Medical tourism is taking off all around the world, and while Vietnam also boasts potential in the endeavor it needs to adopt solutions to further develop the industry.
With a combination of resort tourism and healthcare and modern medical therapies, medical tourism will be one of six major trends in global tourism according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Though it is yet to be a bright spot on the global medical tourism map, Vietnam is an attractive destination in terms of general tourism, welcoming nearly 16 million international arrivals in 2018 and 18 million in 2019. After two years of hibernation due to the pandemic, Vietnam’s tourism sector is still ranked among the highest in the world in terms of international search volumes, and medical tourism in the country is also developing gradually.
Cost competitiveness is very much an advantage in Vietnam’s efforts to attract medical tourists. In the field of dentistry, for example, International Living magazine in Australia voted Vietnam one of the top three countries in Southeast Asia favored by Australian tourists, with a cost for dental treatment that is half of that in Australia. According to analysts, Vietnam’s medical tourism industry will have the opportunity to develop once qualified international therapeutic centers appear.
The medical tourism industry in the country is, however, very much developing on an ad-hoc basis, resulting in it falling short of potential so far. Its offerings mostly relate to traditional medicine, dentistry, and cosmetology, revealing a need for its medical tourism industry to diversify services.