Australia is to make a bid to get a big slice of the global health tourism estimated to be worth more than US$1 trillion.
The Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported that more than 60 representatives from the Australian tourism, health, medical and government sectors had issued a joint declaration to push into the untapped industry.
The declaration recognises the fast-growing health and wellness sector which includes anything from surgery to day spas, and commits to develop Australia to be the number-one-quality health and wellness hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Australian Tourism Export Council managing director Matt Hingerty said in the report that for the first time, Australia had a formal statement from tourism and health professionals agreeing to work together to build a viable new tourism sector for Australia.
“Countries such as Singapore and Dubai are already investing billions in building new hospitals and other facilities to cater for the forecasted boom in medical travel in the decades to come.
“It’s time Australia did the same,” he was quoted as saying.
The Australian Tourism Export Council conference was told on Thursday that Australia was perfectly placed to become Southeast Asia’s biggest player in the worldwide A$180 billion medical tourism industry and a key destination for Americans.
AAP said several medical tourism entrepreneurs had told the conference that Australian health care’s strong reputation would attract Southeast Asians who went “doctor shopping”, seeking as many as six medical opinions and sparing no money for treatments for anything from cancer to IVF (in vitro fertilization).