Turkey turns major player in health tourism

Turkey turns major player in health tourism

New Delhi, July 23: Turkey’s booming medical value tourism industry has catered to 640,000 overseas people, 400,000 of them Europeans, offering a wide range of treatments. With this Turkey is becoming a major player in medical value tourism and its revenues touched US$ 1 billion last year as per official estimates. Its major attractions are plastic surgery, hair transplant and IVF.

If unrecorded cases are also included the revenue would go up to $2.5 billion to $3 billion, Cihat Alagöz, chair of the Trade Fairs Industry Council of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), was quoted in the media as saying.

“Turkey is well-positioned in the global health tourism industry, where India, South Korea, the U.S., Thailand and Malaysia are the major players. With the progress it has made, Turkey has turned into a pioneering country in the health tourism sector. The local industry has a huge potential to become an important source of hard currency,” Alagöz was quoted by Ankara daily Hurriyet Daily News as saying.

Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) had showed that 388,000 foreigners visited Turkey for health tourism and revenues stood at $550 million, Alagöz recalled, adding that the number of visitors nearly doubled to 642,000 people and revenues climbed to $1.05 billion in 2021.

“It is, however, estimated that the revenues were actually much higher at somewhere between $2.5 billion and $3 billion when unrecorded revenues are included.”

Last year, Turkey’s overall tourism revenues amounted to $25 billion as some 30 million holidaymakers visited the country.

Alagöz added that in 2021 the average spending per foreign tourist was $750 but in the health tourism sector per capita spending was around $2,000.

Most foreigners visit Turkey for plastic surgery, hair transplant, cardiovascular surgery, dentistry, orthopedics, cancer treatment and in vitro fertilization.

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