In an ITB Berlin NOW keynote today, Dr Anna Bialk-Wolf, of the Institute of Research and Development of Medical Tourism, will discuss “A new approach to Medical Tourism”. We asked her to tell us a little more.
Initially, the concept of medical tourism included only traveling abroad with the intent to receive medical treatment. Other activities such as sightseeing, a programme for the accompanying traveller or recovering in a spa could also be seen a part of a medical tourism trip. The concept of medical tourism today concerns additional issues. The first major factor we can consider as an external one, underlines the conjunction of medical tourism with other types of tourism. In pre-Covid times, medical tourism was only a small niche with a few tourism stakeholders and a few medical clinics involved in the process. Currently, health matters have achieved a very high rank in developing the image of the tourism destination and the importance of it goes far beyond medical tourism. A second major issue is connected with increasing popularity of new forms of doctor-patient interaction generated mostly by technology. There is no longer the necessity of personal presence during the process of treatment, because even more can be done using telemedicine.
What are your thoughts about this year’s ITB Berlin NOW?
Regarding the exceptional situation, it is important to get the feeling of community and continuity. ITB NOW constitutes an important platform to fulfil these needs. On the other hand, I think that we have to handle more responsibility, and redefine our attitude to priorities and habits. But it is far beyond the scope of the medical tourism problem. The struggle between old and new will continue to shape our future, as always in a time of breakthrough.
A new approach to Medical Tourism
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
15:25 – 15:35
ITB Berlin NOW Convention Stage 2