Kaohsiung – A medical tourism group from China arrived in Kaohsiung City Monday for a nine-day trip, making it the first Chinese tour group to visit the southern Taiwan port city for health care or cosmetic surgery purposes.
It is also the first large Chinese tour group to have set foot in Taiwan’s second largest city since the municipal government irked China by hosting a visit of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and screening a controversial documentary on Rebiya Kadeer, head of the World Uighur Congress, which represents the Uighur community in exile.
Members of the 30-person group, which includes senior executives of 12 Chinese health care institutions, will receive dental, skin and eye care, cosmetic surgery, and traditional Chinese medicine treatments, according to a spokesman for the Executive Yuan’s Southern Taiwan Joint Services Center.
Several Chinese medical tourism groups have visited Taiwan, but they have all entered and exited the country through Taipei. “The current group is the first to enter and exit through Kaohsiung, ” the spokesman added.
Chen Chun-ting, secretary-general of the Kaohsiung Medical Tourism Promotion Association, said Kaohsiung has a competitive edge over Taipei as its health care fees and cost of sightseeing are lower than those in Taipei.
In addition to seeking health care, the tour group will also visit major tourist attractions, including the setting for the popular Taiwanese film Cape No. 7 in Kenting National Park on the island’s southernmost tip, Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan, the National Palace Museum in suburban Taipei and eastern Taiwan’s Hualien and Taitung counties.
Chen said his association is scheduled to organize a seminar in Beijing in collaboration with major Chinese medical tourism organizations in the second half of December as part of its efforts to attract more Chinese citizens to visit Kaohsiung for health care and sightseeing purposes.