As the global travel industry places a particular emphasis on health well-being, the Philippines medical tourism industry finds itself in a position for significant growth in a post-pandemic era.
“The DOT right now is looking at health and wellness tourism as one of the niche products that the Philippines can really count on once we recover from this coronavirus disease,” Tourism Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III said during the virtual Philippine Health and Wellness Forum 2020.
Alabado further added that niche tourism doesn’t require significant capital in order to generate revenue given that most visitors, particularly foreigners, are willing to spend large amounts of money to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Although the recovery of the global tourism industry will take months, Alabado said the DOT is now building capacity programs for health and wellness tourism front-liners as well as stakeholders.
“We’re looking at developing new products which would be more on capacity building—we would like to have a Philippine Brand of Service for all front-liners,” he said.
Moreover, wellness establishments will have to adapt to the “new normal”, such as stringent disinfection and sanitation protocols along with compliance of physical distancing guidelines and efficiency of online appointments and consultation.
“For the Department of Tourism, we are looking at a good recovery, not this year, next year pa siguro magsisimula ang international markets natin na pumasok (the entry of our international markets might be some time next year),” he said.