Baltic states promote medical and wellness tourism

 

Although between them they have less than 8 million residents, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are extending beyond their traditional wellness offerings, into medical tourism.

All can offer high quality medical and dental treatment at costs below most Western and Central European nations. Their location means they can target Scandinavians, Russians and Western Europeans.

Medical Tourism Lithuania has been set up to promote the country’s leading hospitals and clinics. They offer high standard cosmetic surgery, heart surgery and dentistry. Lithuania has no shortage of clinics and there are private practitioners whose sole enterprise is performing cosmetic surgery on clients from western nations. Lithuania has been increasing efforts to attract Western patients by stepping up medical standards across the country. The quality of treatment meets international standards and the cost is significantly lower. Many medical professionals speak several languages.

Health tourism is a promising sector as Lithuania has natural healing resources and a long tradition of wellness, spa and recovery resorts-particularly by the Baltic Sea. The Druskininkai health resort recently opened a new winter entertainment complex, to attract year-round business.

Estonian spas are recovering from a period of low visitors and some are currently at or near capacity. The growth is being propelled mainly by Russian tourists. The number of visitors to Estonian spas from traditional markets such as Finland and Sweden is up 3 to 5 % while Russian business is up 10%. The Estonian Spa Association with the support of Enterprise Estonia has been marketing the country in Moscow and St. Petersburg market. Fra Mare Thalasso Spa in Haapsalu, had a 40% increase in Russian business in 2011. The country is now targeting Russians for dental and cosmetic treatment.

Jurmala is Latvia’s oldest and most significant wellness resort. It has many spa hotels, wellness and rehabilitation centres that continue to develop. The National Rehabilitation Centre recently opened its renovated hydrotherapy complex and mineral water pool. A rehabilitation centre in Bulduri has developed a canine therapy programme for children, i.e. rehab using dogs. The country is targeting Russians and Scandinavians for dental tourism.

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