|CSEBA at China International Health Tourism Forum in Guilin|
|Author: Matej Balen|
|18th December 2017|
|GUILIN - On December 16-17, Guilin hosted 2017 China International Health Tourism Forum for more than 300 international health experts and scholars, health institutions and enterprises working in the medical tourism field.|
Croatia participated with a delegation led by Bisera Fabrio, Counsellor of the Republic of Croatia in PR China, and consisted of Ernest Svažić, Mayor of Krapinske Toplice (important Croatian wellness, spa and medical tourism city), and representatives of anti-aging clinic Bio Smart, International association Roads of Marco Polo and CSEBA.
Prior to the beginning of the forum, Party Secretary Mr. Zhao Leqin met with Mr. Svažić and welcomed Croatian participation at the forum, stating that Guilin has become China’s first approved health tourism demonstration base that implements the government program “Tourism +” by fostering and connecting indirectly related industries (like health care- , sports- and retirement-related ones) with tourism: “Guilin is full of natural and green resources, pleasant climate, and in recent years the city government has approved a series of preferential policies to boost investments in health tourism facilities, and we plan to continue doing necessary changes.”
The theme of the two-day forum was “New Demand, New Supply, New Thinking, New Development” and was organized to gather China and international experts in health industry to jointly discuss current trends and further development in the area. As stated by Chinese hosts, the city of Guilin is investing a lot to reach the highest international standards in medical services, and fully integrate beautiful natural scenery, health care, retirement-related services, wellness and spa facilities, education, sports and leisure. Since starting the program “Tourism+”, Guilin has invested 15,6 billion yuan in 28 different development projects closely connected to health tourism.
During the forum, Croatian delegates openly expressed Croatia’s willingness to cooperate more with Chinese companies and institutions. In a panel discussion, Croatia’s Counsellor stated that medical tourism is becoming a significant part of the country’s tourism sector, and that there are high perspectives for future development, emphasizing never more interest from Chinese travellers to coming to Croatia. In his presentation during the forum, Mayor of Krapinske Toplice shared the experience of his own municipality in medical tourism area, current facilities and technology. He also presented Croatia’s strategic measures for the development of medical tourism in Croatia till 2020, pointing out the possible areas for cooperation and investment.
Anti-aging clinic Bio Smart is already successfully working in Hong Kong and Singapore in the Chinese market, and is planning to open new clinics in Europe and Croatia. Clinic’s representative, Lena Juras, drew attention to their expertise and showed that medical tourism and health enterprises can successfully work in such distinctive markets.
Chinese outbound medical tourism market has experienced rapid growth in recent years, reaching 500,000 in the number of arrivals to foreign destinations in 2016 (second in the world after the USA), and the average Chinese medical tourist spends 8,000 euros per trip on average. Top destinations for Chinese outbound medical tourists are Asian countries (Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand), USA and central European countries.