China promotes TCM for inbound medical travel


The Shanghai International Medical Centre is exploring the internationalisation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) services. As one of the first facilities offering medical tourism services, the centre has launched a project to offer TCM-related diagnosis, treatment and cultural experiences. Shanghai is promoting TCM for use in disease prevention and healthcare.

The National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (NATCM) and the National Administration of Tourism have named a list of selected areas for TCM health tourism. Within these are locations for TCM hospitals for treatment, and TCM wellness tourism destinations. NATCM will establish 10 national TCM tourism demonstration areas, 100 TCM tourism demonstration bases and 1,000 TCM tourism demonstration projects within three years.

China’s latest strategy which will greatly influence the social and economic development of China for the next decade, includes domestic medical and wellness tourism.

The authorities in Hainan plan to ensure access of residents of all countries to the services of traditional oriental medicine through industry modernisation, the development of comprehensive programmes with the participation of professional clinics and travel agencies.

The island administration has published a document listing key criteria of the regional government's new policy to create a system of modern health services focused on both for domestic and foreign consumers for traditional medicine at Hainan's free trade port. According to the plan, by 2022, all Hainan's traditional medicine clinics should choose a narrow area of ​​specialisation, create at least one department, which will provide high-quality services, such as immunology, dermatology gynaecology, or oncology. All major hospitals on the island must establish units offering specific courses for patient rehabilitation.

Hainan also plans to create innovative tourism products in the province with an emphasis on oriental medicine. In connection with the development of a special consumption zone on Hainan, a new model of health tourism will be created. According to the document, the authorities intend to boost the construction of sanatoriums at state clinics and encourage cooperation of travel agencies with medical institutions to promote traditional Chinese medicine on the domestic and foreign markets.

Domestic wellness tourism is recovering but outbound wellness and medical tourism remains slow, mainly due to a lack of places to go.

China’s international tourism is slowly restarting. Laos opened its borders for Mainland Chinese visitors, who need to show a negative test and have to stay 48 hours in quarantine. The first batches of tourists have arrived in Thailand. Japan is opening for Chinese non-leisure visitors soon. Hong Kong is not yet allowed to open the border with the Mainland, but Macau welcomed one million Mainland Chinese visitors between July and October 2020.



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