Medical tourism to Croatia has great potential

 

New Croatian tourism minister, Gari Cappelli, has highlighted the importance of medical tourism and stated his belief that medical and health tourism has the potential to earn €1 billion euros, up from an estimated current income of €450 million.

He says that this potential could be realised via ‘a quality change of legislation’ and ‘funding opportunities through EU funds’. Cappelli believes that providing specialist hospitals access to EU funds will open a potential investment of  €300 million and create 1,500 jobs.

The Council of Community Health Tourism has concluded that there must be a stronger promotion of medical tourism within Croatia. It argues that there are 1100 actual potential providers of health and medical tourism, less than 5% of health, medical and wellness tourists are from foreign markets, primarily coming from Italy, Slovenia and Bosnia. The potential for the development of health tourism in Croatia as a year-round tourism product is very large, and research suggests that these tourists spend 2.5 times more than domestic travellers.

The government and health tourism bodies plan 2017 projects including benchmarking for spas and specialist, and tourism promotion for spas and wellness hotels.

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