The consolidation of Costa Rica as a world-class medical tourism destination in Latin America is a challenge for the country in search of novel services of the aggregate value. Services is being offered in medical treatments for Parkinson, alcoholism and drug addiction, stress and other diseases.
Several industries have teamed to offer better services and packages, including hotels, hospitals and clinics, recovery centers and touristic operators, in a joint effort to improve the quality standards of their services, as announced by tourist authorities of the country.
The strongest competition for Costa Rica comes from Mexico and Brasil, countries that target the same markets than Costa Rica, and those are the United States and Canada markets.
According to data provided by Promed, the country’s highest medical tourism organization, in 2010 Costa Rica received 40,000 people looking for different medical services.
The most common treatments are dental, followed by bariatric and orthopedic.
The medical tourist spends and average six times more that traditional tourists, and their academic level is a college degree with an average income of $99.500, as per a study by Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT).
Around 300 companies are involved in the medical tourism chain in Costa Rica, and they generate 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, said Massimo Manzi, Promed’s Chief Executive Officer.
Manzi added that there’s great optimism about the opportunities created by additional therapy services that are starting to be offered, such as stress therapy, alcoholism treatment and drug rehab. He said that there are some initiatives oriented to offer those services under the highest quality and infrastructure standards, with the most advanced procedures.
Allan Flores, Tourism Secretary, spoke about the wellness tourism as a complement of the country’s medical offer: yoga and meditation retirements and thermal water massages.
Costa Rica tried to sell its whole medical tourism offer in the third Latin American Medical Tourism Congress, to be held at the Real Intercontinental Hotel, from April 23rd to the 25th, with 200 companies from 13 countries represented.