A look at the impact caused by the international travel bans on medical providers who primarily cater to overseas patients.
SINGAPORE, March 16, 2021 /Neptune100/ — 2020 was a tough year for business unless you’re Amazon or Zoom! And certain industries were hit harder by the impact of Covid-19 than others, with the Tourism Industry taking one of the heaviest blows of them all.
Hospitality and airlines are the industries we mostly hear about, with the niche tourism sectors not getting much of a mention. One of them being the Medical Tourism niche, an industry that was steadily gaining popularity over the past 5 years.
The likes of Thailand had positioned itself as the primary destination for medical tourists in the SE Asia region, with other popular destinations including Turkey, Mexico, and Poland to name a few. So, when the international travel bans took hold and plastic surgeries, dental procedures, hair transplants and the rest were being cancelled, it was the major international hospitals and the smaller clinics left out of pocket.
Certain medical facilities, like the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand rely heavily on their international patients. They fly in for their check-ups, treatments, or surgeries, spend a few weeks recovering and several thousand dollars before heading home again. So, it’s not only the medical facilities that lose out but also the local businesses that cater for these foreign patients and their families during their stay.
Just like Booking and Agoda, the tech platforms that aggregate all the facilities and their procedures into simple to use web portals have been hit hard too, with fewer people searching and booking online. One of these companies is Thailand-based MyMediTravel, who were forced to reduce costs across the board by 70% last year.
Company CEO, Darren Lyons, believes “the industry is unlikely to pick up much until Q4 of this year” with ‘Vaccination Tourism’ playing a minor role. This is where wealthy tourists from countries struggling to push their vaccines out, can travel overseas and pay for theirs out of their own pocket.
The team at MyMediTravel conducted a survey last December of their patients and medical providers to gauge a better understanding of how the industry is likely to progress after the interruptions caused in 2020. A copy of this 29-page document is available to download on their website for free.
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