Medical and wellness tourism is very present at ITB 2023

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Medical tourism is a sector that has many difficulties to emerge in France. There are several reasons, the slightest investigation broadcast on television evokes one or more problems. Moreover, the almost free medical care encourages patients to seek treatment in France. But some specialties are expensive and it is possible to find a solution abroad. In any case, the ITB Berlin show does not hesitate to highlight medical tourism as well as that of well-being.

A pavilion entirely dedicated to this important segment

For the first time, many medical and health tourism experts from Germany and around the world will share their knowledge in their own hall (26c) entirely dedicated to this segment.

The medical tourism market is growing

The medical tourism market is very large and growing rapidly. To put into perspective how quickly this industry is growing, know that the market was estimated at nearly €12 billion in 2020, which grew to €14 billion in 2021. Current estimates place the overall value of tourism worldwide medical sector to more than 50 billion euros by 2028.

On average, 14 million people will travel outside their home country to receive some form of medical treatment. Nor do they travel for substandard care. More than 40% of them seek care abroad to have access to improved technology, shorter waiting times and specialized care providers.

On the exhibitor side, Turkey is one of the countries strongly represented

The medical tourism market in Turkey, which is valued at around 3.5 billion euros in 2022. It is expected to grow annually by 5%. Turkey is becoming one of the top destinations for medical tourism due to the affordable rate it offers compared to many other countries.

According to data from the Turkish public health body, USHAŞ, Turkey has a problem with the quality of health care. Inspections should be reinforced by the Ministry of Health, according to the body. Illegal businesses damage the image of the country. The most problematic would be hair transplantation.

Lured by the promise of a perfect smile at an unbeatable price, 150,000 to 250,000 foreign patients flock to Turkey every year, according to the Turkish Dental Association (TDB). It is one of the top dental tourism destinations in the world along with Hungary, Thailand and Dubai. But here again, the British Dental Association has sounded the alarm on the phenomenon, alerting to the “considerable risks… of treatments at knockdown prices” abroad. The British association warns of many cases of infections and “ill-fitting crowns and implants that have fallen out”. Patrick Solera, of the French dentists’ union, said he was horrified to see influencers traveling to Turkey “to have their teeth cut”.

Thailand has long promoted medical tourism

Thailand is a high-quality, low-cost medical tourism destination, attracting medical tourists from Asian, Middle Eastern and Pacific countries. By the end of 2021, Thailand had 60 JCI accredited hospitals and medical facilities. Thailand is a popular low-cost option for many types of procedures, including cosmetics, dental work, heart surgery, orthopedic procedures, and general health checkups.

Bumrungrad International Hospital, for example, has become the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia with revenues of over $540 million and a net margin of over 20%, the highest among hospitals Thai privates.

Conferences will be organized during the show

Medical Media Networking will answer questions over lunch. The event is sponsored by the Catalan Tourist Office . Rika Jean-François, Commissioner for Corporate Social Responsibility at ITB Berlin and in charge of this segment, and Thomas Bömkes, Medical Tourism Advisor at ITB Berlin, Diversity Tourism GmbH, will deliver the keynote. In the evening, FIT Reisen will host a networking reception at the pavilion in cooperation with ESPA and Quality in Health Prevention.

Instead of medical tourism, we prefer to focus on wellness tourism

Wellness tourism includes various activities such as spas, mineral springs, skiing, hiking, yoga and others. In recent years, the growing demand for wellness therapies has led to an increase in the number of spas, mineral springs and wellness retreats. According to Global Wellness Institute, the number of spa establishments globally increased by 7.3% from 149,252 in 2017 to 160,100 in 2020. Additionally, the number of thermal/mineral spring establishments increased by 352 from 2017 to 2020. has resulted in increased job opportunities. Hence, an increase in the number of spas along with their revenue contribution is expected to drive the market over the forecast period.

The wellness market is expected to reach crazy sums

Today, the well-being market announces a turnover of 920 billion euros. It is expected to reach 2.1 trillion euros by 2030 according to the report

Catherine Mills Avatar