Med­i­cal tourism has great po­ten­tial

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece needs to tap the huge mar­ket of med­i­cal tourism that neigh­bor­ing coun­tries are al­ready greatly ben­e­fit­ing from, the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Greek Med­i­cal Tourism Coun­cil, Paris Koko­rot­sikos, told the 2nd Tourism Con­fer­ence, ti­tled “High Added Value Tourism” and co-or­ga­nized by five bi­lat­eral cham­bers, which took place in Thes­sa­loniki on Mon­day.

Med­i­cal tourism in Europe, with 2.6 mil­lion tourists a year, ac­counts for a quar­ter of the global med­i­cal tourism mar­ket, with Turkey and Croa­tia be­ing the main two emerg­ing des­ti­na­tions, while Ger­many and the UK are the top pref­er­ences for se­ri­ous health is­sues. Greece re­mains a lag­gard in pro­mot­ing med­i­cal tourism, while Turkey has 657,000 health vis­i­tors per an­num, Koko­rot­sikos said.

Greece’s ad­van­tages in­clude the high level of pri­vate health ser­vices, in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed doc­tors and sci­en­tists, use of ul­tra­mod­ern tech­no­log­i­cal equip­ment in health­care and com­pet­i­tive prices.

On the other hand its weak points are low state sup­port, poor net­work­ing with in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal tourism bro­kers and fa­cil­i­ta­tors, the lack of or­ga­nized pro­mo­tion of the coun­try as a med­i­cal tourism des­ti­na­tion, and the ab­sence of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween tourism and trans­port busi­nesses and health­care cor­po­ra­tions, Koko­rot­sikos noted.

The sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Greek Med­i­cal Tourism Coun­cil, Paris Koko­rot­sikos.

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