Thailand is looking to further grow the number of medical tourist arrivals from the Gulf region with the opening of the Thai pavilion today at International Medical Travel Exhibition & Conference (IMTEC 2016) in Dubai.
Held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, the opening ceremony was led by Tanes Petsuwan, the newly appointed Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) deputy governor for International Marketing Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas, TAT Director for Dubai and Middle East market along with 11 Thailand-based companies from the health, wellness and hospitality industries.
Participants included Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Landmark Lancaster Hotel, HMC Clinic, Al Meroz Hotel, Thanyapura Integrative Health Center, Panacee Medical Center, Phyatai 2 Hospital, Vitalife Corporation, BB Beauty and Beyond, Bangkok International Hospital and Absolute Health Clinic.
Speaking about their participation at IMTEC 2016, Petsuwan said: “Medical tourism is identified as high-yield niche markets for TAT and it is one of the key components to build the quality benchmark and improve tourism spend. The GCC market is one of the key source markets of TAT for medical tourism and we plan to expand our promotion by visiting cities such as Kuwait and Oman to further create more partnerships in the Gulf region.”
The week-long medical tourism roadshow will kick off in Dubai by having a presence in the annual IMTEC event and an “Amazing Thailand Health and Wellness Networking Dinner 2016”, which takes place today (October 9). The roadshow continues to Oman on October 11 and Kuwait on October 12.
The delegates from Thailand will meet travel agencies, local government officials and health authorities in each respective city to forge new partnerships on medical tourism.
Commenting on TAT’s first-ever medical tourism roadshow in the Gulf, Chalermsak Suranant, director of TAT – Dubai and Middle East Office, said: “We are extremely proud of our health and wellness industry.”
“At either end of the wellness spectrum, you will find that our private hospitals are world-famous medical tourism magnets in themselves. This has been a great success story, especially from the Middle East market. Thailand’s track record on the medical frontier has frequently won international acclaim. Many hospitals out of 200 international standard hospitals and clinics, have Arabic-speaking interpreters, prestigious American and European board doctors and gentle Thai nurses.”
Nationals of GCC countries; Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, can enjoy their medical treatment in Thailand for 90 days without a visa. The regulation also allows a patient to have not more than three individuals who are GCC nationals (i.e. parents, children, spouse or maid), accompanying him or her to stay in Thailand for 90-days without visa as well.
Further details are available on the website of the Royal Thai Embassy and Royal Thai Consulate in all GCC countries.