Medical Tourism Conference Enjoys Record Success After Relocation To Abu Dhabi
The Medical Tourism Association has successfully hosted its 12th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress (WMTC) in Abu Dhabi since moving the event overseas for the first time.
This year's 12th annual WMTC, took place from Oct. 15-17, and was hosted in partnership with the Abu Dhabi government. At its core, the event is all about industry growth – a broader vision for how medical tourism can evolve, both regionally and globally.
"WMTC this year was very important because of its theme to break down the barriers to the medical tourism industry. The event isn't just about the educational content, networking and business deals," said Jonathan Edelheit, Co-Founder of the Medical Tourism Association. "With our shift to Abu Dhabi, we are working toward bringing the industry together in a way that has not been done before. We're identifying problems and engineering solutions. We're trying to raise awareness and come up with solutions for the gaps or challenges that inhibit industry growth."
WMTC is a disruptive force in international healthcare breaking down the borders and choices for healthcare consumers and forcing destinations to invest in their healthcare competitiveness with the end outcome of increasing the quality of healthcare for the local residents as international healthcare consumers are courted. Medical Travel forces old models and outdated systems to reckon with the options and solutions that a global market can create.
But the Congress itself wasn't the only disruptive element of our 12th annual summit. The Abu Dhabi medical scene is primed to become a major regional and global player in the medical tourism market. Because of Abu Dhabi's central location, alongside its modern, world-class healthcare facilities and doctors, Abu Dhabi is well-positioned to become an attractive option for patients in the Middle East, Russia and China, not to mention the rest of the globe.
According to Edelheit, Abu Dhabi's potential to become one of the top destinations in healthcare is a major reason why the Medical Tourism Association's global event was moved overseas for the first time.
"This year's event was centered around a theme of 'Breaking Down Barriers,' and with some help from our partners, we did that extremely effectively," Edelheit said. "Abu Dhabi is an ideal partner for our event because it's a rising star in the medical tourism community with easy visa acquisition and a central location. With China, Russia, and the Middle East being a major source of healthcare consumers and medical tourists, it made sense to forge a partnership with an up-and-coming destination like Abu Dhabi."
Fast-growing medical travel destinations rarely have the momentum and opportunity that Abu Dhabi does. This year, WMTC Abu Dhabi covered the travel and lodging expenses for more than 100 healthcare buyers from around the globe in order to show the buyers Abu Dhabi's healthcare capacity and offering. Because the MTA partnered with the Abu Dhabi government, we were able to create a unique opportunity for buyers from all over the world to see with their own eyes exactly what's happening in Abu Dhabi.
Prior to 2019, the previous 11 WMTC events had been held in the United States, with no co-sponsoring partner. The MTA is excited about this new chapter of dual presentation.
"Abu Dhabi has been a wonderful partner," Edelheit said.
Abu Dhabi's burgeoning health travel industry wasn't the only beneficiary to this year's Congress; many businesses and hospitals that attended the event left with new leads, strategies or perspectives. PulseProtocol, LLC – a new facilitator-in-a-box model that entered the week looking for clients to jump-start its revenue stream – signed almost 40 Letters of Intent with prospective partners. Dozens of hospitals and clinics met with officials from Global Healthcare Accreditation, in an effort to streamline or optimize their processes for health travelers.
Attendees also benefited from numerous marketing workshops, speaker seminars, and a Certified Medical Travel Professional class.
The 13th annual World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress will take place in Abu Dhabi in 2020.