Expanding medical and wellness tourism
The medical tourism industry is fuelled by 7 million people spending a combined US$ 20–35 billion, according to Patients Beyond Borders. This growing industry provides developing countries with an opportunity to promote economic expansion, a process facilitated by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
ITC’s new publication, called ‘Medical and Wellness Tourism: Lessons from Asia’, is aimed at promoting better understanding of current trends, opportunities and challenges in the industry. It draws on the experience of four Asian countries – India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand – to extract lessons and best practices for another Asian country, Sri Lanka, which demonstrates high potential in medical and wellness tourism.
The paper features a compilation of lessons learned and concrete experiences of selected Asian countries. It is designed to offer an innovative approach to developing and promoting a customized technical-assistance offering on medical tourism. It concludes by highlighting the role that international organizations can play in helping developing countries to grow their domestic capabilities and join the global health tourism industry.