According to the president of the Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS), Alejandro Cambiaso, although they have managed to reverse the situation through new strategies, they require more support for the promotion of the destination.
“The new reality has driven new strategies that have catapulted health tourism, specifically in patients from the diaspora for plastic surgery and dentistry treatments. On the contrary, we had a notable decrease in the number of foreign patients we received from the Caribbean islands, the United States and Canada, a situation we have been able to reverse, but we need more support for the promotion of the destination,” he said.
He emphasized that the member institutions of the ADTS were key pieces in the recovery of the Dominican Republic, through the promotion of public-private initiatives and the innovation for the development of medical attention protocols that were internationally recognized.
To continue the positioning of the sector, Cambiaso said that they are working on including health tourism in the national export strategy and as a country brand and in international promotions hand in hand with Prodominicana and the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur), according to Diario Libre.
“We are also promoting a proposal for a national strategy for the development of health tourism and the implementation of the National Health Tourism Council, initiatives that require the support of the Executive Power,” he said.
He explained that according to data from the Medical Tourism Association, health tourism is a market that worldwide is estimated at 100 billion dollars and represents 2.5% of air travel, the vast majority of these patients travel accompanied, without seasonality and with long stays.
“Health tourism in our country has had a great impact, considering that it is an activity that has recently been formalized and has allowed Dominican medicine to be strengthened through compliance with local regulations, certifications and International accreditations,” he said.
He informed that “through the sector, it also promotes competition for quality, innovation and results, motivates the construction of new outpatient centers and third level hospitals with high technology and wellness hotels, favors the attraction of foreign currency and foreign investment and supports the transfer of technologies and knowledge, generating new jobs and productive chains”.
He indicated that more than 47 thousand tourists come to the country in search of medical services.
In 2019, approximately 47,725 international patients were received for health tourism and 69,550 tourists were assisted for tourism medicine; for an estimated total of 117,275 international patients, according to data from the health and wellness tourism study.
“Around 70% of the patients who come to the country to receive medical tourism services travel accompanied and spend seven times more than a conventional tourist. Medical tourism has an economic revenue of more than 300 million dollars a year, not including income from medical tourism or wellness tourism,” he added.
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