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The International Medical Travel Association (IMTA) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) sign MOU to Promote Healthcare Travel
Date:6/17/2009

Focus on promoting medical, health and wellness travel in Asia.

Bangkok, Thailand (PRWEB) June 17, 2009 -- The IMTA and PATA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote healthcare travel in the Pacific Asia region. Working together, the two organizations hope to stimulate development of this high value sector and drive more integration between the travel and healthcare industries.

Under the MOU, PATA and the IMTA will focus on two main areas. The first is helping the health and travel industries identify commercial opportunities in healthcare travel. The second is assisting governments and tourism authorities develop strategies to promote this sector.

Already known for its world class spas and hospitals, Asia is home to many leading spa and medical tourism brands like Six Senses, Chiva-Som, Bumrungrad and Parkway. Medical travel and spas have been hit hard by the global economic downturn, but both are considered high-value niche markets with excellent growth potential.

According to Ruben Toral, president of the IMTA and former Group Marketing Director for Bumrungrad International, medical tourists are precisely the kind of high value, long stay visitors that countries should be courting. His argument is simple. "They spend more, stay longer and are more likely to return."

Asia is the dominant player in the medical travel industry with countries like Thailand, Singapore and India taking the lead. Mr. Toral believes that Asia should be aggressively developing a leadership position in healthcare travel - a term that incorporates health, wellness and medical treatment - because Asia has all the right ingredients.

Gregory Duffell, PATA CEO, agrees. He sees healthcare travel as a new product category to s
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Source: PRWeb
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The International Medical Travel Association (IMTA) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) sign MOU to Promote Healthcare Travel
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