New York - Morocco's southern city of Agadir hosted its first annual Africa Medical Tourism Expo on Friday.
New York – Morocco’s southern city of Agadir hosted its first annual Africa Medical Tourism Expo on Friday.
The aim of expo is to promote medical tourism, wellness centers and health-related private clinics.
Nearly 38 Million people travel annually solely for the purpose of improving their health and wellness. The ever-growing medical tourism industry is now worth 60 billion euros annually.
The majority of medical tourists are between 45 and 65 and come mainly from Western countries where the price of health care is too high and, where waiting lists for surgery, are often quite long.
“In this first expo, the National Centre for Scientific Research in France (CNRS) will present the results of a study on the evolution of medical tourism comparing three potential destinations, “says Khalil Daffar, exhibition commissioner.
Three major destinations have been targeted by the study: Mexico, which is popular with North American customers, Bali, largely popular with Australians and Morocco which is well known to Europeans traveling on holiday.
Part of Morocco’s Vision 2020 strategy to expand its tourism revenues is through the promotion of wellness and health tourism. Vision 2020 plan was presented to King Muhammad VI in November 2010 and has as its goal seeks to increase the number of tourists into the country and climb to be among the top 20 tourism destinations in the world.
To reach its Vision 2020 goals, Agadir, which is the capital of the Souss region, is working on expanding it medical services at the university hospital by adding 841 additional beds. This investment will cost 1.82 billion dirhams.
“Clinika Agadir” is in the building permit stage but will provide an estimated 112 medical service beds at an investment of about 152 million dirhams. Lastly, a clinic is planned for Founty with a capacity of 54 beds and an investment of 48.8 million dirhams.
Agadir has seen a drop in hotel stays during the first half of 2016 and hopes such events will spark greater interest in Morocco’s second most popular tourist destination. Marrakech remains by far Morocco’s main tourist destination.