Columbia disbands failing medical tourism task force


Columbia mayor Brian Treece has dissolved the medical tourism task force he created in August 2016. It has not met since February.

The task force of eight members of Columbia professionals in the medical, tourism and hospitality industries had been holding meetings and conducting surveys to give recommendations to the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau on how to attract medical tourists to the city. The task force chairman Guy Collier moved to Kansas City in May and has since resigned. Treece seeks to move forward with an informal committee.

Convention and Visitors Bureau now wants guidance from the council on the next step for the project, including whether it is on or off.

The task force recommended the city explore two options:

  • Hiring an outside firm to develop a marketing plan and to create an internet portal for people traveling to Columbia for medical treatment.
  • Hiring a consultant to conduct feasibility research to see whether Columbia is fit to become a medical destination.

The task force avoided areas such as how to fund the projects, how to measure success and who would manage the projects.

Treece still claims that there is great potential for Columbia, as a medical destination, but seems reluctant to spend money to develop the potential.



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