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Tapping into Health and Wellness Tourism Top Priority for Greece

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis, Elitour President George Patoulis and Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas (center).

Developing and capitalizing on the potential of health and wellness tourism is a top priority for the Greek tourism ministry, Harry Theoharis said this week during a meeting with Greek medical tourism council Elitour President George Patoulis.

Minister Theoharis, Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas and Patoulis, who was also recently elected Attica Regional Governor, agreed to the importance of drawing up a regulatory framework that will ensure the opportunities provided by the health tourism sector generate results.

Theoharis said medical tourism formed an integral part of the government’s redesigned model for Greek tourism development and stressed the need for coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders.

The minister underlined the importance of creating trust through the certification of all health and wellness tourism products, which are diverse and complex.

On his part, Patoulis said Greece should take advantage of its historic link with Kos-born Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine”, and based on that, develop health tourism “with the aim of spurring its dynamic into action”.

Patoulis went on to add that developing health tourism through well-organized planning would create value added for the Greek tourism product, while contributing to the economy and offering multiple benefits for the country’s citizens.

Concluding, Konsolas said the new tourism strategy includes revising the legal framework that foresees the certification of health care providers according to international standards, offering incentives to investors interested in health tourism ventures, and the creation of clusters consisting of hospitals, medical centers, and hotels as well as public-private partnerships.

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  1. Noel Josephides Reply

    What the Greek Government should be doing is consulting with the tour operators who will be expected to send these health tourists to Greece. Under current law, tour operators have to take full responsibility for all items of the packages they sell. They are nervous about taking responsibility for hospitals and there are enormous issues one of which is as to who will treat individuals whose treatments overseas is proved to be faulty.

    The latest decision announced recently to withdraw reciprocal health arrangements from tourists will not endeer Greece to foreign visitors.

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