Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Bui Thi Ngoc Hieu, deputy director of the municipal Department of Tourism, announced that the department will collaborate with the Department of Health, healthcare facilities, and travel firms to introduce medical tourism products that cater to the needs of both domestic and international visitors.

To better serve international tourists, the tourism department has revised the city’s 2018 Medical Tourism Guidebook, adding more foreign languages to provide more detailed information and facilitate tours that allow tourists to experience local life.

This month, the department plans to promote medical tourism products to attract more tourists from the Cambodian market and learn from Thailand’s successful medical tourism model.

In addition, the municipal tourism authority will showcase medical tourism services at the upcoming 17th Ho Chi Minh City International Travel Expo (ITE HCMC 2023), which will take place from September 7 to 9 in District 7.

According to the tourism official, the city launched medical tourism in 2017 but the COVID-19 pandemic halted its growth. The year 2023 is considered the best time to revive the city’s medical tourism sector, focusing on general health check-ups, intensive health check-ups, traditional medicine, and cosmetic dental services.

The city’s medical tourism services primarily target visitors from ASEAN nations. However, the city also aims to attract visitors from Northeast Asia and Europe by offering infertility treatment services.

Data from the tourism department revealed that during the 2018-19 period, Vietnam welcomed approximately 57,000 tourist arrivals for inpatient treatment, with Ho Chi Minh City accounting for around 40 percent. This is due to the city’s competitive advantage in combining relaxation tourism with medical tourism, allowing visitors to use healthcare services at reputable hospitals while also enjoying premium shopping, dining, and relaxation experiences.

Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health, emphasized that the development of medical tourism is a solution to improve and modernize health check-ups and treatment services in the city.