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Turkish health tourism sector targets $20 billion

Posted on 14 February 2011

Date: 15/04/2010
Turkish health tourism sector targets $20 billion

The Turkish Health Tourism Association, or TUHETO, is promoting health tourism to Turkey at a number of events in Ukraine, Dubai, Switzerland, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan during April, May and June. The association aims to attract an income of $20 billion from health tourism to Turkey in the long-term

The Turkish Health Tourism Association, or TUHETO, is promoting health tourism to Turkey at a number of events overseas during April, May and June.

Ibrahim Artukarslan, a founding member of the TUHETO advisory board, said Wednesday the association’s goal is to attract an income of $20 billion from health tourism to Turkey in the long-term. The association recently organized a promotional workshop in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

“People from Kazakstan have been traveling overseas for health treatments and operations for many years now, with top destinations including Israel, India, Spain, the United States and Hungary. When we asked representatives of the local health sector representatives why Turkey is not among these countries, the response was that they are very keen about health tourism to Turkey but have not had the chance to meet with the representatives of the Turkish health sector so far,” Artukarslan said.

He said Turkish businesses active in the sector have to plan their packages in a very careful and detailed manner to preserve the good reputation Turkey’s private health care sector enjoys.

“We need to consider very carefully the legal and insurance aspects of package tours to Turkey, which include, for example, in vitro-fertilization treatments or eye surgery. One mistake in one operation could ruin our reputation,” he said.

Soaps great PR for Turkish hospitals

The scenes shot at private hospitals for Turkish soap operas broadcast in Arab countries have also notably contributed to the growth of health tourism to Turkey. “Of course, any appearance and publicity is good. Private hospitals are attracting more health tourism from Arab countries, where people have seen the hospitals on the soaps,” he said.

The upcoming activities TUHETO is organizing in order to promote health tourism to Turkey include promotional activities in Baku, Azerbaijan, on April 29, attendance at the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition in Dubai on May 4, a meeting of 600 Kazakh doctors in Almaty on May 13, promotional activities during a visit of Russian dentists in Antalya on May 18, a workshop in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 21 and promotional activities in Zurich, Switzerland, on June 5.

14/04/2010 Hurriyet Daily News

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