Over the years, the health tourism industry has grown significantly. It has been growing by twenty five percent (25%) per year and valued at $439 billion. Furthermore, the growth rate of medical tourism globally is expected to increase even more over the next few years. Let’s look at reasons why medical tourism is expanding, and why medical travel agencies are needed more than ever:
How Health and Wellness Travel Spread
Medical tourism is now more widespread than ever, with over 70 nations named as a hot destination and millions of medical travelers seeking new places to visit and get treated. The concept is actually not a new one, since people from the ancient times used to move out of their place of origin to visit well-known healers and places in other countries. These Days, patients can get the advantages of getting the best medical help, plus a vacation.
About the Concept
The first documented event of health and wellness travel was thousands of years ago when Greek pilgrims moved all throughout the Mediterranean towards Epidauria, a minor territory in the Saronic Gulf. The area was considered as the home of Asklepios, the god of healing. Epidauria was visited by thousands of people each year, for cases like fever, bone problems, heart ailments, skin disease and many more. It was the first travel destination of health tourism.
Over the years, sanitariums and spa towns were also created and became the early types of medical tourism. Patients visited the spa towns during the 1700s to get mineral water that is believed to boost health and treat problems like bronchitis, gout and liver conditions.
Becoming Popular Throughout the World
Several things triggered the vast popularity of healthcare travel. Primarily the ever-increasing cost of health care had people asking if there were other places where they can receive the same kind of treatment without the huge expense. The next was the very long waiting periods and several requirements before they can be treated or even diagnosed. Modern medical tourism destinations provide patients only a fraction of the cost they expect to pay at their local hospital.
Medical Tourism Agency Business
The role of a medical tourism agency business is to make sure the patient has state-of-the-art and quality accommodations and get their dream vacation at the same time. As a facilitator you want to be known for treating patients like royalty, so everything will be taken care of. Making sure the patient is provided with a complete schedule of activities, so they do not waste there time waiting in line or running everywhere to get the needed documents for the procedure.
Medical tourism continued to spread as the cost of international travel became much lower. The technology and care standards in several countries, have improved significantly in the past decade, making the institutions highly competitive against the best in the United States. A large portion of international patients come from the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, because individuals from these places usually have more money to spend when visiting third world countries.
In the United States alone, over 1.5 million people travel abroad to get medical treatment each year. The United Kingdom currently advertises more about medical tourism compared to the United States. Canadians preferred the very fast medical waiting period in other destinations. Some procedures are even more convenient when done outside the United States or Europe.