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Medical Tourism Gains Ground, Says IPK Survey

Nearly 70 percent of all international health and medical outbound trips in 2016 were made for health-oriented reasons such as wellness and spa holidays, according to a survey conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.

IPK InternationalThe share of trips for medical purposes (including cure, hospital rehab and stays in medical clinics) was around 30 percent, the findings of IPK’s World Travel Monitor showed. In 2016 the world population undertook some 11.4 million international health-oriented and medical trips, resulting in a market share of 1.4 percent on all outbound trips worldwide.

Meanwhile, with more than 1 million foreign health and medical trips, Germany strengthened its position as the world’s leading source market for health-oriented and medical tourism. The most important source market in this niche-segment outside of Europe was the US. On second, third and fourth place follow Asian source markets, namely South Korea, China and Japan.

Furthermore, in Europe, Russia follows second before third-placed France and Italy.

Germany is also the number one destination in the overall segment of health-oriented and medical tourism, closely followed in Europe by Hungary, Austria and fourth-ranked Spain.

Outside of Europe, the US is the most popular destination for health and medical tourism, followed by Mexico and Japan.

Moreover, Austria is the leading destination in Europe with regard to wellness/spa holidays only.

When looking at socio-demographics there is nearly an equal distribution between male and female health-oriented and medical travelers. However, there are differences regarding age distribution. The percentage of travelers between 35 and 54 years is by far the biggest group with a share of around 50 percent, followed by travelers up to 34 years and the age segment 55+.

For the second time, the ITB Berlin, one of the world’s leading travel trade shows, will be fully devoting a platform to medical tourism. Scheduled to take place between March 7-11, 2018, the trade show will feature products and services of medical service providers, hotels and destinations.


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