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Brenner Park-Hotel & Spa in Germany Targets Medical Tourism

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 10 December 2010

The Medical Tourism sector worldwide could become a $100 billion sector by 2012, according to industry research.

The sector is growing at a whopping 20-30% annually and is expected to continue this remarkable growth pattern in the years to come.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the medical tourism industry is currently a $78.5 billion industry (end-2010), catering to over three million patients who travel around the globe for medical care.

The Middle East is one of the latent source markets of patients and it is estimated that 20% of healthcare seekers worldwide are from Gulf and Arab states. Significantly, patients from UAE alone spend about $2 billion in healthcare travel on an annual basis. As a result, many countries are targeting the region to woo guests and patients to their own medical tourism destinations.

Germany, in particular, and Europe, in general, have been a primary medical tourism hubs for hundreds of years and continue to lead the industry today followed by Asian countries such as Thailand, India and Malaysia.

Boasting of an excellent healthcare system, high quality, safe and quick treatment, Germany is considered to be a top destination for patients from all over the world, and particularly from the Middle East, UK and the US. Germany is also an attractive destination for patients from the region, in terms of distance, costs and tourism attractions thus reinforcing it as a premier medical tourism hub in Europe.

In Germany, the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, situated in the valley of Black Forest in Baden-Baden, offers a relaxed, discrete and natural medical spa experience identified with the elegance of Oetker Hotel Collection the prestigious European luxury hotel group. The hotel enjoys a long-standing tradition in offering optimal healthcare and the ultimate retreat for weary or overworked. Brenners Park is one of the destinations where people enjoy the nice facilities of a luxurious hotel and the world-renowned medical spa where highly specialized doctors offer their unique approach and advanced diagnostic techniques in aesthetic dentistry, dermatology, naturopathic detoxification and elimination therapy, in addition to nutrition coaching, weight-loss programs and beauty packages.

Samir Daqqaq, Senior Vice President Development (Middle East and Africa) at Oetker Hotel Collection, said, The Middle East is one for the most important markets for us. We have been actively investing our time and resources in promoting the health benefits offered at Brenners Park. Medical tourism is accessible to everybody, facilitated by the access to information due to internet and affordability of air travel. The rising health costs in developed countries, the opportunity to get world-class treatment coupled with the avenue to spend quality time in beautiful locales, are leading people to seek affordable health care elsewhere, such as Baden-Baden.

A McKinsey & Company 2008 report emphasized that 40% of medical travelers seek advanced technology, while 32% seek better healthcare. Another 15% seek faster medical services while only 9% of travelers seek lower costs as their primary consideration.

In a nutshell, Germany fits the bill in all these facets, making it the ideal medical tourist destination. Thousands of international travelers from the Gulf, Arab states, Russia and around the world visit Germany on a regular basis for the best in shopping, sightseeing and medical treatments. Over the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of GCC tourists to Germany, Daqqaq added.

Statistics by the German Federal Statistics Office show that the number of overnight stays by GCC nationals in the country during the first five months of 2010 touched 243,759 nights an increase of 16.4% compared to same period in 2009. When compared to the same period in 2008, the number of GCC visitors to Germany rose by 30.3% - among the highest from any region in the world, making Germany a preferred destination for travel and medical tourists from the region.

The concept of medical tourism is not a recent development. The Sumerians (4000 BC) constructed the earliest known health complexes that were built around hot springs. There are also records of Greek pilgrims who travelled from all over the Mediterranean to a small territory in Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. Spa towns and sanitariums were considered an early form of medical tourism. In eighteenth century England, for example, patients visited spas because they were places with supposedly health-giving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis.

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