Thailand Tourism Offers Major Fam Trip to Promote Medical Tourism
By James Ruggia
August 21, 2012 10:09 PM
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will operate a major fam from Sept. 10 to 15 in order to stimulate medical tourism. The “Thailand Medical & Wellness Tourism Trade Familiarization Trip” will feature some 150 international medical tourism facilitators and staff from health insurance companies and tourism partners from around the world who will meet and network with medical service providers in Thailand. In October, the TAT will run a trade tour visiting Chicago, Florida and San Francisco, introducing the U.S. travel trade to Thai medical suppliers.
According to Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support, some 2.24 million foreign visitors came to Thailand for medical purposes in 2011, generating 97.8 billion Baht ($3.1 billion) in income. The number of medical tourism visitors is expected to rise to 2.53 million in 2012.
“Thailand has been developing medical tourism for several years now,” said TAT Assistant Director in New York Pichaya Saisaengchan, “but as of now, the U.S. still only makes up a small percentage of our medical visitors. Given the interest that Americans have in health care and the aging of the Baby Boom we believe it’s a market with huge potential.”
The fam trip opens with a one-day trade event at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld in Bangkok on Sept. 11. The event will feature exhibition booths, a country briefing, business meetings and a networking night. During the remaining four days of the fam trip, the international visitors will go to many Thai health and wellness providers to tour facilities, meet their experts and try out the various services available to medical tourists.
“Thailand’s has established itself as a global leader in medical tourism. People from all over the world put their trust in Thailand’s health and wellness providers, thanks to their internationally accredited medical facilities, advanced technologies, excellent service and affordability. This fam trip will help to increase momentum for the kingdom’s medical tourism sector, reinforcing Thailand’s position as the world’s preferred destination for health and wellness holidays,” said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni.
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