Trusted by over 1.2 Million Global Healthcare Seekers
Medical Tourism Moonshot

Medical Tourism Moonshot Survey: Rebuilding the Industry for Growth  

Medical Tourism Moonshot

Medical tourism, while steadily growing, still faces significant challenges that prevent it from fully realizing its true potential. These challenges extend across multiple fronts, impacting easy access to quality healthcare abroad, the integration of advanced technology, and the seamless connection between healthcare providers and their target markets.  

The Medical Tourism Association, in collaboration with Global Healthcare Resources and the International Healthcare Research Center, has embarked on an initiative aimed at breaking down the barriers to medical travel. By clearing the obstacles hindering the growth of the medical tourism industry, this movement strives to attract an estimated 5 million new medical tourists by 2028.

This initiative, the Medical Tourism Moonshot, solves the problems holding back the growth and true potential of the medical travel industry and is a foundation to rebuild a healthcare future that everyone can have access to.   You can join the Moonshot by clicking here.

This dilemma is the resultant effect of a myriad of challenges, including poor access to data, a huge gap between referral organizations and healthcare providers, non-optimal or ineffective patient travel facilitation, lack of access to the right technology, poor investment in medical travel marketing programs, and sheer market disconnect between industry players, healthcare buyers, and referrers.  

The Medical Tourism Moonshot brings stakeholders in the industry together to deconstruct the artificial roadblocks to growth in the industry and recreate the path to better healthcare outcomes and swift healthcare delivery for the millions of patients seeking solutions to their medical needs.  

To better understand the challenges and opportunities in the industry, the Medical Tourism Association created a survey involving over 200+ participants from around the globe representing hospitals, providers, facilitators, insurance companies and other industry leaders. The survey took a broad look at the challenges affecting their growth and business opportunities in the medical tourism industry, with possible solutions to address them.

About the Medical Tourism Association

The Medical Tourism Association is built on strong and sustainable partnerships that are committed to achieving the industry’s true potential. The Medical Tourism Association (MTA) is a non-profit organization focused on breaking down the barriers to affordable, transparent, and world class healthcare. Founded in 2007, the MTA continues to raise awareness for medical travel while driving the adoption of best practices in the industry. The MTA’s goal is to make it easier for industry stakeholders to connect and do business, whether it’s a healthcare provider, referral organization (buyer) or a medical tourist.  The MTA is proud to have worked with and helped launch the leading brands in the industry, such as South Korea, Dubai, Washington DC, State of Florida, and Abu Dhabi.  We work with Governments, Healthcare Providers, Insurers and other stakeholders from the conceptualization of their project, to launch and throughout the commercialization.    

We are proud to have helped the South Korean Government go from zero medical tourists to over 400,000 a year. Every year the MTA continues to work with South Korea, building on marketing initiatives, coordinating private events with buyers, and creating other initiatives to boost the market.  We have helped healthcare providers expand across the globe and make connections in different regions of the world. Likewise, we have leveraged our unique position in the industry to launch new platforms for tech organizations in the industry. We have worked closely with many of the leading facilitators, insurance companies, and third-party administrators that have launched Medical Tourism Moonshot. Our goal is to help millions of consumers around the world become aware and easily access medical tourism.  

In 2023, we are expanding our focus to help the industry achieve its true potential within the next five years.  We have launched a Medical Tourism Moonshot, which would help millions of consumers around the world become aware of medical travel opportunities and access them with ease.   We will now begin a new movement in the industry to foster collaboration amongst industry participants like has never happened before. We are bringing disruptive and innovative solutions and partnerships to scale up the industry. We will build stronger partnerships with healthcare providers and governments to help them identify the gaps in their programs, as well as help new players enter the market easily and with a better chance of success.  

This new wave will drive profitability for referral organizations and create new and more robust medical travel destinations

Global Data

The survey involved 221 respondents, a majority of whom were healthcare professionals in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations (29.1%) and medical tourism facilitators (25.0%).  

Other participants making up the other 23.1% of the respondents included private investors, academics, health insurance companies, health payers, pharmaceutical companies, and other private companies, including lawyers, architects, and non-profit organizations.  

The respondents offered medical tourism services across all regions of the world, but most respondents were from Asia (30.4%), North America (27.6%), the Middle East (15.8%), and Europe (13.1%).

Reasons for Joining the Moonshot

The top three reasons for which participants joined the moonshot include to be united with like-minded professionals (74.2%), to align their brand with something more purposeful (57.9%), to better align their organization with professional goals (46.1%).

Below is the chart comparing the percentages of respondents by region with the reasons for joining Moonshot.  

Biggest Challenges to Growth

The respondents analyzed a range of challenges they face in achieving their market goals and increasing patient volumes.  

The biggest growth-limiting challenge for market players, according to the survey were

  • Marketing challenges: reported by 60.2% of respondents  
  • Lack of enough patient leads: 53.8%
  • Lack of enough referrals: 40.7%
  • Lack of brand awareness: 28.5%  
  • Lack of expertise or knowledge: 24.9%

The charts below show how these percentages vary among the different regions for each of the challenges.  

Goals and Objectives

The top goal for joining the network was to receive more patients, demonstrating the global need for increased patient volumes. The top four goals and objectives by the market players include:  

  • Receive more patients – 71.5% of respondents.  
  • Find Partnership Opportunities – 70%  
  • Find referral sources – 52.9%
  • Obtain training – 43%

Below compares percentage of respondents across the regions based on their goals for the Moonshot.

Solutions Needed

Achieving the above goals requires a set of effective strategies focused on improving patient experience.  

The leading solution market leaders want to drive growth in their businesses is to optimize access to wellness travel solutions (49.7%). Other top solutions market leaders want to see include:  

  • Increase the Global Network Access to Healthcare Providers - 43.2%
  • Curate relevant data from around the world (39.2%)
  • Provide turnkey access to buyers and referrers worldwide (37.1%)
  • Certification and Accreditation Program (37.5%)
  • Healthcare Professionals, which serves as a robust pool of health providers, payers, and referrer organizations.  

Access to medical tourism training was also cited by respondents (21.7%) as a key solution to meet their goals.  

Asked about what other solutions they would love to leverage to improve their market growth, most respondents identified mentorship (57.9%) as a key strategy. About 46.6% of respondents selected certification, 47.5% chose training, and 43.9% chose accreditation.  

A blue circle with white textDescription automatically generated

Further, 44.8% said membership in relevant associations will be another solution they would love to help them remodel their businesses to attract more clients.  

Mentorship was more valued by respondents in Asia (24.7%), followed by those in the United States (22.2%), Europe (17%), and the Middle East (14.8%).  

Certification also ranked high as an important tool for respondents in Asia (29.7%), followed by respondents in North America (24.2%), the Middle East (15.0%), and Europe (14.8%). Accreditation was also key for respondents in Asia (25.2%), as well as North America (23.1%) and the Middle East (17.9%).  

Regional Data

North America  

Respondents in North America were from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  

Marketing Challenges 

Among the respondents in North America, the biggest challenge was a lack of training, certification, or education, whereas a lack of technology was identified as the least significant challenge. 

The top challenges for the North American market include:  

  • Marketing challenges (22%) 
  • Lack of Enough Patient Leads (19%) 
  • Lack of Brand Awareness (16%) 
  • Poor conversion of patient leads (15%) 
  • Lack of training, certification, and education (12%) 

Reason for Joining the Moonshot

The top reason for joining the moonshot was to be united with like-minded professionals for the North American medical tourism businesses (28%).  

Goals and Objectives

Among the respondents from North America, obtaining training, implementing new tech and finding new referral sources were the top cited goals.

Solutions Needed

While most respondents from North America were interested in all solutions offered by the Moonshot, the top cited solutions among the North American market include increase GPN Access (25%), Provide turnkey access to buyers (20%), and optimize access to wellness travel solutions (18%).  


European medical tourism has been expanding in the last few decades, with Spain coming top in the Medical Tourism Index 2020-2021 ranking of European medical tourism destinations and second in the overall ranking of global medical tourism destinations. Respondents from Europe were mainly employers in the United Kingdom, Israel, and Greece. Others include Sweden, Poland, Romania, and Italy 

Biggest Challenges 

Lack of Patient leads was a major challenge for respondents from Europe, accounting for 23% of responses. Other leading challenges include: 

  • Lack of enough referrals (16%) 
  • Lack of training, certification, or education (16%) 
  • Poor conversion rates (11%) 

Goals and Objectives

By a large margin, finding new partnerships was the most frequently identified goal by European respondents (45%), followed by finding referral sources (22%). 

Reasons for Joining

Most of the respondents cited finding ways to align their brand with something more purposeful (28%) and align with professional goals (28%) as their main reasons for joining.  

Solutions Needed

Increasing access to the GPN Network was the most important solution needed for respondents in Europe (20%), followed by optimizing access to wellness travel (16%).  


The Asian medical tourism market represents a rapidly emerging player in the industry, slowly overtaking regions and nations that once held centerstage in the industry. Singapore ranked the highest in the 2020-2021 Medical Tourism Index ranking of medical tourism destinations, demonstrating excellence in its destination attractiveness, quality of its medical tourism industry, and the quality of its healthcare facilities.  

Respondents from Asia were mainly based in India, Thailand, and Pakistan.  

Biggest Challenges 

Marketing challenges were the biggest problems for respondents in Asia, accounting for 37% of responses. This is closely followed by a lack of enough patient leads (35%). 

Goals and Objectives

For the Asian market, receiving more patients was the predominant goal (37%), followed by finding new referral sources (32%). 

Reasons for Joining

Aligning their organization with professional goals was the most important reason for joining by respondents in Asia. This accounts for 37% of responses, while aligning brand with something more purposeful comes second place (25%) 

Solutions Needed

Increasing access to Global Provider Network was the main solution needed in Asia (21%), followed closely by optimizing access to wellness solutions (20%).  

Middle East

Respondents from the Middle East in the survey were mainly in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Iraq. Others include Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. 

Biggest Challenges

Respondents from the Middle East identified poor conversion rates for patient leads as their biggest challenge (29%) in achieving success in medical travel. This is followed by marketing challenges (25%), and lack of knowledge and expertise (17%).  

Goals and Objectives

Receiving more patients was the most important goal for respondents in the region.  

Reasons for Joining

The major reason for joining the moonshot for the Middle Eastern market was to be united with like-minded professionals (44%), followed by aligning your brand with something more purposeful (26%).  

Solutions Needed

Most respondents in the Middle East identified turnkey access to buyers and referrers worldwide as the key solution to push their medical travel businesses forward (25%). This is followed by optimizing access to wellness travel solutions (21%).

Latin America

Respondents from Latin America were based in Columbia, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, as well as Central American countries including Grenada and Guatemala.  

Biggest Challenges

Marketing challenges were the biggest concern (38%) cited by respondents in Latin America. This is followed by a lack of brand awareness (19%).  

Goals and Objectives

Receiving more patients was the primary goal for respondents in this region (57%) followed by finding partnerships (34%).  

Reasons for Joining

Most respondents in Latin America cited aligning with like-minded professionals as the main reason for joining the moonshot (48%).  

Solutions Needed

Turnkey access to buyers/referrers globally was the most remarkable solution by respondents in Latin America (20%). Other top solutions for Latin America include:

  • Increase access to medical tourism training – 18%
  • Increase access to GPN for health providers – 16%  
  • Optimize access to wellness travel solutions – 15%  

To learn more about the Medical Tourism Moonshot, click hmedere.

Learn about how you can become a Certified Medical Tourism Professional→
Disclaimer: The content provided in Medical Tourism Magazine ( is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We do not endorse or recommend any specific healthcare providers, facilities, treatments, or procedures mentioned in our articles. The views and opinions expressed by authors, contributors, or advertisers within the magazine are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of our company. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained in Medical Tourism Magazine ( or the linked websites. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We strongly advise readers to conduct their own research and consult with healthcare professionals before making any decisions related to medical tourism, healthcare providers, or medical procedures.
Free Webinar: Building Trust, Driving Growth: A Success Story in Medical Travel Through Exceptional Patient Experiences