ITB 2023 Special Reporting
Medical tourism prepares to offer post-pandemic treatment
Monday, 14th March 2022
Source : ITB Berlin 2022 - 4Hoteliers.com news coverage

As tragic as the serious human and economic consequences are, there is a positive outlook on the horizon after the coronavirus pandemic, one example being medical tourism.

The quicker destinations are able to prepare for rehabilitating those who have recovered, the better they can overcome the crisis. That became clear in the presentation of platforms for the wellness and spa industry. Rika Jean-François, CSR commissioner of ITB, presented the ITB Medical Tourism Award to the Slovakian Spa Association for its quick response to the latest challenges.

Alessandra Priante, Europe director of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), spoke of a very positive outlook for medical tourism.

In these uncertain times regarding health, wellness destinations in particular which had high hygiene standards and were usually located in rural surroundings provided a good alternative to crowded beaches and tourism centres.

Travel spending was on the increase, and there was now an additional focus on “preventive wellness“, said Liudmila Andreeva, director of International Relations at the European health platform HTI.

According to her estimate, the global market for medical tourism will rise from 4.4 billion dollars in 2020 to seven billion in 2025. It was time now to ease travel restrictions and establish the highest possible safety and hygiene standards, she said.

Csilla Mezösi, secretary general of the European Spa Association, said that the government and parliament in Bratislava had swiftly recognised the need for health insurances to approve post-Covid treatment, and had amended the corresponding laws.

In other countries too, from Lithuania to Italy, many specialist hotels had already prepared for the expected arrival of guests. Just as the virus not only attacked individual organs, so too treatment methods took an all-round approach, and one had already achieved a high success rate in rehabilitating visitors’ health.


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