Tourism

The arrival of medical tourists heralds a return to the days before Covid-19

For the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak, a large group of international travelers will visit Korea to enjoy Korean medical and wellness services.

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said that about 800 people from Mongolia and Kazakhstan will visit Korea for treatment and wellness through group tourism from Wednesday to September.

Tourists from Mongolia arrived at Jeju Airport on Wednesday for medical tourism in Korea. (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization)

On Wednesday morning, the first group of 150 Mongolians arrived at Jeju Airport, according to the CTO. Visitors will undergo a five-day medical examination at Jeju Jungan Hospital, We Hospital, Jeju Halla General Hospital and Hankuk General Hospital. They will also visit health tourism facilities.

Other Mongolian tourists will arrive in Jeju Island on five charter planes in July, August and September. Each plane will carry about 140 people.

In July, more than 100 travelers from Kazakhstan will arrive in Korea for medical examinations or consultations on dermatology, plastic surgery and orthopedic surgery.

“These people are those who have received treatment in Korea or have personally booked additional treatment, as well as those who are interested in Korean culture and have chosen to visit Korea because they trust Korean medical technology,” said an official from the KTO office in Ulaanbaatar.

Pak Yong-hwan, head of the KTO’s medical recovery team, said the latest visit by Mongols and Kazakhs would signal the recovery of medical and health tourism to pre-pandemic levels within two to three years.

The number of travelers visiting Korea for medical treatment remained at around 500,000 a year until 2019, but dropped sharply to 130,000 last year due to Covid-19, Park said.

“CTO will actively promote promotional marketing through online and offline exhibitions and briefings in key target markets to increase the number of medical tourists,” he said.

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