With raising living standards, populations have increasingly aged in a myriad of developed and developing countries, notably China, the US, Japan, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, and the UK. While this fact may present a challenge for certain economists and public policy professionals, it may also be a boon for Thailand. The Thai government is actively promoting the country as a prominent and sustainable destination for international retirees and elderly care. With regards to the latter, Thailand has promoted itself as a premier location for medical tourism.
This article discusses the strengths in the medical, healthcare, biotechnology, and hospitality/tourism industries in Thailand, which will drive the country towards high-value and sustainable tourism. Additionally, this article highlights novel regulations relevant to these industries and advice on how to get a Thai visa as a medical tourist.
Strengths in Hospitality, Healthcare, Biotechnology, and Tourism
Medical/healthcare, biotechnology, and hospitality/tourism are vibrant industries in Thailand. Some operators engage in a combination of the aforementioned activities, such as medical and wellness tourism.
There are a number of strengths in the medical/healthcare, biotechnology, and hospitality/tourism industries, which Thailand is internationally well-known for. This can be perceived through diverse and topical media, government reports, and peer-reviewed academic literature.
The medical/healthcare industry in Thailand is advanced and competitively priced, particularly in comparison with advanced economies. There is a growing international demand for affordable and accessible medical services, particularly in countries famous for their hospitality like Thailand. The Kingdom hosts one of Southeast Asia’s largest private hospital and the Thai medical industry has benefited from structural reforms of the healthcare system. On average, wait times in Thai hospitals and clinics are substantially shorter than in most economies and the quality of the services offered is very high.
The Thai biotechnology industry has remained internationally competitive over the past 30 years, hosting an innovative ecosystem of biotech institutions, including the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), which plays a pivotal role in coordinating academia and industry. Thailand has made hefty investments in tech labs and pharmaceutical companies, and the biotechnology industry is focused on diverse projects, such as plant biotechnology, animal biotechnology, and medical biotechnology.
The Thai hospitality/tourism industry has a strong and resilient brand, and Thailand is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With its charming culture, beautiful coastline, and fascinating biodiversity, it is unsurprising that eco-tourism has thrived in Thailand over the years. Amongst its many tourist attractions, the Kingdom offers the opportunity to engage in village homestay, agrotourism, nature study, and bird watching.
Amid the chaos that has followed the pandemic and global lockdowns, there have been several novel regulations to revitalize the tourism sector. In September 2020, the Thai Government permitted foreign medical tourists to come to Thailand for medical treatment, provided they complied with rigorous disease control measures. Medical tourists were also required to arrive by air to ensure effective disease control and not by land border checkpoints, to have an appointment letter from a doctor in Thailand, have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and undergo quarantine. The Medical Treatment visa does not allow patients seeking treatment for COVID-19 to enter into Thailand.
To request more information on immigration, medical treatment visa, retirement and long stay in Thailand, please address your request to Mahanakorn Partners Group at email@example.com.