Tag Archives: travel planning

Information Regarding Medical Tourism

The term Medical Tourism was initially coined by travel agencies for describing the practice of traveling abroad for medical treatment. This was done for obtaining the best and reasonable health care services outside the country. The services that are generally arranged by the professional agencies include complex professional surgeries like dental surgery, cosmetic surgery, cardiac surgery, joint replacement (knee/hip) and more. One can also directly contact the respective hospitals in countries like India, Mexico and Costa Rica for information through websites and respective medical center councilors. The patient has to provide their medical report to the service provider including the nature of illness, doctor’s opinion, diagnosis and complete medical history.

Certified medical consultants and doctors give their advice on the required treatment. The whole process of medical tourism includes the discussion of approximate expenditure, hospital choice, the tourist destination as well as the duration of their stay. Once the agreement and consent bond gets signed, the patient is provided with the recommendation letter to get a medical VISA. The patient has to procure it from the associated embassy. A case executive is always available with the patient to take care of the accommodation, and his treatment abroad. The health tourism is getting popular day by day due to several other reasons like long waiting list and expensive treatments.People of United States make the most out of this facility. The very first reason behind the increasing trend of medical tourism is its incredible savings. Depending upon the destination, the patient can expect to save a high percentage. Access to immediate excellent medical service and no waiting list is another wonderful benefit. The medical travel agencies commit to provide the quality treatment abroad. Several organizations come forward for this purpose. Most of these agencies and consultants are registered with world Medical Tourism Association. The patients have access to expert surgeons and latest technologies through the health tourism options. Other notable features adding into the popularity of this tourism service are longer hospital stay, convenience and travel opportunities at a very low cost.

For most of the Americans, minimal price is the main advantage of availing the medical tourism facilities. It is a fact that the USA health care costs are generally higher than the total traveling expensive. For instance, the hip replacement surgery costs nearly $40,000 to $60,000 in USA whereas it is about $3,000 to $4,000 overseas in countries like Thailand and India. Moreover, in 2011, it was revealed that 161 million people in USA were either uninsured or under-insured. This is the reason behind why the American health system is getting competition from developing countries. It failed to meet the medical requirements of the Americans. These are the few reason of ever increasing popularity of Medical Tourism in developed countries like USA.

Caribbean Destination’s Tourism Competitiveness Under Review

Amidst the world economic crisis, the previously obscure term, competitiveness, has become a mainstream word. Which is not surprising, because in times like these, consumers naturally become more cost-conscious.Ask any tourist what makes a destination competitive and they will probably come up with something like “being a good value” – in other words, providing a satisfactory travel experience for a fair price.But for tourism industry professionals, it’s not quite so simple. For a tourist destination to be competitive, they maintain, it must first be sustainable. And sustainability goes far beyond satisfying the tourists to insure that they keep coming back. A sustainable destination must satisfy many other stakeholders, including the local community, the environment, the hoteliers, the service providers and the government.With 4 million air arrivals per year, half a million cruise ship visitors and over 60,000 hotel rooms – the Dominican Republic is the leading island destination in the Caribbean.As such, it might be assumed to have a competitive tourist industry. But the local leaders are not taking this for granted. In fact, they have created a wide network of regional tourism clusters whose job it is to identify the constraints that may compromise the long term development of the industry, and to work with the government and the local communities to implement possible solutions.

The nine existing tourism clusters – a few more are being formed — are grouped under the Dominican Federation for Tourism Competitiveness (whose Spanish acronym is CDCT), headed by hotelier, Mr. Rafael Collado.In his welcome speech at the recent Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Forum (FODATUR) held in the nation’s capital, Mr. Collado alluded to the challenges being faced by the country’s tourism industry, stressing that while some of them – like the state of the global economy and volatility in oil and commodity prices – are beyond its control, others are entirely manageable, and it was the event’s goal to put them on the agenda and map out a realistic action plan.The event, which lasted for two days, gathered over a dozen of the most brilliant minds in tourism from Latin America, Spain and the USA, in addition to the Dominican Republic. A sizable group of industry professionals, hoteliers, travel agents, lawyers, consultants and public officials attended.On the subject of competitiveness indicators, the delegate from the University of Monterrey, Mexico, explained his country’s highly sophisticated method of assessment. A territory’s tourism competitiveness – relative to other territories – is measured by giving numerical values to a wide number of variables.The methodology is so thorough that it covers 112 different variables grouped into 10 categories: cultural activities and resources, natural resources and protection of the environment, human resources and education, hotel industry infrastructure and professionalization, tourist flows and means of transportation, tourism support services, public safety and protection, profitability and economic aspects, tourism promotion, and governmental support and efficiency.The CDCT vowed to seek support for the development of a similar evaluation tool in the Dominican Republic.It was pointed out, furthermore, that one of the nation’s challenges is the lack of a modern tourism law. A new bill that would put the D.R. on par with other Latin American countries had recently been drafted and delivered to the Minister of Tourism by a committee headed by the tour operators association. In a joint declaration, the participants urged the Minister to give the bill his full support and submit it to Congress without delay.

Yet another highlight were the concurrent workshops, where the group was split into round tables to discuss the main issues on the tourism competitiveness agenda and to suggest solutions. Topics included: environment, hotels, airlines, ocean travel, health and safety, tour guides, education, marketing and tourism clusters, among others.Each table was headed by an authority on the subject matter. Many new ideas emerged, and the CDCT made a commitment to discuss the conclusions with the competent authorities, reach agreements, and monitor their implementation.The annual event was sponsored by various public and private sector organizations and businesses, primarily the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which has been the main catalyst behind the creation and development of the cluster concept in the Dominican Republic.