Philippines woos Arab medical tourism market

The Philippine Department of Tourism has announced a campaign that seeks to promote the country as a top destination for medical and wellness needs, especially for the Middle Eastern market.

This announcement was made on Saturday during the signing of a partnership deal between the department and Dubai-based international business firm Agora Group, ahead of next month’s International Health and Wellness Tourism Congress in Germany.

Philippines Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said that the campaign is part of efforts to promote medical tourism as a “marketable product” and improve the marketability of the Philippines as a “health and wellness tourism hub in Asia.”

“We are giving the Philippines a fighting chance at becoming a tourism powerhouse in Asia. And we recognize that medical tourism and wellness tourism hold one of the keys to this endeavor because we have the people, we have the facilities, and we are adjusting government policies to ensure that the climate for medical tourism to thrive will ensue,” Frasco said.

The Philippines, famous for its white sand beaches and pristine aquatic attractions, depends largely on international tourism which currently is primarily recreational.

The Frasco-led Tourism department, therefore, seeks to maximize the tourism potential of the country’s health sector.

With about 23 health facilities accredited and recognized by the International Society for Quality in Health Care, the appeal of the Philippines’ medical tourism is high, especially among visitors from the Middle East.

This, according to Frasco, is due to a strong culture of medical travel, cheaper costs of healthcare in the country than in the Gulf region and in Europe, as well as the familiarity of Arabs with Filipino healthcare providers — approximately 2 million Filipino healthcare workers are based in the Gulf region.

“People from the Middle East are already familiar with the level of care that Filipinos can give,” Frasco said.

“The culture of care and compassion shown by Filipinos who are in these facilities give us the strategic advantage.”

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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