The Medical Tourism Magazine’s Health & Wellness Destination Guides Program was established to cater to the patients of the world looking for medical treatments & tourism abroad. The focus of the guide is to provide consumer awareness and it has shown to have a promising future, as the third instalment is currently in the works. The guides follow the Medical Tourism Association’s™ (MTA) three signature tenets: education, transparency and communication.
- Education- it provides patients and consumers information on the latest techniques and advancements that the destination has to offer. It also provides a step by step guide through the medical tourism process, minimizing concerns for the potential patient.
- Transparency- the guide shows quality and pricing by providing a list of common procedures and comparative pricing so patients can compare and contrast options from the destination to others.
- Communication- information from numerous sources is available at the patients’ fingertips. MedicalTourism.com, one of the top websites for medical tourism consumers provides a look-through version of the guide at no cost.
The Destination Guides Program discloses healthcare information including medical centers, hospitals and clinics while also including tourism aspects like hotels, resorts, recovery centers and local attractions. This combination is ideal for today’s medical tourist, providing information pertaining to both aspects of the planned trip in one convenient package.
The first edition of the guide was for the city of Las Vegas, located in Nevada, USA. The guide provides a comprehensive list of resources with more than 20 pages of clinical listings and over 60 pages of hotels and attractions. It was designed with the consumer in mind and compiles all of the options Vegas has to offer for health, wellness and tourism.
“The Las Vegas Health & Wellness Destination Guide has created excitement around medical tourism and has provided the necessary tool to turn perception into reality. Las Vegas is well on its way to becoming the most desired destination for quality health and wellness services.” said Doug Geinzer, CEO of Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition (SNMIC).
This year, the MTA has released its second edition of the Guide, focusing on the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. With the collaboration of the Private Hospitals Association in Jordan, the Jordan Health and Wellness Destination Guide included insightful information of Jordan’s specialty hospitals and clinics, touristic activities including a visit to the Dead Sea and to one of the new world wonders, Petra.
The guide was unveiled during the International Medical Tourism, Wellness & Spa Congress on March 18th-20th, 2012 in Jordan, where it received recognition by the exhibitors and attendees.
“Due to our belief that more efforts should be made by our association to attract and increase the number of patients who select Jordan as their medical and wellness destination, we have collaborated with the MTA in releasing the Jordan Destination Guide to promote Jordan as the destination of choice for wellness, medical services and to assist hospitals in entering new regional and international markets,” said Dr. Abdallah Hindawi, CEO of Private Hospitals Association.
The MTA is excited to announce the third edition of the guide is Destination: Miami. This guide will be in collaboration with the healthcare clusters established in the Dade County and will have insightful information about the city of Miami including a directory of hotels, resorts, recovery centers and specialty hospitals in the area.
The success of the guides is due to the many benefits the program offers to a destination. Foremost, it has been seen as the first step for a destination aiming to establish a foundation in the medical tourism industry.
Since each guide focuses on a specific country, city or region, it spotlights the best a destination has to offer. This recognition gives an incentive for the local government to get acquainted with the hospitals in the area and to invest in their endeavors because ultimately, it will bring in revenue.
This motivates the government to take interest in the notoriety of local hospitals. Also, the guide symbolizes the strong unification of a destination, where the hospitals unite to collaborate with each other rather than compete. The guide not only attracts people to travel to the location, it also makes other governments aware of a new place to send patients, especially if they cannot handle the demand in their respective area.
Since it’s published by MTA’s Medical Tourism Magazine, countries will have access to the MTA readers, whom are known to represent those most interested in the medical tourism industry. The guide reaches a world-wide market through multiple distribution channels including iTunes (eBook only) Amazon.com, MedicalTourism.com, Barnes & Noble (eBook only). The expanded market allows the guides to reach its optimal international audience.
It is the largest tangible program within the MTA’s Branding Program. For example, a country could host a Familiarization Trip where a host of buyers take a tour of the local hospitals. Once those buyers leave, they could easily forget details of the facility and its specialties.
If the country had provided the buyers with a copy of their Destination Guide, they would have beautiful photographs and notes regarding the hospitals, hotels and the local attractions on-hand to reference back to and to show others what they witnessed firsthand.
Ultimately, patients receive the greatest benefit from the guide since it educates them on various topics within the realm of medical tourism. It provides detailed information about the quality of healthcare in the destination, including technology advancements, advanced medicine, preventative healthcare, holistic healing, and healthcare infrastructure. The directory of listings for the hospitals, clinics, medical spas, and wellness centers is also a great reference that prospective patients appreciate.
The guide combines that information with a clarification of what to expect while visiting the location. It goes through every aspect of planning your trip: tips for medical travelers, weather, the best time in the year to go, visa requirements to travel into the destination, how much to budget (including potential hidden costs), what to pack, and various tourist activity alternatives depending on the procedure.
Options on where to stay are disclosed by a directory of hotel & resort listings. Also, to ensure the trip is more worthwhile, the destination guide includes top ten tourism things to do while visiting that location.
Combining all the information on traveling for health or wellness abroad simplifies the research process for the consumer. The stress of the procedure and traveling for some is difficult and can be a little scary. Reading this guide will give the patients an idea of what to expect when they get there, and the process of actually getting there.
The MTA welcomes you to learn more about the program by visiting www.MedicalTourismAssociaiton.com and if you have any questions regarding the Destination Branding Program or would like to brand your destination, please contact Eda@MedicalTourismAssociation.com .
About the Author:
Eda Firat is the Global Congress Coordinator with a focus on marketing and communications for the Medical Tourism Association™. She graduated Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and a Minor in Business. Utilizing her Turkish background, Eda provides recruitment, organization and retention support for members of the MTA in the European region. She is the Global Program Coordinator for the Destination Guide Program and also contributes articles to the Medical Tourism Magazine. Eda can be reached at Eda@MedicalTourismAssociation.com