Turkey's health tourism sector has experienced substantial growth, with an increasing number of tourists seeking medical services and treatments in the country. This trend has gained momentum in the wake of the pandemic.
According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), the proportion of tourists visiting Turkey for health and medical reasons has risen significantly over the past decade.
A decade ago, only 1% of tourists came to Turkey for health-related purposes. However, this figure has now surged to 5%, largely due to the impact of the pandemic.
During the first quarter of the current year, the number of health tourists relative to the total number of visitors reached an impressive 5.03%.
Analysts predict that if this trend continues and maintains a range between 5-10% throughout the year, it could lead to a substantial increase in foreign currency earnings from tourism.
Turkey's health and medical tourism industry generated more than $2 billion in revenue last year. In just the first three months of this year, the health tourism segment in Turkey earned a remarkable $453 million from international travelers.
Notably, health tourists tend to spend an average of $1103 per person, which is double the expenditure of visitors who come to Turkey for other reasons.
Statistics reveal a significant shift in the number of individuals traveling to Turkey for health-related tourism. In 2012, there were 240,000 health tourists, but this number has skyrocketed to 1,258,000 in 2022.
Moreover, within the first half of the current year, a staggering 745,000 tourists had already visited Turkey for medical purposes. This trend indicates a substantial increase in foreign visitors seeking healthcare services in Turkey, thereby contributing to the growth of foreign exchange earnings over the past three years.
Official data indicates that Turkey boasts a robust healthcare infrastructure to cater to the growing health tourism sector. The country has 615 hospitals, 162 medical centers, 810 health facilities, and 1309 doctors' offices that can obtain a health tourism authorization certificate. Currently, there are 2906 facilities in Turkey with these certificates.
As the health tourism sector in Turkey continues to thrive, it is expected that there will be a heightened demand for new health facilities and hotels. This demand stems from the increasing number of foreign visitors seeking medical treatments and services, reaffirming Turkey's status as a preferred destination for health tourism.
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