Press Releases

Medical tourism on the rise in Turkey

11 Jul 2014

Turkey’s medical industry has gained a good reputation in recent years as people from countries with expensive healthcare opt for Turkey’s cheaper health facilities in the sun.

As surgery prices are climbing in countries with high taxes such as the US and across West Europe, more people opt for cheaper solutions abroad. Turkey has become one of the top countries for medical tourism specialising in everything from eye and dental surgery to liposuction, plastic surgery, health spa treatments and the increasingly popular hair and mustache transplants. People come to the country to use the new modern medical facilities staffed by increasingly well-educated English speaking doctors and nurses offering quality services which are often less than half the price of developed country costs.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Health, the country received 270,000 medical tourists in 2012, a number that is set to grow. In February 2013, the Turkish parliament passed a regulation favoring private investment in the healthcare sector. The country is also planning to introduce tax-free healthcare zones to increase the number of medical tourists to the country and the foreign investment in Turkey's medical sector. The Ministry of Health expects medical tourists to rise from 270,000 in 2012 to 500,000 in 2015, and to 2.0 million by 2023.

With 240 springs in 46 cities, the country also aims to strengthen its position as a leading thermal spring related tourism destination. As part of its tourism strategy to 2023, the government plans to develop the niche tourism area of thermal springs and hammams (Turkish baths).

According to a new travel and tourism report from Tourism IC, the Turkish tourism industry has performed well in the last five years, with 32.9 million tourists visiting the country in 2013. By 2018 this number is expected to reach 45.4 million. Besides an increase in medical tourism, the growth is driven by government initiatives to promote Turkey as a prime destination in key source markets; growth in business-related tourism; an increase in air traffic and a low exchange rate, making the country an attractive tourist destination. Istanbul, in particular, has been a major source of income for the country's tourism sector. In 2013, it was the third-most-visited city in Europe, with 10.37 million arrivals in a year.

This information is based on the Tourism IC report: 'Travel and Tourism in Turkey to 2018,' published in May 2014.

Source: Company Press Release

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