Health Toursim Refugees! International Medical Tourism on the Rise!

28 04 2009

I typically refrain from press release listing and over all press in lieu of informative opinions and industry news. However I’m making an exception as this is relevant to current growth. Enjoy!

images-costa-beach-2Salt Lake City/San Jose, Costa Rica April 2009 – U.S. economics may drive more Americans to pursue healthcare overseas. But the truth is, health tourism refugees have been crossing boarders for both, compulsatory and complimentary medical therapies for years. The ‘little Switzerland’ of Central America, lush and topical, Costa Rica (CR) is leading the charge. The Costa Rican National Competitiveness Council, Minister of Tourism and Minister of Health are working with U.S. partners to put them at the top of the international medical tourism and spa standards list. 

Hotel spas are still resilient, some reporting a 46% growth from the previous year, and investments are increasing for the health tourism sector. Timing is right to launch an official prologue of international spa standards with a new Costa Rican Spa Association, linked with a U.S. partner.  Governmental efforts and international partners will increase medical tourism and the overall GDP. Always a leader in conservation, growth and diplomacy, Costa Rica is a small country with big plans.

Lotus Effects Spa Advisory is in discussions with Competitiveness Council members and the U.S. Day Spa Association (DSA) to head up a beneficial partnership for Costa Rica, and Latin America.  “2009 will be a year for trailblazing in this sector” says Lotus Effects founder, Liz Galloway. “The generosity and fortitude of people we are working with such as, the Day Spa Association founder, Costa Rican competitiveness minister, and local spa advocates, creates a common goal for international spa standard success.”

Areas reviewed will be policies and regulation, safety and hygiene, environmental sustainability and the prioritization of tourism in the sector. “No doubt, the attraction of combining vacation time, with recovery time, is well received by the health ‘refugee’.  The holistic and alternative therapies combined with health tourism and mixed use facilities is also highly attractive to foreign travelers. A fraction of the medical cost for great care, doesn’t hurt either.” States Galloway.

Costa Rica ranks 4th  in the top 10 Americas for attractiveness in the travel and tourism sector, according to the travel and tourism competitiveness report. The Costa Rican council’s immediate goals are to open up opportunity, job generation, and investment, along with the chance for medical tourism. “at least 0.5% of Americans without medical insurance to travel to (CR) to get treatment…. which would mean at least 230,000 patients.’’ Quoted by Jorge Woodbridge Gonzalez, Council of Competitiveness.

Discussions are to aid governmental goals in the spa sector and to work with CR to become the leader in Central American Spa Standards. These US and CR partners will create systems that have comparable standards to the U.S. spas and other international leaders in high standards. Become part of the discussion. 

Lotus Effects Spa Advisory is an advocate for the national and international standards of Costa Rica. Founder Liz Galloway works within Costa Rica on spa and wellness projects, along with working with the government, spas, investors, and spa associations to create standards. Lotus Effects is based in Barcelona, Spain, with representation in the US  and Costa Rica. This is an internationally recognized spa advisory and consultancy focused on partnering creatively to increase, pace, sophistication and profit for spas, resorts and leisure communities.

More references on this;


Medical Tourism Association

Day Spa Association

International Medical Spa Association

Medicaview International

Lotus Effects


Joint Commission International




2 responses

14 05 2009

Simply superb…. about spa conquering in business

28 10 2009

Great article. Its nice to know Spa is also generating a lot of revenue. This in return will improve medical tourism.

Thanks for the information.

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