THE Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham) Cebu chapter is organizing a convention on wellness, retirement properties and medical tourism next week.
The Philippine Retirement, Medical and Wellness Tourism conference will highlight the country’s global competitive advantage in tourism, retirement, wellness and medical travel, said CanCham Cebu president Felix Tiukinhoy.
It will be held on Nov. 16 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. A similar conference will also be held on Nov. 14 in Manila.
“I am inviting Cebuano investors to exploit opportunities in these industries, at the same time forge alliances with their counterparts in Canada and be updated with the current trends and culture of the Canadian market,” said Tiukinhoy.
He added that the conference is also “an avenue for promoting the Philippines as an alternative destination for retirement as well as a top-notch choice for medical travel and health and wellness tourism.”
CanCham Cebu is expecting international guests and local chambers of commerce and business associations, mostly chief executive officers, presidents, entrepreneurs and their top executives to attend the conference.
The Philippines has landed the eighth spot in a list of top medical tourism destinations in the world in 2015, according to the International Healthcare Research Center and the Medical Tourism Association (MTA).
Canada emerged as the top medical tourism destination worldwide in the list, followed by the United Kingdom and Israel.
The Philippines ranked ahead of Japan and France.
Since he assumed as president of the CanCham Cebu chapter, Tiukinhoy vowed to link Cebu business owners to the Canadian market.
Tiukinhoy hopes to see an increase in Canadian investments in Cebu by inviting foreign investors to look at the province as their next business expansion destination in Asia.
According to Tiukinhoy, industries that have a high potentian for growth that Cebu and Canada can both work with are in the sectors of wellness/medical tourism and retirement.
The MTA report said medical tourism in the Philippines caters to some 80,000 to 250,000 patients or clients annually, with 62 hospitals around the country now internationally accredited.
Tiukinhoy and industry stakeholders believe Cebu can compete well with its Asian neighbors, banking on the province’s warm hospitality, natural resources, high-caliber English medical professionals and competitive medical packages.
As for retirement, Cebu remains a top choice among foreigners because of its affordability and proximity to many leisure destinations such as beaches and mountains.
The Philippine Retirement Authority has been inviting former Filipino citizens and foreign nationals to choose the Philippines as their second home.