One of the hotel rooms on offer with Stunning Makeovers for patients to recover in One of the hotel rooms on offer with Stunning Makeovers for patients to recover in

Medical tourism on the rise

Medical travel is on the increase and is a growing opportunity for New Zealand travel agents, says one of the well-known operators in that field.

Paul McGowan, director of medical tourism facilitator Stunning Makeovers Limited, says that in the last 12 months the company has seen a 10% increase in clients travelling to Thailand for surgery and dental treatment.

‘Growth from Australasia has been driven by an increase in social media and mainstream media coverage.

‘Travel agents that are keen to venture into medical tourism should find a specialist operator like Stunning makeovers to work with,’ he says. ‘This will allow them to focus on their core business and leverage off increasing demand from their clients.’

He says medical tourists need a significant amount of care and attention. ‘It’s a big step travelling half way around the world to have surgery or dental treatment. Each case is different so a cookie cutter approach is not an option.’

McGowan says Stunning Makeovers has seen significant growth in non-invasive treatments for health and beauty. Uthera, a non-surgical laser facelift, and similar treatments are proving popular for patients who are not ready for a surgical facelift, he says.

‘Intravenous laser therapy for chronic ailments and difficult to treat cancers of the pancreas and lung is one of many advances in medical technology that is available overseas and unlikely to hit our shores soon.’

McGowan adds that Thailand remains the company’s primary destination. ‘However, Thailand’s neighbours are investing more in the sector to attract lucrative Westerners from Australasia and Europe.’