Lee Charm, president of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)
By Yun Suh-young
Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)'s chief Lee Charm sees medical tourism as the next big thing for the nation's tourism industry.
"The prospect for medical tourism is fantastic. The area of medical service has unlimited growth potential". Lee said in a recent interview with The Korea Times.
"Korea's medical services are at a high level not only for Western medicine but also for traditional Korean medicine. We are very strong with spinal and disc problems and have very high success rate with treatment", he said.
"We now even have a medical tourism center. It's quite a substantial team and we're constantly doing overseas events to promote it", he added.
The strength of Korean medical tourism lies in the nation's high quality healthcare service with price competiveness.
"The level of our service and technology is very high but the price is low compared to Europe. We're a bit more expensive than Thailand but our environment is much better and safer", said Lee.
With such strengths, the number of medical tourists seeking services in Korea has risen over the years.
The number in 2007 was a low 7,900 but jumped to 60,201 in 2009, and climbed further to 81,789 in 2010 and 110,000 in 2011.
Russia is especially a big market with visitors surging from 1,758 in 2009 to 5,089 in 2010 and 9,000 in 2011.
"About 30,000 from Vladivostok go abroad every year for medical treatment. Three years ago, we only had a few hundred come from Vladivostok but last year we had 9,000. But we can get the rest of the tourists who go elsewhere. We need to target the rest of Russia, the Middle East, and all South East Asian countries where there's a huge need for high level medical services", said Lee.
The tourism organization is doing its best to attract more Russian tourists.
"From three years ago, we actually hired local doctors and a guy with a background in medicine at our Vladivostok office. It's basically a medical consulting office", said the KTO head.
"Last year, we opened a U-health care center, a ubiquitous center where overseas patients can have Internet connections with Korea. People can have video conference with Korean hospitals and after consulting with the doctors, they can make an appointment and come to Korea". The role of the KTO is big, according to Lee, as much of the promotion is done by the organization.
"Medical tourism is promoted by the KTO and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. But the ministry doesn't have an international network or marketing capability. They provide the legal background ― the actual promotion and marketing, that's what we do", he said.
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/...
- Stay on topic and do not spam.
- Emoticons are fun, but actual thoughts are appreciated.
- Refrain from abusive language.
- Post only in English, as this is an English language community.
- Do not share pages or media unrelated to the topic you are commenting on.
- Do not request or mention illegal download/streaming services.
- No graphic content allowed.
- Respect the right of other users to share their opinion. Arguments are welcome, fights are not.
Comments which break the rules will be erased. Repeated rule breaking will result in blacklisting.
1 of 8 Seoul households comprised of one woman
By Kim Rahn About one out of eight households in Seoul is comprised of one woman, and most of them are office workers who graduated from colleges, according to a Seoul City report. The city government said Monday that Seoul has a high ratio of households of singlewomen living alone, taking up 12.6,...More
Korean Temple Food: Healthy for Your Mind and Body
Photo Credit: Taste Korean Temple Food website As I wrote about in this blog post, last Monday wa,...More
[HanCinema Korea's Diary] Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger
This week I look at a young Korean rocker who is hoping to challenge the K-pop industry and what k,...More
Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$2.99 per month (you can cancel anytime).
The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.
53rd Baeksang Arts Awards 2017