The "Health Tourism - Perspectives and Boundaries" international conference was held from 23rd to 24th of November at the Westin Hotel in Zagreb. It was organized by the Ministry of Health (the Institute for Health Services in Tourism), Ministry of Tourism and Croatian Chamber of Economy. The conference aimed to gather domestic and foreign experts, operatives, and consultants in medical and tourism fields, especially in the field of hotel industry and wellness, in order to find answers to crucial questions regarding the development of health tourism in Croatia.
Croatia is a country with great, but untapped potential and the participants emphasized the need to create new health infrastructure in Croatia for it to be perceived as a destination that is "safe when it comes to health" and put it on the European and world map of health tourism. - This is a special type of tourism which records a global growth at the rate between fifteen and twenty percent each year. The proximity of big markets, beautiful nature and pleasant climate, security in the country, long tradition of tourism (including health tourism), competitive pricing and an overall good reputation when it comes to health services give Croatia the advantage in developing this type of tourism, said Assistant Minister for Health, doc. dr. Miljenko Bura.
Analysing the value of health tourism from the aspect of healthcare, economy, demographic and tourism, the speakers tried to provide answers to crucial questions when it comes to health tourism development in Croatia. They particularly focused on the promptness in implementing the Action Plan for Health Tourism put forward a few months ago. Presentations and panel discussions were divided by subjects into three main units – spa tourism, medical tourism and medical wellness, enabling the visitors to exchange experiences with domestic speakers and foreign guests. Emin Çakmak, the Turkish Health Tourism Committee president was a special conference guest. He presented the results and models which made Turkey a member of the world elite in health tourism in the last decade.