Visitors from the US, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Singapore and Italy are among a growing number of foreigners who came into the country for medical treatment during 2015.
Figures from the Tourism Commission of Health and Welfare at the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (AGEXPORT) indicate that the number of people who visited Guatemala in 2015 for various medical and dental treatments grew by 18% compared to the previous year.
Forecasts are that by the end of 2015, 24.500 foreigners will have entered the country in order to receive medical treatment, generating revenues of $25 million annually.
According to the union one of the reasons which explains the anticipated results this year is the increase in the number of medical centers that have been accredited as providers of medical tourism. Elsalvador.com reports that "... 30 companies (have been certified) as providers of medical tourism, 11 have been certified for quality by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAsf) and 19 for the Certified Medical Tourism Professional (CMTP) from 2013 to date. "
In 2014 the industry generated revenues of $21.2 million, 8.5% more than in 2013.
In 2014 19,000 tourists, mostly from the United States, visited the country to have a procedure or undergo treatment, whose average prices are up to four times lower than in the United States.
Tourism Minister Jose Napoleon Duarte, told Elsalvador.com that "... When medical tourism began to emerge, tourists came for dental care, but today they are also looking for specialized surgeries, treatments for cancer and heart ailments, which are gaining importance worldwide. Aesthetic plastic surgery is also experiencing a big boost. "
Agroganadera Pinilla SA has announced the sale of La Posada, in Hacienda Pinilla, Guanacaste, to the company Rythmia Holdings Company SRL, which will convert the facility into a center for medical treatment.
From a statement issued by Agroganadera Pinilla, SA:
In the first six months of the year the income generated from this activity grew by 26.6% compared to the same period in 2013.
"... In the first half of 2014 10,338 people came into the country for medical treatment, generating $12,145,969 million in foreign exchange ... This represents an increase of 19.6% and 26.6% respectively when compared with the same period in 2013, when the amount of people who came was 8646 and revenue was $9,595,313."
The Municipality of Nicoya in Guanacaste province plans to build a medical center with participation of private investors from the United States and Canada.
Leveraging the status of "blue zone" Nicoya has earned, a term given to areas with the highest longevity rates in the world, the City is preparing a project for 2015 and looking for private investors to participate in it.
Part of the new office tower being built in the Vivian Pellas hospital at a cost of $18 million will be used for the care of foreign patients.
With patients coming from the United States and Europe, most of whom require services related to stem cells, orthopedics and bariatric surgery, average spending by tourists in the medical sector ranges from between $1,000 $2,000 daily. The dynamic medical tourism market in Central America is being influenced by the recent approval in the U.S. of the "Obama Care" health insurance system which is motivating migration of consumers to foreign health care centers that offer lower costs and sometimes less than the deductible that would be paid in the US.
The U.S. company American World Clinics reported that the project to be undertaken in Costa Rica includes a hospital, hotel and residences for retirees.
In partnership with a chain and a real estate developer in Costa Rica, the group American World Clinics (AWC) has announced that a resort will be developed in an area near the international airport and foresees that it will attract 10,000 foreign patients each year.
On March 29th and 30th tourism companies from 10 countries will be taking part in business meetings with local companies.
Tourism businesses from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, the USA, Guatemala, Panama and Venezuela will gather together on 29th and 30th of March in Nicaragua, where the Central American nation's second summer tourismfair will be held.
In the Summer Fair to be held on the 28th and 29th of March tourism companies from Latin America and the U.S. will see the country's tourism supply.
On the 28th and 29th March the second edition of the Summer Fair will be held in Nicaragua, in which tourism businesses from Latin America and the United States will get to see the tourism services on offer in the country, confirmed the National Chamber of Tourism (CANTUR).
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