Cyprus: words but no action for medical tourism

Cyprus leaders understand the need to promote medical tourism but the government has made no concrete plans to help.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios, has recently talked about two government schemes that seek to bolster Cyprus’ tourism sector, particularly focusing on medical tourism.

In his statement, he said:

“We are talking about a qualitative improvement of the services provided by existing units with clear objectives, such as their digital transition, their energy transition and the upgrading or addition of health, wellness and assisted living services. It is an admission that as Cyprus we have not developed sufficiently in health and wellness tourism, which are an important part of special forms of tourism – so, all of this will help the hotel industry to attract a high-income segment of the market that remains extremely underutilised.”

Many governments around the world have targeted medical tourism as a sector to develop as it helps them diversify their tourism industry while also being able to attract visitors year-round, boosting long-term sustainability.

But medical tourism is influenced by a number of factors, all of which Cyprus must take into account when investing in the segment in order to boost its appeal. These factors include affordability, specialised, high-quality healthcare, ease of access and immediacy of service, privacy and anonymity, as well as satisfactory communication and ease of arranging a procedure.

Cyprus politicians have for years talked about promoting medical tourism, but have yet to actually promote or provide funding to support the sector.