People, Travel

UNIDO to Boost Health Tourism in Kermanshah

Iran’s annual health tourism revenue is said to be $500 million.
Iran’s annual health tourism revenue is said to be $500 million.

A health tourism development project is set to be piloted in Kermanshah Province in cooperation with the United Nation’s Industrial Development Organization.

The project is part of the partnership initiative between UNIDO and the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, known as “Takapu” (meaning “endeavor” in Persian), which is aimed at business development and job creation, ANA reported.

“Kermanshah has been selected as the pilot for its untapped potential and sharing a border with Iraq, a source country for medical tourists,” Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said.

“An incentive program (for investors) that involves branding procedures, quality improvement, commercialization and adjustment of insurance protocols is a reliable strategy to help the partnership implement plans,” he said in a meeting with Walter Klimscha, a health tourism consultant at UNIDO.

Movahed noted that to take effective steps toward attracting health tourists, rapport must be established between medical facilities and tour operators.

“Collaborations with international academic societies through UNIDO will help Iran achieve its health tourism targets,” he said.

Klimscha highlighted Kermanshah’s health tourism potentials and stressed the need to boost tourism ties with Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah to boost medical tourism.

He also pointed to the importance of “disclosing accurate prices and the types of facilities and services available in the region”.

“UNIDO uses the expertise of German and Austrian universities which will be of help” to Iran’s efforts to become a health tourism hub in the Mideast, said Klimscha.

Iran’s annual health tourism revenue is said to be $500 million, while the country’s ultimate goal is to earn about $25 billion a year through tourism by 2025, around $2.5 billion of which will come from medical tourism.

According to a report in 2016 by Big Market Research, the global medical tourism market is expected to reach $143 billion by 2022. It was reported in May that the number of tourists traveling to Iran for advanced medical services has grown by 40% in the past five years.

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