Indonesia guns for health tourism

INDONESIA’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and Ministry of Public Works have signed an agreement for cooperation in developing the country’s health tourism sector.

Under the agreement, both ministries will work hand-in-hand with hospitals, spas and health-related associations to form the Indonesia Wellness and Health Tourism (IWHT) working team.

Bali, Jakarta, Manado and Makassar have been chosen as kick off points for the new initiative.

According to Mari Elka Pangestu, minister of tourism and creative economy, IWHT will collaborate with hospitals that have worked with spas to create a year-long brand awareness campaign and rope in Indonesia’s embassies in other countries to promote health tourism.

Health minister, Nafsiah Mboi, expects the promotion of health tourism facilities in the country to generate stronger revenue from international travellers and encourage locals to seek treatments at home.

She estimated that Indonesians spend up to US$1.4 billion annually on medical tourism overseas.

Concurring with Mboi, Pangestu said: “Moreover, Indonesia has traditional healthcare and medicine, which can attract international tourists. But there are still many things we need to do to develop health tourism here.”

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