Healthy tourism: Visit Jordan's sites and get a medical!
Tourists planning to visit Jordan will soon be able to take advantage of a two-in-one package through which they can visit tourist sites and conduct medical checkups.
Private Hospitals Association (PHA) Executive Director Abdullah Hindawi said the PHA is working on a plan, in cooperation with the Jordan Hotels Association (JHA), to offer new sightseeing and medical tourism packages.
"A tourist can come to Jordan, enjoy his time, and at the same time undergo a medical checkup at one of the hospitals affiliated with the association," Hindawi told The Jordan Times yesterday. He explained that the packages will initially be promoted in the Gulf countries, where the majority of Jordan's summer tourists originate. Yasar Majali, general manager of the JHA, said the Jordan Tourism Board will be involved in promoting these package deals.
Jordan ranked first in the region and fifth globally as a medical tourism destination, according to a 2009/2010 World Bank report. The medical tourism sector generates over $1 billion in revenues annually.
Due to regional turmoil, the number of patients who came for treatment in 2011 dropped by nearly 20 per cent to 180,000, compared to around 220,000 the previous year.
Tourism officials have acknowledged that the sector has taken a beating in light of recent upheavals in neighbouring countries, but are optimistic that tourism is rebounding and have been devising new strategies to boost the sector, with a focus on religious and medical tourism in particular.