Beyond the Hotel Spa: Medical Tourism Trends for 2014
This week, the Canadian Tourism College blog looks at the growing trend of health and wellness travel, which is seeing increased numbers of tourists traveling abroad in search of specialized treatments and therapies. In Canada alone last year, over 42,000 thousand people left the country to receive medical attention elsewhere. Prompted by long wait times, restricted access, and in some cases inferior care, Canadians travel all over the world to access specialists, more affordable options (such as dental care in Mexico), and faster service. Often, health-oriented tourists are after more than typical spa treatments like massage and sauna. The blog post, Beyond the Hotel Spa: Medical Tourism Trends for 2014, explains that:
in recent years travellers seeking increased wellness are looking beyond the conventional offerings of the resort spa, booking entire trips around medical procedures and spiritual quests. From ashrams to hospital-hotels, trends in travel and tourism point to health and wellness travellers as a growing, increasingly diverse demographic. And it seems as if more destinations are recognizing the potential. Countries around the world are eager to develop national strategies for health and medical tourism clusters.
Historically popular sites of spiritual retreat in India and China are upgrading their hotels and modernizing their treatment centres in order to attract a new generation of medical travellers. Hospitals and hotels are converging to offer patients more intensive care abroad, while entire resorts are being designed around concepts of holistic wellness. Prices too have shifted to include a wider range of clients. As the business of medical travel democratizes, it is not only the wealthy elite who will travel in search of superior health care.