Thailand is courting tourists for medical care

Thailand is not only known for its temples or its beaches but also for its excellent healthcare. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is aware that medical tourism brings to the country and has launched various initiatives to facilitate the development of medical tourism in line with government’s directive to promote Thailand as a regional hub for medical and wellness tourism.

Health and wellness is one of a number of niche markets being promoted by TAT under the marketing concept of “Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades.” Some of the promising demographic segments include senior citizens, millennials and working women.
Thailand is indeed one of the world’s most popular health and wellness tourism destinations, ranging from prevention to cure. Traditionally, Thailand was mostly visited for medical purposes from countries such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, India, Indonesia and the Gulf countries.
“Over the years, demand has been emerging from countries such as Myanmar, Australia and Russia,” explained Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor of International Marketing -Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas Back in 2017, the Kingdom introduced a special 90-day visa for citizens of China, the Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) as well as Gulf countries (GCC) who come for medical purposes. The visa is delivered with a special confirmation letter sent by a list of hospitals or healthcare centres approved by the Ministry of Public Health to make an appointment. More than 100 hospital and health facilities are listed on the ministry list.
Recently, Thailand experienced the opening of Asia’s first hotel resort with an inhouse medical team. In the heart of Bangkok, Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok is a very different style of hotels than other properties of the group. The resort hotel features 293 rooms and suites overlooking a garden with an adjacent clinic proposing various wellbeing programs. The Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort is a brand new concept of holistic hospitality.

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Photo: Medical travellers are able to combine visits to local markets and sites with medical services in local clinics.