Medical Tourism Taking a Back Seat to Wellness Tourism

14 thoughts on “Medical Tourism Taking a Back Seat to Wellness Tourism

  1. Mark A. McKenney

    Awesome Susie! I am in the process of speaking to my contact at the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau [] to get ‘wellness’ listed somewhere on their drop down menu. There are many spas, fitness clubs, gyms (everyone is so into football here) and clinics but they are all so separated out but not brought together under the “wellness” umbrella. Now lets see how we can get through to the Mayor and the Dallas City Manager and get this done. Like you advise, it’s a continued journey to get the message out….
    Dallas, Texas

  2. Pingback:Medical Tourism Taking a Back Seat to Wellness Tourism | Susie’s … « Recover in Paradise

  3. Jesper

    Dear Susie,
    Yes, it is indeed interesting to see what is happening in Philippines, although I would not quite agree that wellness is taking over the market, at least not just yet.
    I have been to Philippines a couple of times last year and I was impressed by the medical tourism focus; I even visited some of their hospitals and clinics directed towards medical tourism, and the facilities (and investments made) are impressive. No doubt about the determination to create a world class medical tourism product and it is sad that the ROI is not forthcoming, also because the Ministry of Tourism has done a lot to promote the industry.
    However, I did not see much initiative to develop a wellness industry in Philippines, apart from some very nice spas. I met the very visionary former Secretary of Health Juan Flavier with whom I discussed alternative wellness in Philippines and no doubt, there is sufficient historical basis and natural beauty to create a unique wellness tourism industry.
    There are many wonderful resorts in Philippines and most of them have spas; wellness is very much part of the vision for tourism in Philippines, but still needing a concerted effort in terms of projecting the country as a wellness destination. To get to the next stage is much more than nice massages; there needs to be a unique wellness message as a foundation.

    Jesper Hougaard – Managing Director

  4. Bernard

    Susie – thanks for this report.

    No wonder there are few patients from abroad in Manila hospitals: either they have floods, landslides, or terrorist attacks.

    Do they really get wellness tourism?

    I have never heard from them.

    Bernard Burt

    1. Susie

      Hi Bernie,

      Good to hear from you. Regarding the Philippines and wellness/spa/medical tourism – here are some blog posts from several years ago when I was there at one of their conferences where they combined spa and medical (one of the first countries to do so) in their tourism ministry. It was actually quite visionary of them to do so…looking now in retrospect. The country does have a lot of challenges…no doubt and of course, like many smaller places without large budgets, marketing isn’t one of their strengths. Fortunately the kind and caring people are their best marketing around the world and am hopeful that this will garner them business for the future.

      Thanks for sharing my enthusiasm for wellness tourism!

  5. Deborah

    About time they recognized wellness. I actually do not know one person who went to a spa for medical tourism, Many, many seek out spas when traveling as a restful break in their travels and see their visit as part of their commitment to wellness.


  6. Allan

    Hi Susie, good reprint. I spoke with a group that has Dental Hospitals in Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands, while I was in Ukraine. We had this exact conversation about people going a long way, but very concerned about getting invasive care across the seas (If you’re an American) and that it’s hard to get to “it’s no big deal to have someone operate on me overseas.” Wellness is totally the answer…good call repeating this!

  7. Anne Dimon

    Thanks Susie! This comes as no surprise but it has taken tourism players a long time to, as you say, “get it.”

    I’ve been pitching “wellness travel” to qualifying destinations for years. When we launched six years ago we recognized that the wellness revolution would create a booming industry, and that the industries of wellness and travel would eventually meet and grow and so they have.

    The term “wellness vacation” has become part of the travel lexicon. More tourism boards ARE recognizing the importance of the niche – and not just for their spa sector but for local businesses that offer healthy cooking classes, fitness adventures (hiking, kayaking and cross-country skiing, for instance), agri-tourism and a restaurant community that caters to wellness-minded visitors. I’m looking forward to seeing even more destination marketing corporations recognize the opportunities and devote more of their energies to helping profile their wellness tourism product.

    1. Ria Duykers

      I totally agree with you Anne and thanks Susan for keeping us alert and keep this conversation going. As a wellness tourist provider I learned and still learn along the road of innovation that it’s not easy to make changes . My mission is to raise awareness, educate people and guide them through a process of health options and opportunities by combining traditional and modern health and healing, therapies and treatments, actions and activities in order to prevent illness, improve the quality of life and achieve the ultimate state of well-being. I even redeveloped my complete business model and we atre very proud to launch our new brand and website this month where you can find all the ingredients for: Relax-Retreat and Reactivate meaning Therapies & Spa, Clinical Wellness and Sports and Activity Wellness. Thanks for sharing. “Stay Well”

  8. Kathryn Stolle

    Good work, Susie! The more awareness that is raised through blogs like this and Global Spa Summit initiatives, the more we’ll see headlines like this one. But it’s not just Tourism that doesn’t get it – how many drop downs on various sites across the web list “spa” under occupation? Virtually none and have to register under “health” for the most part. So there’s definitely more to be done. I

    Hat’s off to Anne Dimon as well for all her efforts over the past six years. The squeaky wheel always gets the most oil – so we’ll all have to keep squeaking in chorus so that we’re REALLY heard!

  9. medical tourism india

    Dear susi,Phillipine Becoming One the good place to get medical treatment ,there lots of spa,and fitness center and tourism parts available ,same like in india now becoming good place for medical tourism for all type of treatments……

  10. medical tourism in india

    Amazingly, people who stay in western world also desire Indian for having any kind treatment; certainly, it is the low cost and the beauty of this nation, which make them start their voyage to Indian.


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