Connect with us

Thai Life

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world

The Thaiger

Published

 on

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

In the process of shrugging off its reputation for cheap back-alley plastic surgeries, Thailand is quickly catching up to South Korea as the world’s prime destination for cosmetic surgeries and treatments. Home to 64 JCI-accredited medical facilities – three times more than Singapore and 6 times more than Malaysia.

JCI is the industry standard in global healthcare, where facilities are benchmarked against US standards and practices. 

In an industry of massively over-inflated figures, it’s difficult to really gauge the size of the Global Medical Tourism market or even the Thai market. According to the TAT, a whopping 9% of Thailand’s 35 million annual visitors are ‘Medical Tourists’, but it’s believed this figure doesn’t account for tourists who happen to visit a medical facility during their stay and it doesn’t disregard multiple visits or expats.

A more honest assessment by the International Medical Travel Journal suggests the global market is worth around $13 billion, with Thailand being the joint third biggest beneficiary, taking $600 million in revenue each year.

The top 25 medical travel destinations by value:

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: International Medical Travel Journal

But what is Medical Tourism and why is Thailand so popular? A loose definition of a Medical Tourist would be someone who travels to another country with the primary purpose of undertaking some form of medical, cosmetic or dental procedure. Common procedure types, include plastic surgery, dental procedures, tertiary medical care and fertility procedures.

It’s estimated that Thailand receives 350,000 dedicated Medical Tourists each year, spending an average of $1,700 in hospitals and clinics across the country, with Bangkok seeing the majority of this money. South Korea still leads the way, but for how much longer?

Darren Lyons of MyMediTravel, a Singapore based Medical Tourism information and referrals platform (best comparison being the ‘Booking.com’ of global Medical Tourism), states that half of their requests are for cosmetic procedures in Thailand. Darren explains:

“We work with hospitals and clinics in 43 countries across the world and yet 48% of all enquiries are for Thai facilities, with the vast majority of these being cosmetic procedures. Breast Augmentation procedures in Thailand are by far the most common, but other more ‘modern’ procedures are on the rise, for example CoolSculpting, the Brazilian Butt Lift and the Labiaplasty.”

We asked Darren why he thinks Thailand is such a popular choice for Medical Tourists:

“Reputation. Thailand invested so heavily over the last 20 years, it’s now reaping the benefits of having 60-plus gold standard facilities and hundreds of smaller but well-established clinics. And a huge amount of the surgeons are internationally trained with many years of experience.

“Gone are the days of everyone sniggering at Thailand for its botched plastic surgeries. Of course, there’ll always be ill-informed people who still say this, but with so much information and first-hand accounts and reviews available online, such ignorance is being disregarded now. 

“And cost is an important factor. Outside of the major hospitals, Thailand is so competitive, not just in the region, but globally.

“Other more affordable hospitals are quickly gaining ground, for example Sikarin Hospital and Bangpakok9 International Hospital. Smaller, more niche clinics like KTOP Clinic are gaining a reputation for the ‘Korean Style’ facial plastic surgeries, attracting patients who’d previously only ever considered South Korea as a viable destination.

“Finally, no waiting times. Prospective patients will say ‘I want my procedure done on this day’, and nine times out of ten, that’s when it’s booked in for. Failing that, it’ll be the following day.”

Darren went on to explain how emerging nations like Thailand were able to undercut hospitals in Western / developed countries, and it comes down to simple economics. Where the cost to build, run and maintain a multi-disciplinary hospital and pay the staff is much lower, and this huge saving is passed onto the consumer.

Price comparison of some popular procedures:

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world | News by The Thaiger

STORY: Articles.MyMediTravel.com  

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.



Are you considering a medical procedure abroad? With Thaiger Medical you can research hospitals and doctors, choose a destination in Thailand or abroad, and book an appointment today.

Looking to jettison some items before jetsetting away or chartering a yacht? Look no further than Thaiger Classifieds where you can find and post items, work, property and more for free. Be sure to check out YonderTours for things to do in Thailand and tours across the country.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bangkok

Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020

The Thaiger

Published

on

Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020 | The Thaiger

A supply influx of new office space is on the way while the overall retail industry faces low consumer confidence. But, in 2019, the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand has started recovering, says CBRE, an international property consultant.

Bangkok Office Market

The office market in Bangkok continues to perform strongly for this, but CBRE identifies challenges that are heading our way in the near future from the large amount of new supply. As of Q3 2019, over 125,000 square metres of new office space has been completed so far with another 70,000 square metres expected to come on line by the end of the year. But CBRE maintain that the increase in supply is still in line with a steady new take-up of 200,000 square metres per year.

But, they warn, a million square metres of office space is now under construction and scheduled to be completed over the next three years with majority of the new developments located along the mass transit lines. Co-working spaces have played a major role in becoming key source of office demand in the recent years.

Rents have continued to increase this year at the rate of 3-5% year on year since majority of the office buildings with high rental rates have been occupied. CBRE expects rents to continue to increase in the near future but at a slower pace.

Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020 | News by The Thaiger

Bangkok Retail Market

Across the board, the Thai retail industry has remained stagnant this year as Thailand faces a period of low sentiment and a decrease in spending power. CBRE says this is due to the increase in household debt. The Consumer Confidence Index hit its lowest point in 39 months, dropping by 10% year on year. In addition, the household debt was reported to have broken a new record since 2017 at nearly 79% of total GDP.

In the second half of 2019, the government has launched new policies and campaigns to stimulate domestic spending including welfare cards, interest rate cut, and the “Chim-Shop-Chai” (Eat-Shop-Spend) scheme where the government gives away e-money and tax breaks for domestic travellers.

Bangkok’s total retail supply, as of Q3 2019, was 7.8 million square metres, increasing by 4.39% year on year. Notable projects completed in this year include The Market Bangkok, Donki Mall, Samyan Mitrtown and Bangkok’s first outlet mall, Central Village.

CBRE says that not only have offline retailers moved towards omni-channel retailing, many new online retailers have also been expanding into offline outlets in physical retail space as showrooms and ‘click & collect’ points.

“In order to survive in a market with a large number of future retail supply in the pipeline, retail developers will need to embrace the fast-moving technology and create new unique selling points for their retail centres.”

Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020 | News by The Thaiger

Bangkok Hotel Market

Thai tourism has shown that it is as strong and as resilient as ever. International tourist arrivals for the first nine months of 2019 have increased by 4.3% year on year, reaching 32.5 million. In Q3, the number of Chinese tourists, Thailand’s biggest market feeder, has started to recover with a 17.3% year on year increase, rebounding from its drop last year.

Indian tourists have also shown promising increase, growing by 26.7% year on year. CBRE attributes much of the Indian success to the Visa-on-Arrival campaign and the addition of direct flights by low-cost carriers.

The average occupancy rate of downtown Bangkok hotels for the first nine months of the year, according to STR, was 77.8%, down by 2% when compared to last year.

But CBRE forecast that the Thai baht’s appreciation will continue to be a key challenge to the tourism industry.

To search for the largest selection of properties around Thailand go to FazWaz.com

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Opinion

Top 10 predictions for Thailand 2020

The Thaiger

Published

on

Top 10 predictions for Thailand 2020 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 'Nostrildamus' is a famous fortune teller, well that's what he told us

So what is in store for the Land of Smiles over the next 12 months? Will the tourists stay away? Will some big projects go ahead? Will the baht continue to soar? Will Thais take to the streets once again? We come up with our top ten predictions for the year ahead and invite your thoughts as well…

There will be more political unrest

Last year’s March election did little to change the political landscape in Thailand. Following an ‘election’, followed by weeks of horse-trading and number-counting, a government emerged. Surprise, surprise, the same PM with most of the same faces in the leading roles. Add to this the ‘selected’ 250 Senate members, all hand-picked by the former NCPO ruling junta that had seized power in May 2014 in a bloodless coup against the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government.

As they say in Thailand… same, same but different. The political sleight of hand was enough to convince foreign government naysayers of the earlier coup to now legitimise the new flourishing of democracy in Thailand. Even the current Thai prime minister, affectionally known as “Uncle Tu”, would gladly agree that the situation that exists now is a ‘Thai-style’ quasi-democracy that the (mostly) men in power claim is vital for the Kingdom’s stability.

But even with a quasi democracy you can have dissenting voices and they will be heard more often and louder in 2020. This time the voices aren’t rebellious street protests led by lone voices. In 2020 one of Thailand’s most well organised and funded businessmen will lead the charge.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit missed becoming Prime Minister by mere votes when the lower house sat down and voted for the top job. Thanathorn’s base is Thailand’s younger voters, but also the many who were sick of the decades of Shinawatra vs Establishment vote-coup-vote cycles. Thanathorn is only 42 years old and in no rush. 2020 will see his Future Forward Party (which faces being disbanded by the Constitutional Court this month), or newer incarnations of the same thing, become a stirring voice of change in Thailand.

We certainly don’t think there will be a coup in 2020 but there will be growing pressures on the new Government to perform. They start the year with their hands on the levers of a troubled economy. In fairness, most of the problems are not of their own doing. But the voters will wonder why their pockets aren’t as full as before and the sitting Government will get the blame.

The Phuket Light Rail project will be scrapped

The 48 billion Phuket Light Rail/Tram/Train project has been pushed along by a few stoic public servants in Bangkok. Hatched during the time of the NCPO, the ambitious 60 kilometre tram service is still being mulled by the new government. It was certainly never requested or demanded by Phuket locals, and going by the planned route, it appears the instigators have never even been to Phuket.

The service would start at the airport (originally the plans were going to start the tram in Phang Nga), make its way out to Thepkasattri Road (the main north-south route), then follow all the way down to Phuket Town, and then along Chao Fah East road to Chalong circle – just about all the places tourists don’t go. The planned route doesn’t go anywhere near the busy west coast towns of Kata, Karon, Surin, Bang Tao, Kamala or Patong. Even worse, the tram would take up valuable space in the middle of the island’s busiest road which needs more lanes, not fewer. Locals can’t even start to imagine the three or four years of construction pain along the busy route.

Currently the project has been ‘postponed’ pending some “further reviews”. We believe this is code for “we’ve actually visited Phuket and realise just about everything about the planned Light Rail is wrong”. Standby for an announcement this year that the Phuket Light Rail project has been “shelved”.

Thai Airways will be sliced up and sold

If you or I ran a business that produced massive amounts of losses, year on year, we’d now be driving taxis in Pattaya. No one would let us near the cash register ever again. Yet, the country’s legacy airline Thai Airways has been dong precisely that. Haemorrhaging money with nary a change to a dated business model or ageing fleet. In 2019 Thai Airways lost 11 billion baht and the government funders must be wondering how long they can keep propping up this flying dinosaur.

The government will finally bite the bullet and say enough is enough. There will be demands to cut costs in all sectors of government spending and the bottomless-pit of bail-outs for the national airline will have to stop.

Whatever process occurs to get rid of the noose around the Thai government’s neck, that process will start this year. We predict that their budget offshoot, Thai Smile, will be abandoned and merged with the main brand and a process of privatisation will begin.

Thailand will have another record year of tourist arrivals

A tsunami couldn’t stop it, several coups have come and gone, the world economy is in decline but Thailand’s tourist numbers keep rising. It’s the Teflon Tourism Syndrome. Without any other figures to back up their wailing from the back rows, the naysayers say they simply don’t believe the three decades of growth – that the numbers are cobbled together by public servants protecting their jobs in Bangkok.

The facts are quite clear – by auditing flight numbers, aircraft landing slots, growth in tours, numbers of tour boats, numbers of hotels, customer counts at shopping centres, numbers of new taxis plus the addition of ride-sharing in recent years – tourists continue to arrive in Thailand.

The demographics have changed, along with the spending patterns, surprising many with the quick evolution from an exotic-oddity-attracting-Western-tourists-seeking-‘something new’, to a more stable tourist economy feeding off the growing middle classes within a five hour flight of the Kingdom.

The baht will start dropping in value and the Thai economy will stabilise

The Thai economy has certainly slowed in recent years. But the threat of descending into recession this year is small. Whilst GDP growth predictions are only around 2-3% for 2020, a few key pressures should ease this year. With such a high reliance on the tourism business the government will be keen to maintain high traffic and earnings from all aspects of tourism around the Kingdom in 2020.

Pressures that emerged in 2019 – the surging Thai baht, US-China trade wars, a waning world economy, a plateau of tourism arrival numbers – are also expected to dissipate this year.

There are now concerted efforts to try and stop the baht rising any higher in value against key currencies (although the government has limited tools to control this), the US-China trade spat will be resolved (because stability will be needed by the Trump camp with the US Presidential vote coming up in November), and there is no obvious barrier to increased tourist traffic this year as the Chinese are predicted to return in numbers and emerging tourism feeder markets are opening up with new flights.

The US-China trade war will be resolved

With a US Presidential election coming up at the end of this year the US-China trade dispute WILL be resolved. The resolution will be used as an example of President Trump’s abilities as a negotiator (despite his complete absence in any of the negotiations), and his suitability for re-election. Such is politics.

Thailand has suffered little during the knee-jerk reactions of international companies as they scampered to re-align their businesses with the sanctions that were imposed on China. In fact a few US companies have moved their manufacturing from China to Thailand (and Vietnam). Still, Thailand was a supplier for components on many products that were being built in China for export to the US, so there has been fallout.

Thailand has courted both China and the US, and visa versa, during the ongoing trade negotiations with a few major procurements from both nations. Thailand is clearly keeping its options open. The US fears the south east nation with the second largest economy was starting to tilt towards China. With an economy expected to become the world’s largest during this decade, and it’s growing outbound tourism, Thailand is being smart hooking up to the Chinese economic train.

Christmas will continue to be a ‘thing’

Over recent years we’ve noted the rise of Christmas as a celebration, not only increasingly being enjoyed by Thais, but truly embraced. The lights, the decorations, the presents, the spending – what’s not to like?! And of course the jolly old farang in the red suit. It’s certainly becoming a ‘thing’ with the Thais and we predict it will continue to gather popularity in Thai culture.

Thais have been known to celebrate just about anything and everything and we predict that Christmas will become more and more popular with the locals, even if they have no idea why the west celebrate December 25.

Gambling and casinos will be legalised this year

The rise of gambling locations on Thailand’s backdoor will surely pressure the Thai government to open up a few legalised casinos in selected locations. Pattaya and Phuket are two obvious locations although we predict that there will never be one located in Bangkok. Gambling, whilst officially illegal in Thailand, is a popular pastime.

Meanwhile, in next-door Cambodia, the seaside resort town of Sihanoukville, facing the Gulf of Thailand, has been transformed into a mini-Macau with legalised gambling turning the quaint, disheveled Cambodianseaside resort into a major attraction for Chinese gamblers. It’s not pretty but the Thai government won’t want to lose out on extracting money out of Chinese gamblers’ pockets.

Fighting and interceptions will intensify along the northern border

The Golden Triangle was a term coined back in the 1970s for the growing heroin trade in the region where the Thai, Burmese and Chinese borders intersect. The term is now been used again describing exactly the same location. But the poppy fields have been replaced with meth labs churning out vast quantities of methamphetamine – pills and crystal form – for external markets.

This year the growth has been huge and the meth factories, makeshift tarp-covered labs, are becoming portable whilst hiding under the massive jungle canopies of north-western Myanmar.

The huge drug business ins’t a ‘business’ until the drugs can be trafficked south, into Thailand, and then beyond. There is now growing pressure for the Thai government to massively ramp up its surveillance and arrests. But the government has its hand out for subsidies for the surveillance operations. The Australian and US drug agencies have already identified the region as a major international drug feeder and will be furnishing the Thai government with plenty of inducements to increase the size and scope of interceptions.

Number 10?

You tell us. Go to our Facebook page and provide your predictions for 2020 on the post at the top of the page. Trends, events, people. Tell us what you think will happen around the Land of Smiles during 2020.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Business

Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach

Bill Barnett

Published

on

Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Northern end of Layan Beach - True-beachfront

by Bill Barnett – c9hotelworks.com

Two new condo developments are going ahead in the Layan Beach area of Phuket’s up-market west-coast beach strip. And there’s another one underway next to the Dream Beach Club at the northern end of the Layan beach strip. All in all, another 1,200+ keys added to the available rooms along the Bang Tao/Layan Beach area.

On the northern side of Bangtao Beach, next to Maan Tawan and nearby Banyan Tree Phuket is the upcoming Sunshine Beach development. With a plan for 771 hotel and residences units on 12.6 rai, the high-density project is targeting Mainland Chinese buyers with pricing points reportedly starting from 4 million baht. Construction is expected to start in June of this year and complete in 2022.

From our discussion with sales staff the developer has claimed they have reached an agreement with the government for beach fronting facilities in the National Park strip in front of the project.

While in Layan next to Lotus Gardens is the upcoming 400 unit Layan Green Park. Pricing points run from 2.5 million baht. Unit configurations will range from studio, to one, two and three bedrooms. Guaranteed returns of 10% for a period of 10 years are being promoted.

Phuket’s Layan area is seeing a surge in new real estate led projects and rising land values. At the same time as these two projects are underway, next to the Dream Beach is an oceanfront luxury project promoting sales of Grand Beach Villa and Ocean View Suites tagged as ‘N5’. The developer of the project is VIP Thailand who have another project in Rawai.

Based on our research the primary source market tragets of these three projects are mainland Chinese and Russian buyers. Local concerns in the Cherngtalay area over mounting traffic, water shortages and strain on municipal infrastructure are becoming issues.

Traffic in and around the central Cherngtalay shopping district is becoming increasingly clogged with little hope for respite other than improved traffic management.

SOURCE: C9Hotelworks.com

Three massive condo developments along Phuket's up-market Layan Beach | News by The Thaiger

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading
สบาย สบาย ! คลิปไฮไลท์: เมย์ รัชนก ชนะ Michelle LI 2-0 เกม Indonesia Masters 2020 (QF) | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน21 hours ago

สบาย สบาย ! คลิปไฮไลท์: เมย์ รัชนก ชนะ Michelle LI 2-0 เกม Indonesia Masters 2020 (QF)

ทำไมผู้ชายถึงทิ้งคุณไป หรืออาจจเป็นเพราะ 5เหตุผลนี้ | The Thaiger
คลิป4 days ago

ทำไมผู้ชายถึงทิ้งคุณไป หรืออาจจเป็นเพราะ 5เหตุผลนี้

ไล่บัลเบร์เด้! ไฮไลท์ มาดริด 0-0 (4-1) แอตมาดริด – “ราชัน” สังหาร “หมี” ดวลเป้า | The Thaiger
สื่อไทย5 days ago

ไล่บัลเบร์เด้! ไฮไลท์ มาดริด 0-0 (4-1) แอตมาดริด – “ราชัน” สังหาร “หมี” ดวลเป้า

ฮาวทูแพ้ ! ไฮไลท์ สเปอร์ส 0-1 ลิเวอร์พูล, ฟิโน่ ซัดโทน-ทิ้งเลสเตอร์อีก 16 แต้ม | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล6 days ago

ฮาวทูแพ้ ! ไฮไลท์ สเปอร์ส 0-1 ลิเวอร์พูล, ฟิโน่ ซัดโทน-ทิ้งเลสเตอร์อีก 16 แต้ม

VAR คอนเฟิร์ม ! คลิป: หงส์แดง ได้ประตูออกนำ สเปอร์ส 1-0 จาก ฟิร์มิโน่ | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล7 days ago

VAR คอนเฟิร์ม ! คลิป: หงส์แดง ได้ประตูออกนำ สเปอร์ส 1-0 จาก ฟิร์มิโน่

แก๊ง 3M ช่วยกันยิง ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 4-0 นอริช, ผีแดง ทะยานขึ้นที่ 5 | The Thaiger
พรีเมียร์ลีก7 days ago

แก๊ง 3M ช่วยกันยิง ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 4-0 นอริช, ผีแดง ทะยานขึ้นที่ 5

15.30 น. ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลเกาหลีใต้-ไต้หวัน รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

15.30 น. ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลเกาหลีใต้-ไต้หวัน รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย-คาซัค รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย-คาซัค รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก

หนุ่มเล่าวินาทีโจรปล้นร้านทองลพบุรี ยิงทุกคนที่เดินผ่าน! | The Thaiger
อาชญากรรม1 week ago

หนุ่มเล่าวินาทีโจรปล้นร้านทองลพบุรี ยิงทุกคนที่เดินผ่าน!

ไทยร่วงหมดแล้ว ! ไฮไลท์ เมย์ รัชนก พ่าย WANG Zhi Yi แบบสุดมันส์ 1-2 เกมใน Malaysia Masters 2020 | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน1 week ago

ไทยร่วงหมดแล้ว ! ไฮไลท์ เมย์ รัชนก พ่าย WANG Zhi Yi แบบสุดมันส์ 1-2 เกมใน Malaysia Masters 2020

ซีเกมส์คืออะไร! ไฮไลท์ ทีมชาติไทย 5-0 บาห์เรน : ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย U23 | The Thaiger
ทีมชาติไทย1 week ago

ซีเกมส์คืออะไร! ไฮไลท์ ทีมชาติไทย 5-0 บาห์เรน : ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย U23

ครึ่งแรกเละ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 1-3 แมนซิตี้ : คาราบาวคัพ นัดแรก – แรช ตีไข่แตก | The Thaiger
คาราบาวคัพ2 weeks ago

ครึ่งแรกเละ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 1-3 แมนซิตี้ : คาราบาวคัพ นัดแรก – แรช ตีไข่แตก

ชนะแค่คู่เดียว จากทั้งหมด ! ไฮไลท์ แบดมินตัน Malaysia Masters 2020 (7 ม.ค.) | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน2 weeks ago

ชนะแค่คู่เดียว จากทั้งหมด ! ไฮไลท์ แบดมินตัน Malaysia Masters 2020 (7 ม.ค.)

7 ม.ค. ถ่ายทอสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ไต้หวัน คัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

7 ม.ค. ถ่ายทอสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ไต้หวัน คัดโอลิมปิก

ไปดูแบบเต็ม ๆ ! คลิป: มินามิโนะ VS เอฟเวอร์ตัน – คล็อปป์ บอกฟอร์มใช้ได้ | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล2 weeks ago

ไปดูแบบเต็ม ๆ ! คลิป: มินามิโนะ VS เอฟเวอร์ตัน – คล็อปป์ บอกฟอร์มใช้ได้

Trending