This year’s edition of the 2017 Korea Medical & Wellness Travel Mart kicked off at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Hotel with an aim towards reinforcing South Korea’s growing reputation as a highly preferred medical destination–leveraging its advanced and world class medical services to a potentially large target audience in the GCC region, particularly the UAE. The 2017 Korea Medical & Wellness Travel Mart is held in the presence and patronage of His Excellency Kang Ho Park, the South Korean Ambassador to the UAE.
To date, around 26,893 tourists from the GCC visited South Korea in 2016, with 10,690 coming from the UAE—a large part of these figures are composed of tourists visiting South Korea for medical purposes. The increasing preference towards South Korea being favoured as a medical destination can be attributed to key factors like its utilization of the world’s best medical technologies, the presence of a strong workforce of highly professional and trained medical practitioners, modern and state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipment and affordable medical services.
“We are proud to organize this year’s edition of the 2017 Korea Medical & Wellness Travel Mart, which strongly demonstrates the strong ties between South Korea and the UAE and reflects the great deal of efforts that we have done to expand cooperation in the health and medical field,” said Ambassador Park. “Over the last five years, the number of Emirati tourists visiting South Korea for medical purposes has increased by more than ten times, and we are more than welcome to open our doors for them–providing them with the best patient care services combined with modern medical breakthroughs and highly skilled and trained medical professionals. Rest assured that we will remain steadfast in our efforts to create more events and occasions for Korean and Emirati people to interact and communicate, not only in the medical and health field, but also in other diverse areas.”
Other key drivers that have helped consolidate South Korea as a preferred medical destination is its strategic location, accessibility and safe environment. The country can easily be reached from major cities in Asia, North America, Europe and the GCC, which allows patients to experience a safe and comfortable journey. The South Korean government also provides certification policies for hospitals and clinics that guarantee the high level and world class quality of the medical services they offer. In addition to this, the government also provides various support systems to help tourists coming for medical purposes–including medical visas, access to a medical translator and coordinator services, among others. GCC nationals are given visa-free arrival status for 30 to 90 days.
“South Korea is emerging as one of the leading players in the global healthcare segment. In line with this, we are confident that today’s event will help attract more UAE tourists to come visit us. The strong ties with the UAE and other countries in the GCC region have prompted us to implement successful inroads for personalized services catering to Muslim patients–which includes clearer guidelines on clinical care, Halal food services, religious observances, apartment type of accommodations, translation services and much more,” concluded Kyoosang Kang, Regional Director of Korea Tourism Organization.