The provision of tertiary healthcare facilities in the Middle East in case of emergencies will further boost traveller confidence, according to Colliers International.
The international real estate services company added that a rise in medical tourism is also set to drive market growth.
In its “Reviving Travel, Tourism and Hospitality” report, the organisation said that tour and hotel operators in major cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Cairo, can affiliate with local hospitals known to provide good quality of care.
For resorts outside main cities, similar to the coastal resorts in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, the UAE and most recently in Saudi Arabia, hotel operators may have to combine to provide the support facilities.
Colliers elaborated that this may take the form of shared capital cost to establish a suitable healthcare facility. It noted that, as with hotel branding, consideration could be given to healthcare brands that would enhance the attraction of the overall destination.
Once established, the facility would also serve the permanent catchment population, to improve profitability, alongside tourists and those owning holiday homes.
The report added that the total of 1.2 million wellness trips taken in Egypt over 2017, translated into $427m of receipts/expenditures.
Colliers highlighted the establishment of Public Private Partnership (PPP) healthcare facilities as another option. Such facilities are considered as a “public good”, and governments provide regulatory and financial incentives to attract private investors and operators.
“To make the tertiary care hospitals more profitable and hence attractive to investors and operators, other health and wellness “packages” could be offered as part of “tourism packages,” the reported noted.
It added, “These have the additional positive impact on tourism and hospitality sectors as wellness tourists can often extend the length of stay. Typical wellness packages would include beauty, cosmetic, weight loss, fitness/skills treatments, diet and nutrition treatments, rehabilitation treatment for trauma, accident and mental health, and other health driven wellness treatments.”
The report suggested some long-term offerings for travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. It noted that globally, regionally and domestically, there is an increase on demand for services focusing on rejuvenation and anti-aging, with bariatric surgery fast becoming the next front in the battle against obesity.
The demand for outpatient surgical centres has also increased regionally, due to an increase in the prevalence of lifestyle diseases. The fitness industry is also tapping in on this, by upgrading with fitness slimming getaway programmes in holiday locations.