Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Korea woos medical and wellness travellers
October 2017 646

This year’s edition of the Korea Medical & Wellness Travel Mart kicked off at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Hotel as a reminder of South Korea’s growing reputation as a highly preferred medical destination. The 2017 Korea Medical & Wellness Travel Mart is held in the presence and patronage of His Excellency Kang Ho Park, the South Korean Ambassador to the UAE.

Out of 17.2 million tourists overall, around 26,893 tourists visited South Korea from the GCC in 2016, with 10,690 coming from the UAE. The country welcomed a total of 364,189 medical tourists in 2016, of which 3,562 visitors were from the UAE. Saudi Arabia is the biggest market for South Korea from the GCC, while Qatar and Kuwait have increased in double digits.

South Korea uses the world’s best medical technologies, as a strong workforce of highly professional and trained medical practitioners, modern and state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipment and affordable medical services.  

“We are proud to organise this year’s edition of the 2017 Korea Medical & Wellness Travel Mart, which strongly demonstrates the strong ties between South Korea and the UAE and reflects the great deal of efforts that we have done to expand cooperation in the health and medical field,” said Ambassador Park. “Over the last five years, the number of Emirati tourists visiting South Korea for medical purposes has increased by more than ten times, and we are more than welcome to open our doors for them-providing them with the best patient care services combined with modern medical breakthroughs and highly skilled and trained medical professionals. Rest assured that we will remain steadfast in our efforts to create more events and occasions for Korean and Emirati people to interact and communicate, not only in the medical and health field, but also in other diverse areas.”

Other key drivers that have helped consolidate South Korea as a preferred medical destination are its strategic location, accessibility and safe environment. The country can easily be reached from major cities in Asia, North America, Europe and the GCC, which allows patients to experience a safe and comfortable journey. The South Korean government also provides certification policies for hospitals and clinics that guarantee the high level and world class quality of the medical services they offer. In addition to this, the government also provides various support systems to help tourists coming for medical purposes--including medical visas, access to a medical translator and coordinator services, among others. GCC nationals are given visa-free arrival status for 30 to 90 days.

“South Korea is emerging as one of the leading players in the global healthcare segment. In line with this, we are confident that today’s event will help attract more UAE tourists to come visit us. The strong ties with the UAE and other countries in the GCC region have prompted us to implement successful inroads for personalized services catering to Muslim patients--which includes clearer guidelines on clinical care, Halal food services, religious observances, apartment type of accommodations, translation services and much more,” concluded Kyoosang Kang, regional director of Korea Tourism Organization.

South Korea’s medical industry is about four times more value for money than the USA’s. It is only marginally more expensive than some of the other Asean countries, but in some cases, even cheaper than Thailand and close to Singapore.

The country targets to welcome 800,000 medical tourists by 2029. 








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