According to a recent claim by the Arab Tourism Organisation (ATO), Arabs are responsible for around 30% of the value of all medical tourism across the world each year.
The ATO is a part of The Arab Ministerial Council on Tourism (AMCT) which is responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and Arabian accessible tourism.
It aims to promote tourism as a main source of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability in Arab countries, and offers leadership and support to the sector. It also provides technical assistance projects in over 22 Arab countries.
ATO has partnered with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to enhance corporate cooperation, and develop partnerships between the public and private sectors in projects that contribute to the sustainable development of the tourism sector in Arab countries.
The ATO claims that US$100 billion was spent on medical tourism worldwide per annum. No research basis was given to support this claim. IMTJ estimates that the global market for medical travel in 2018 was US$10-15 billion.
ATO also claims that the medical tourism market is expected to reach more than US$200 billion over the next 10 years.
ATO cites examples of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia that have long-term plans to lay the foundations for medical and recovery tourism.