of the Norwegian Massage Association. Through the last three years he has cooperated closely with the Royal Thai Embassy in Oslo, Norway and the Thai Ministry of Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand. Several meetings have been held both in Norway and in Thailand.
The focus of the work has been to improve the situation for Thai masseuses in Norway and to improve the reputation and brand name of Thai massage throughout the world. Although the concept of Thai massage enjoys wide appreciation in Thailand, unfortunately it is also often associated with individuals offering other improper services.
The main reason for this problem is the very low and unstable salary given to the masseuses who often need to find other sources of income. Seeing how hard the work is this is often a borderline exploitation of workers. It is of course connected to the low price normally charged for a Thai massage treatment, and this is exactly where we have found an opportunity to make an essential and significant change.
In Koh Tao the vast majority of the massage salons are serious and nice, but the price level and the salaries are very low, specially compared to the relative high costs of products and services on the island. There is no reason to maintain this situation, but as usual individual salons shy away from raising their prices in fear of losing their clients to other salons.
And this is what Koh Tao Massage Association is all about: To make a joint effort to set the minimum prices on a level where both owners and employees can enjoy a solid income and a good, healthy work life. We will contonue this work in cooperation with the Thai health authorities and assure that the rules and regulations set by the Thai government is applied to the best of everyone involved in the massage industry in Koh Tao.