An Invitation in Three Movements: Tourism, Health and Wellness Tourism, and Medical Travel
Four central European countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – have joined together to promote tourism to the region in a unique ensemble of countries that share borders; history; cultural and gourmet delights; unique tourist attractions; and an abundance of health, wellness, and medical services. This joint marketing initiative draws its name from the musical heritage of the region and is called the “European Quartet“.

Second Movement: Health Tourism

by Elizabeth Ziemba

wellness travelCombining a vacation with time for various types of health related treatments is becoming much more popular as the word spreads globally about lower cost, high quality treatments available worldwide. Dental services, executive check-ups, eye examinations, cosmetic surgery and other procedures are part of the plan for many travelers who are aggressively shopping for health services. Other types of health-related treatments may offer a unique experience to enhance the trip. These four European countries have numerous options to explore and include in a vacation package.

As with the other members of the European Quartet, the doctors in the Czech Republic are exceedingly well trained and deliver excellent services in state-of-the-art clinics. Fluent in English and often other languages, visitors from throughout Europe and beyond seek cosmetic surgery and other services. Need an eye examination or want Lasik surgery that is too expensive in your home country?

Consider consulting a clinic in Prague for excellent eye care. Visit Prague and go home seeing better.

unnamedDid you know that Hungary boasts more dentists per capita than any other country? Hungary is world-famous for the quality of the dental services offered at affordable prices. Surely you can find one to provide an examination, cleaning and whitening process to brighten your smile and holiday. Paying for your dental care out of pocket? Hungarian dentists might leave more money in your pockets to enjoy a delightful dish of goulash and a Tokay wine.

health treatment tourWant to combine a tourist attraction with a health treatment? The Wieliczka Salt Mines are a leading attraction in Poland where tourists descend into the earth to visit an underground world where everything is carved from salt. From a life size version of the Last Supper to an entire ballroom where weddings and events are held, the salt mines are a fantastic place to visit.

While you are there, spend a day or two or more at the Health Resort. The benefits of the pollution and allergen free environment are perfect for people who suffer from asthma, sinus problems or other respiratory issues. Relax in the subterranean environment and breathe easy. It is a memorable experience unique to this beautiful part of Poland.

thermal spas Thermal spas, similar to hot springs in the United States, are plentiful in all European Quartet countries including Slovakia. While thermal spas can be considered a luxury in the United States, they are affordable, clean, healthy and relaxing in Slovakia and its neighbors. A range of therapies are available including mud baths and massages. A consultation with a physician is available to learn more about your specific ailments.

Want to experience a unique treatment? Consider thermal acupressure or magnetic therapy.

Spa PiestanyLooking for an upscale pampering? Visit Spa Piestany outside of the capital city, Bratislava. Perhaps the most famous spa in the country, it attracts international patients for a variety of services including the treatment of arthritic diseases. Visit Slovakia and return home rested and rejuvenated.

Research Shows That…

Research shows that tourists can become medical tourists. Once someone visits a country and has a positive experience, they are 2-5 times more likely to purchase “medical tourism” services on their next visit. Leveraging this connection and building a relationship with tourists not only benefits the tourism sector but can also benefit healthcare providers including resorts, spas, dentists, and other clinical services.

earn moreTravel agents have been hit hard by consumers booking their travel directly. By becoming experts in a region like Central Europe and all of the healthcare services that can be easily incorporated into a vacation, travel consultants demonstrate their value to clients while offering unique experiences. How wonderful to create vacations for clients who come back feeling, seeing, breathing, and moving better!

How can health tourism work with medical providers to grow both industries? Stay tuned for the third movement – medical travel in the European Quartet – coming soon!

 

Article by Elizabeth Ziemba

Medical Tourism Training logoMedical Tourism Training offers consulting and educational programs to governments, providers, travel agents, facilitators and patient care coordinators to grow businesses and organizations through creative solutions based on international best business practices and experience. Their training program for hotels, resorts and spas was the first one created for the industry to adapt traditional hospitality models to the changing world of health and medical travel. Read their case study  and contact them today to discover how they can work together to integrate tourism, health tourism and medical travel into a plan for development.