The Royal Thai Government's strategy in 2004 for Thailand to become Asia's medical hub is becoming a reality as Thailand continues to see an increase in medical tourism. With an annual growth rate of 14% for the sector, ahead of the county's GDP, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Department of Export Promotion (DEP) expects to see two million visitors wanting to take advantage of lower medical treatments by 2010.
New York, NY (PRWEB) November 5, 2009 -- The Royal Thai Government's strategy in 2004 for Thailand to become Asia's medical hub is becoming a reality as Thailand continues to see an increase in medical tourism. With an annual growth rate of 14% for the sector, ahead of the county's GDP, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Department of Export Promotion (DEP) expects to see two million visitors wanting to take advantage of lower medical treatments by 2010.
In 2008 Research and Markets reported that, although Thailand is faced with tough competition from India and Malaysia, Thailand has treated the highest number of international tourists in Asia. High health care costs, overloaded medical facilities and the fact that Thailand provides the most advanced treatments by internationally trained medical staff are reasons why medical tourists are choosing Thailand. "Thailand's ultra-new and modern hospitals are less than a decade old and feel more like luxury hotels catering to tourists, than places to treat the infirm" (Tourism Authority of Thailand). The cost for health care in Thailand is about one fifth of what you would pay in the United States or Europe, making it more significant that in 2008, foreign patients generated an estimated $6 billion USD for Thailand. According to one international medical travel journal, the Royal Thai Government has put together a five-year plan that aims to double this revenue by 2014.
Deloitte Consulting estimated 750,000 Americans traveled abroad for health care services in 2007, a figure that was expected to double last year, with a forecasted global market expansion of more than 20% annually going forward to 2012. Thailand is ready to meet the growing industry by continuously making sure international standards are met and offering a level of hospitality not found in any other medical center around the world at affordable prices.
People are traveling to Thailand for routine maintenance like dental to cosmetic surgery, gastric bypass surgery and heart surgery. Medical tourists can undergo and recover from many non-invasive procedures during a normal two-week holiday in Thailand. A new guidebook Patients Beyond Borders: Thailand Edition released on Monday by Josef Woodman, CEO of Healthy Travel Media, offers an in-depth overview of Thailand's international hospitals, selected health travel agents, nearby recovery and guest accommodations, spas, and area travel information so that travelers know where to go in Thailand to get their world-class medical treatment.
Thailand's rapid growth into becoming Asia's medical hub is also creating great opportunities in related fields. The medical device sector is continuing to see healthy growth to meet the demands of health care facilities for new upgraded medical machinery and devices. Research and development for tropical diseases like malaria and dengue fever are areas also open for further investment. As Thailand's medical tourism industry continues to grow, its health care industry will flourish as well.
About the Tourism Authority of Thailand
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was established in 1960 by the Royal Thai Government to be specifically responsible for tourism promotion. In 1965, TAT opened its first overseas office in New York. Since then, TAT has established 21 offices in different parts of the world including the Los Angeles office. TAT aims to provide the best Thailand traveling information to the public and media members as well as work closely with our travel partners to develop new deals and packages.
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