What Is Medical Tourism?

Medical tourism is on the rise, providing individuals with a unique opportunity to explore new places while receiving quality health care. It has become an effective way to get medical procedures unavailable in their own country or too expensive to pursue domestically.

Medical tourists travel abroad to combine health-care-related activities such as:

  • medical appointments
  • surgeries
  • treatments

Combined with leisure activities associated with sightseeing and tourist activities.

The demand for medical tourists is driven mainly by cost savings, convenience, and quality, particularly for advanced medical procedures that may require a lengthy waiting list at home or have limited access due to money constraints or cultural barriers.

With today’s technology, skyrocketing healthcare costs, and governments increasingly looking for ways to provide better services but spending less money. Medical tourism will likely take a more significant share of the global healthcare market in years to come.

Hospitality and Destination Marketing’s Role

Hospitality and destination marketing is vastly intertwined in the tourism industry today. Medical tourism, in particular, has experienced an influx of patients seeking treatment abroad with advancements in medical technology and improved access to services.

Medical travelers now rely heavily on hospitality and destination marketing to inform their destinations. Therefore, marketers must consider the importance of providing quality services to medical tourists from a hospitality and destination marketing standpoint.

The combination of these two roles has become a major focus for businesses seeking to capture a global audience and offer unique experiences that attract customers worldwide.

Health Care and Medical Tourism

Hospitality can play a pivotal role in successful destination marketing by providing health care and medical tourism options to travelers visiting the area. In essence, hospitality acts as an ambassador for the destination, influencing the perception and reality of the health care services available.

The reality is that healthcare is a major component of medical tourism, and travelers directly interact with healthcare professionals and health systems to get their needs met. Hospitals, health centers, and tertiary healthcare facilities can all play an important role by providing essential support for medical tourists.

By emphasizing hospitality in its marketing efforts, a destination can ensure that medical tourists have access to quality health care, thereby setting itself apart from competitors.

Six broad categories of medical tourists

Medical tourism continues to be a popular industry, offering customers increasingly diverse services. A medical tourist is defined as an individual who travels abroad to receive medical treatments. To better understand this population’s needs and motivations, it can important to categorize individuals into various groups.

Researchers have identified six broad categories of medical tourists:

  1. health seekers,
  2. postponers,
  3. bargain hunters,
  4. pleasure travelers,
  5. time optimizers,
  6. upgraded travelers.

Health seekers are primarily motivated by the absence of quality or specialized care in their home countries and seek out the next best option for their specific treatment. Postponers are those who delay primary or secondary healthcare treatment due to a lack of access and affordability.

Bargain hunters often travel mainly for cost advantages over their home country options. Pleasure travelers take advantage of readily available procedures or treatments that do not require complex visas or planning logistics; these often include aesthetic procedures or simpler alternatives such as dental work.

Time optimizers utilize international medical resources to access treatments unavailable in their own country due to wait times or bureaucratic restrictions. Lastly, upgraded travelers desire high-end hospitality options offered exclusively in certain countries at luxurious specialized facilities – they are willing to pay a premium for amenities associated with high-end travel experiences and quality healthcare services.

By understanding the motivations behind different types of medical tourists, we can develop effective strategies for ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the entire process of providing quality global healthcare services.

In Conclusion

To draw customers from all over the world, the rapidly expanding medical tourism business depends on offering top-notch healthcare services. Hospitality plays a vital role in destination marketing for medical tourists by offering healthcare options, convenience, and luxury amenities that can set one destination apart from competitors.

By understanding the motivations of different types of medical tourists, providers and marketers of medical tourism services can better cater to their needs and create customized experiences that satisfy customers from all walks of life.

Over to you

The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.

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Related article: 5 Cost-effective Steps to Start a New Innovative Digital Transformation Shift for Hotels

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About Are Morch

Are Morch is a digital transformation coach helping hotels open their digital front door, reimagine their processes and culture, and transform experiences in a fast-paced world!

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