Health Tourism, in brief, is the travels made for treatment purposes. In other words, health tourism is the type of tourism which allows the health institutions to grow up by using their international patient potential together with the ones who are in need of physical therapy and rehabilitation. (Definition by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism)
It is to travel from one country to another crossing the borders overseas in order to benefit from health services. Also, the travel of the health service providers in order to offer health care services also fall within the scope of health tourism. (Definition by Wikipedia - encyclopaedia)
The visit made in order to develop the wellness status of the person travelling to spa or other health centres. In this scope, physical therapy, diet control and relevant health services are given (Definition by World Tourism Organisation)
The underlying need for Health Tourism
Due to the increase of world population, increase in the life quality, increase of health costs in various countries, some countries have emerged who make the treatment more quality and economical and caused the formation of health tourism sector. The increase of the age of the world and the population of elder people has also triggered the sector. Some the reasons are as follows;
Health tourism offers a secret Treatment
Patients, thanks to health tourism, can be treated under any secrecy level they wish. In this way, they stay away from unwanted questions and prejudices. For example, a partner who wants to have an in-vitro fertilisation but who doesn’t want to disclose this to their relatives may prefer this health tourism.
Thermal Tourism content
It is the type of tourism which consists of various types of methods such as thermo mineral water-bath, drinking, inhalation and mud bath; as well as cure (treatment) applications performed by mix of supportive treatments such as climatic cure, physical therapy, rehabilitation, exercise, physiotherapy and diet apart from use of thermal waters for entertainment and recreation purposes. In Turkey, the total investment capacity of the thermal resources under the scope of thermal health tourism corresponds to 1.365.000 beds. In this calculation made due to the flow rates and temperatures of thermal waters; Afyon is the city which has the most bed capacity in terms of thermal health tourism in Turkey with a bed capacity of 189.356. This city is followed by Aydın with 139.276 total bed capacities, Denizli with a total bed capacity of 129.287, İzmir with a total bed capacity of 101.067, Kütahya with a total bed capacity of 94.910 and Sivas with a total bed capacity of 90.504. These calculations are an explicit and clear demonstration that Turkey has a very considerable potential in terms of thermal health tourism. The availability of these resources in every party of the country (seaside, forestry, mountainous areas) allows the thermal health tourism to be integrated with other tourism types. It is possible to evaluate the thermal health tourism together with sea, third age, hunting, yachting, golf, mountain, winter, and congress tourisms. Despite the annual cure period in many European countries is around 120 days; in Turkey this period is around 300 days. The considerable long curing period is an important advantage in terms of thermal health tourism.
Yalova SPA, Sivas Balıklı göl, Denizli Pamukkale and apart from these; climatic properties such as number of total sunny days in a year in Turkey, average moisture, wind and temperature allows curing activities throughout the year in thermal zones. These factors ensure that the curing period in Turkey is 2.5 times longer than the one in Europe and constitutes a great advantage in terms of development of the thermal health tourism.
Afyon SPA hammam
Afyon mud treatment
Kütahya Yoncalı SPA plants
Thermal tourism (SPA, hotel, curing centre and cure clinics) in the entire world has started to experience the brightest periods. Since water is the oldest and natural treatment means, the interest in natural treatment methods, the composition of the thermal market by patients and healthy people between the ages of 25-75 cause the interest to the market to increase...