Türkiye aims to boost medical tourism revenues to $3 billion

Türkiye aims to boost medical tourism revenues to $3 billion

Türkiye aims to boost medical tourism revenues to $3 billion

Türkiye is working to position itself as a major destination for global medical tourists, aiming to increase revenues from health tourism to $3 billion.

The country may overtake France as the second most popular European holiday destination after Spain thanks to its booming medical tourism industry, according to experts.

Last year, Türkiye welcomed a record 1.2 million medical tourists, up from more than 670,000 in 2021.

The number of medical tourists vising the country was around 408,000 in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the global travel and tourism industries. Back in 2015, only 395,000 foreigners visited Türkiye to receive health services.

Revenues from medial tourism climbed to $2.1 billion in 2022, rising from $1.7 billion in the previous year. Medical tourism revenues stood at $638,000 in 2015.

In the first half of 2023, 746,290 international medical tourists flocked to Türkiye, while the industry’s revenues from health tourism already surpassed $1 billion.

The most preferred clinical branches by international patients are gynecology, internal diseases, ophthalmology, medical biochemistry, general surgery, dentistry, orthopedics and traumatology, according to the International Health Services Inc. (USHAŞ).

Over the past years, Türkiye has become hugely popular among foreigners seeking hair transplants.

As part of efforts to boost revenues from medical tourism to $3 billion, a trade fair will be held in the capital Ankara between Nov. 16-19.

Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz will attend the opening of the event, while Health Minister Fahrettin Koca will deliver a speech.

Some 100 procurement representatives from 20 countries’ health sector are expected to attend the sixth edition of the TRAVELEXPO. Those countries include France, Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Iran, Iraq, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia and Kenya.

Turkish private and public hospitals located in Ankara will promote their services at the event.

“The trade fair will be a milestone for Ankara to open to the global medical tourism market,” said Ahmet Aksu, the president of the Health Diplomacy Association.

Ankara is expected to serve 24 percent of the international medical tourists in 2024, which means more than 500,000 patients and over $750 million in revenues, according to Aksu.

Last year, Türkiye welcomed 44.6 million foreign tourists, marking an 80 percent increase from 2021.

In the first nine months of 2023, the number of international holidaymakers vising the country increased nearly 13 percent from a year ago 39.2 million.

The country’s 9-month tourism revenues rose by 20 percent year-on-year to $42 billion.