Medical Tourism poised to become a $100 billion industry by 2012
German, European healthcare have spearheaded medical tourism for hundreds of years, continue to lead the world even today
· 20% of healthcare seekers worldwide are from Arab & Gulf states
Dubai, December 9, 2010:, The Medical Tourism sector worldwide is growing exponentially and set to become a $100 billion sector by 2012, according to industry research. The sector is growing at a whopping 20-30% annually and is bound to continue its growth pattern in the years to come.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the medical tourism industry is currently a $78.5 billion industry [end-2010], catering to over three million patients who travel around the globe for medical care. The Middle East is one of the latent source markets of patients and it is estimated that 20% of healthcare seekers worldwide are from Gulf and Arab states. Significantly, patients from UAE alone spend about $2 billion in healthcare travel on an annual basis. As a result, many countries are targeting the region to woo guests and patients to their own medical tourism destinations.
Germany, in particular, and Europe, in general, have been a primary medical tourism hubs for hundreds of years and continue to lead the industry today followed by Asian countries such as Thailand, India and Malaysia. Boasting of an excellent healthcare system, high quality, safe and quick treatment, Germany is considered to be a top destination for patients from all over the world, and particularly from the Middle East, UK and the US. Germany is also an attractive destination for patients from the region, in terms of distance, costs and tourism attractions – thus reinforcing it as a premier medical tourism hub in Europe.
In Germany, the Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa, situated in the valley of Black Forest in Baden-Baden, offers a relaxed, discrete and natural medical spa experience identified with the elegance of Oetker Hotel Collection – the prestigious European luxury hotel group. The hotel enjoys a long-standing tradition in offering optimal healthcare and the ultimate retreat for weary or overworked. Brenner’s Park is one of the destinations where people enjoy the nice facilities of a luxurious hotel and the world-renowned medical spa where highly specialized doctors offer their unique approach and advanced diagnostic techniques in aesthetic dentistry, dermatology, naturopathic detoxification and elimination therapy, in addition to nutrition coaching, weight-loss programs and beauty packages.
In his comments, Samir Daqqaq, Senior Vice President – Development [Middle East and Africa] at Oetker Hotel Collection, said: “Middle East is one for the most important markets for us. We have been actively investing our time and resources in promoting the health benefits offered at Brenner’s Park. Medical tourism is accessible to everybody, facilitated by the access to information due to internet and affordability of air travel. The rising health costs in developed countries, the opportunity to get world-class treatment coupled with the avenue to spend quality time in beautiful locales, are leading people to seek affordable health care elsewhere, such as Baden-Baden.”
Hans-Peter Veit, Spa Manager at Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa, said: “We are happy to invite the Middle East medical tourists to enjoy the world-renowned natural and holistic medical care on offer at Brenner’s – a hotel with an international reputation for over 135 years that has made a mark in medical spa for over 25 years. Conducted by qualified doctors, who are experts in their own field of specializations, we guarantee a unique experience for our guests – healthcare for the body, mind and soul and a medical spa like no other. With 20 treatment rooms and customized spa programs, our guests enjoy a comprehensive therapeutic care while enjoying the comforts of Brenner’s.”
A McKinsey & Company 2008 report also emphasizes that 40% of medical travelers seek advanced technology, while 32% seek better healthcare. Another 15% seek faster medical services while only 9% of travelers seek lower costs as their primary consideration. “In a nutshell, Germany fits the bill in all these facets, making it the ideal medical tourist destination. Thousands of international travelers from the Gulf, Arab states, Russia and around the world visit Germany on a regular basis for the best in shopping, sightseeing and medical treatments. Over the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of GCC tourists to Germany,” added Daqqaq.
Statistics by the German Federal Statistics Office show that the number of overnight stays by GCC nationals in the country during the first five months of 2010 touched 243,759 nights – an increase of 16.4% compared to same period in 2009. When compared to the same period in 2008, the number of GCC visitors to Germany rose by 30.3% -- among the highest from any region in the world, making Germany the preferred destination for travel and medical tourists from Gulf.
The concept of medical tourism is not a recent development. Long before Americans stepped onto foreign soil for treatments, medical travelers from around the world have been searching far and wide to seek the best medical services. The concept of medical travel is as old as medicine itself. The Sumerians (4000 BC) constructed the earliest known health complexes that were built around hot springs. Then, there are records of Greek pilgrims who travelled from all over the Mediterranean to a small territory in Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. Spa towns and sanitariums were considered an early form of medical tourism. In eighteenth century England, for example, patients visited spas because they were places with supposedly health-giving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis.
Thus, with its natural product strengths of mineral springs and geothermal waters and associated spa product experiences, Brenner’s offers an enviable international leadership in medical tourism, coupled with the luxury and stylish atmosphere of a Grand Hotel – a disarming luxury and a retreat into secret paradise. Take a deep breath, log into www.brenners.com.
For further information, please contact Ghada Kammoun/ Venkat Iyer
BPG Public Relations, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +9714-295 3456, Fax : +9714-295 1027
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About Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa
Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa is more than a luxury hotel. It's a philosophy in its own right, combining beauty, fitness, health and culinary delights. And all this in one of the most beautiful and much-loved places in the world: Baden-Baden. Situated in a fantastic location at the heart of a legendary park, Brenner's Park-Hotel & Spa has a 135-year history and is a grand, world-renowned 5-star superior hotel. Its maxim is Savoir Vivre. Brenner’s is home to those seeking a unique trio of hospitality, fitness and health in harmony with nature. The hotel is very much part of Baden-Baden – a city of culture and art, baths and thermal springs.
About Oetker Hotel Collection
In 1891, Dr August Oetker, a pharmacist from Bielefeld in Germany, invented baking powder in a room at the back of his shop, an invention that led to the creation of the ‘Dr. Oetker’ brand. It was the beginning of this empire that led to the ‘Oetker Signature’, a mark of guaranteed success and quality. During the course of the company’s successes and financial opportunities, the ever-expanding Oetker Group diversified into food products, wines and spirits, maritime transport and luxury hotels. The hotels belonging to Oetker have been regrouped under The Oetker Hotel Collection. The Collection embraces four luxury hotels:
· Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden – The first hotel taken over by the Oetker Family, it passed into the hands of Rudolf August Oetker in 1941
· Hôtel du Cap Eden-Roc – Located on the Mediterranean at the tip of the Cap d’Antibes, the Hôtel du Cap was bought by the Oetker family in 1969
· Hôtel Le Bristol – In the very centre of Paris just across from the Elysée Palace, since 1978
· Château Saint-Martin & Spa – Located in Vence, the romantic part of Provence and owned by the Oetker Family since 1994