ტურიზმის პროგრამებოს კოორდინატორი, ბიზნესის ადმინისტრირების დეპარტამენტი, შავი ზღვის საერთაშორისო უნივერსიტეტი, თბილისი, საქართველო
Medical Tourism Development Trends in Georgia
(ტურიზმის განვითარების ინოვაციური მიმართულებები)
Introduction and aim: Health, medical, treatment or wellness tourism represents a worldwide, multi billion dollar phenomenon that is very popular in most leading countries and is expected to grow considerably in the next decade. According to the World Bank data the medical tourism industry in 2008 was estimated by 60 billion dollars and showed 30% increase, while the tourism industry as a whole grows averagely by 4-5% annually /http://www.worldbank.org/. Medical tourism captured the attention of policy-makers, researchers and the media. What really puts the word "tourism" in medical tourism concept is that people often stay in the foreign country after the medical procedure. Travelers can thus take advantage of their visit by sightseeing, taking day trips or participating in any other traditional, cultural heritage tourism activities.
The article gives the brief overview what’s happening in leading countries, where medical tourism is very popular and what trends are observed in Georgia. According to the research done there are worked out some implications for wellness and medical tourism development in Georgia.
Research methodology: a. interviews, data analyzed in SWOT,
b. survey analyze,
c. statistical data.
Results and implications: For entering medical tourism market, country needs
a. To attract new customers,
b. To raise awareness about country’s medical tourism spa or other resorts ,
c. To share information, good promotion,
d. To make it easier for people to find such destinations online,
e. To foster community stakeholders and collaborators and give them a reason to refer others to seek out offered services and products.
Conclusion: Georgia possesses valuable resources for medical tourism development, tourism policy- makers should ensure promotion and provision of a forum for communication in order to increase connectivity among patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies.
Keywords: tourism, medical tourism, wellness tourism