Growth & trends in medical and wellness tourism

Burgenstock Waldhotel, Switzerland

The two spectrums of health tourism, medical and wellness are showing nourishing growth and massaging the lifestyle demands of today’s travellers.

The latest research was revealed at this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. Growth rate in Medical Tourism, according to Patients Beyond Borders and the Global Wellness Institute was up by 17% in 2017, with 22 million crossing borders. Wellness Travel had increased by 7.5% accounting to 290 million travellers. In the Middle East, the top five markets were, in descending order,  UAE, Morocco, Israel, Jordon and Bahrain. Spas and thermal mineral springs were highlighted as the most popular treatments.

Arab Health Magazine (January 15, 2019), featured medical tourism trends. Mental and dental treatments are at the top. Millenniums,  however, being more tech savvy, view medical tourism in a new light preferring telemedicine rather than doctors surgeries. Their treatments are usually due to incidental medical travel. Millenniums view wellness in the form of meditation and personalized nutrition while fashion has joined the wellness movement using fabrics and styles that allow more freedom.

The key current trends focus on mental wellness encompassing meditation and arts & creativity programming. They also include insomnia which is ruffling pillows to create sleep mania solutions, CBD (Cannabis based therapy) is making the industry light-headed and ways to make us happy are a subject for conversation.

Countries and cities are competing to become the key health tourism destination. Dubai’s Health Tourism  is now advancing and taking shape to meet its objective as a Preferred Global Health Care Destination & Wellness Hub. Ninety percent of Dubai’s hospitals have international accreditations and affiliations. This destination has a specialist holistic wellness resort, The Retreat Palm Dubai. Through its accredited facilities it is offering futuristic signature treatments like Cryotherapy and Vitamin Revitalization. For the international market its focus is on orthopedics, dentistry and dermatology amongst many other medical conditions. And to make bookings and research easier, Dubai Health Tourism www.dxh.ae helps visitors to make their bookings on one smart, smooth, seamless platform.

Dubai is working on emerging opportunities such as the meditation industry as anxiety and depression rates reach epic proportions worldwide. Meditation is now the fastest growing wellness trend in the US and elsewhere, with an explosion of meditation studios, apps and brands.  Wellness for aging and anti-aging is growing with countries like Italy, Japan and the US searching for solutions for ageing population and senior’s revitalization.

As a Capital of the Islamic Economy, Dubai offers specialised halal wellness that embraces other forms of wellness such as eco-wellness. This will attract the massive Asian and MENA audiences currently going to Central and Far East destinations.

Dubai aims to expand its tourism to Transit Tourism, its “On-the-go” wellness tourism boosted by same-day ‘in and out’ procedures that Dubai is already offering in dental and other cosmetic facilities.

There’s growing medical consensus that DNA testing and blood analysis can guide diet and lifestyle changes for weight loss, dermatology treatments, allergy treatments and more. Since DXH already welcomes many tourists facing these problems, it can boost its existing procedures with genetic evaluation

According to Dr. Yasser Moshref, CEO Premedion, the top concepts shaping the international medical wellness landscape include Thalasso therapy, medical beauty, detox and weight management. The top performing countries in this area are Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Thailand. The properties highlighted are the Thalasso Spa A-Rosa in Sylt Germany, Premedion Spa & Prevention Zhanijang, China with an Anti Aging Centre, the Premedion Spa & Prevention Alexandria, Egypt and in planning is the Premedion Spa & Prevention, Al Ahsa.

Dr. Abhishek Jain, VP, International Operations, WTS International sees clients looking for Integrative Wellness described as a mix of a conventional spa settings and modern clinical settings. Intergrative Wellness is the fusion of the authenticity of holistic treatment approaches with the effects  of non-invasive evidence based medicine. We have seen the formation of partnerships in this concept with Hyatt who acquired the Miraval Group & ‘Life In Balance” Spa Brand and Singapore Airlines with Canyon Ranch.

The increase in medical and wellness tourism indicates that well-being is no longer a health measure but  a life measure. It is drawing together partners in tourism and specialist medical-wellness providers to deliver more spa & wellness therapies and wellness holidays. Traditional and state of the art treatments are joining forces to bring health tourism as a lifestyle habit.

And as we discuss these two spectrums of health tourism, there is evidence of them uniting in the rise of dedicated wellness-medical properties such as the Waldhouse in Burgenstock, Switzerland and opening soon, The Corinthia in Dubai in 2020.

Read here for medical tourism news

The published definition of Medical Tourism is travel across international borders for the purpose of receiving medical care whereas Wellness Tourismis associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing personal wellbeing.

Healing hands

Therapeutic care