Thailand, a top medical tourism destination is looking forward to expand this sector, and making it more attractive to the Arab world. The number of Arabs opting for medical tourism in Thailand is on the rise. Last year, Thailand saw a surge in medical tourism with around 150000 patients visiting the country from the Arab world which was almost a 2.5 % rise over the number of tourist visits in 2014. The Thai medical tourism authorities estimate that around one million Arabs will visit Thailand for medical treatment by the close of 2018.
Though the medical tourism data overlooks certain factors like multiple visits of the same patient, business travelers, whether the patients are non-residents of Thailand or not, expatriates etc., the trend of inbound medical tourism in Thailand is on a healthy growth curve.
As declared by a Thai tourism agency, the huge response of the Arab world towards the Thai medical and wellness tourism would be sustained by its awesome features in spite of the fact that the Health insurance policies in Abu Dhabi is undergoing a revision.
The Abu Dhabi health authorities have curtailed the benefits accruing to the customers covered by insurer Daman to promote medical treatment in their home country. However, this did not put any substantial obstacle to Arab people opting for Thailand for healthcare services.
Inaugurating the Thai pavilion at the International medical travel exhibition and conference in Dubai, representatives from Thailand made their presence highly felt by showcasing their potential in the field of wellness tourism.The entire affair was organized at Dubai international convention and exhibition centre.
The inaugural ceremony was addressed by TaneshPetsuwan, the newly appointed Deputy Governor of the Tourism Authority, Thailand for the tourism marketing efforts directed at capturing the markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the US. Eleven Thai companies in the business of wellness, health and hospitality participated in the conference together with the Director of Tourism Authority Thailand for the Middle East and Dubai markets.
Among other organization representatives who participated in the conference were from Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Landmark Lancaster hotel, HMC clinic, Al Meroz Hotel, Bangkok International Hospital and Absolute health clinic, Thanyapura integrative health centre and Panacee medical centre. Quoting Tanesh who delivered his speech emphatically driving his opinions home stated ‘Medical tourism is identified as high yield niche market for TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) and is one of the key components to build the quality benchmark and improve tourism. GCC is one of the key source markets for TAT medical tourism and we plan to expand our promotion by visiting countries like Kuwait and Oman to further create more partnerships in the Gulf region.
The Thai Deputy Governor further categorically stated that Thai private hospitals are the real power packed nuclei of medical tourism that had a great appeal for the Middle East. The secret of the success, of course, lies in the delivery of amazing wellness services backed up by the traditional Thai therapeutic procedures that have fascinated the world in recent times.
Thailand’s accreditation in the domain of wellness industry had achieved international accolades winning many coveted awards.A majority of the 200 internationally recognized Thai hospitalsare backed up with immense customer friendly resources. There are doctors and specialists who have received latest training on medicine in the prestigious institutions of the US and top European nations.
The nurses are well trained with a polite demeanor. Moreover, these clinics are armed with a team of interpreters fluent in Arabic and are well acquainted with the Arab culture. Eminent medicos of American and European Board are the pillars of strength of the valued human capital of these hospitals.
Breaking a great news to the applause of many, it was also stated that nationals who are members of the GCC countries like Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Emirates and Saudi Arabia can have a stay at Thailand for medical treatment for as long as 90 days without a visa.However, the regulations also restrict the maximum number of members from the family of a GCC member country to three to enjoy the offer. Specifically, these family members would include parents, children, spouse or maid.
Al Meroz hotel which was inaugurated back in November last year is the first of its kind halal Thai hotel in Bangkok,strictly observing Islamic laws. It coordinates with many Bangkok hospitals and offers special packages for Arab customers.