Dec 02, 2016

Sri Lanka to be promoted as a Global Health Tourism Destination

Sri Lanka’s health tourism services are to be maintained at international level with the aim of luring wellness tourists to the island in a big way, Tourism Ministry officials said.

As island’s hospitals and clinics plan to enter the highly competitive world of health tourism, they must prepare for a new, different kind of tourist than the sightseer or sun-seeker, officials added.

Sri Lanka focuses attention on applying global quality standards on the services provided by the local health tourism sector. Being on par with international standards will provide the health tourism services a distinct competitive advantage in the global health tourism market, officials said.

More people who did not travel before are traveling today. Technology, new wealth in
developing countries and greater life expectancy with better health motivate greater numbers of people to travel. The internet informs them of the wider array of destinations and activities from which they can choose.

Wellness travelers are checking out a greater number of destinations looking for a wider variety of activities, especially ones having to do with improving or maintaining their health and wellbeing.

The medical tourism industry is valued at around US$50-60 billion. In the past two years, according to the Global Wellness Institute, global wellness revenues grew from US$494 billion to US$563 billion,

Wellness travelers plan their holidays carefully. They don’t want the usual spa experience; they want a spa that addresses certain health issues. They don’t want just healthy cuisine; they want a kitchen that can cater to their preferences for gluten-free or other health-related food needs. They don’t want another trendy fitness program; they want an authentic, holistic mind-body experience.

They don’t want plastic surgery liposuction at a clinic using five-year-old equipment and a doctor who hustles patients through a revolving door; they want a clinic that demonstrates international standard infection control and sanitation practices and licensed professionals. They are looking for quality.

Under this set up,the Export Development Board ( EDB) with expert assistance from the Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA) of USA is organizing a seminar on “International Quality Standards for the Health Tourism Sector on 7th December 2016, It aims at creating awareness on among those engaged in the tourism industry.

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