In contrast to the decline in the number of European tourists traveling to Turkey due to recent negative events, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of tourists coming from Europe to the country in the first two months of the year for plastic surgery, Emin Çakmak, founding president of the Turkish Health Tourism Development Council (THTC) said.
Evaluating the 20 percent rise in travel for plastic surgery, he said, "Germany and the Netherlands are the two markets in which we have the most tourists. There were some cancellations coming from the Netherlands in the last period, however, we think there will be a recovery especially after the elections in the country," Çakmak said.
$12,000 revenue from health tourism on average
Çakmak stated that while in 2016 there was a decline in tourism in Turkey, there was an increase in health tourism, saying: "We hosted 746,000 health tourists in 2015. The number increased to 750,000 in 2016. The revenue of $5.2 billion rose to $5.8 billion, while 90 percent of this came from medical tourism and the rest from [people traveling to Turkey for] plastic surgery," he said. Explaining that the increase in income was the result of a capacity increase in transfer centers, Çakmak said that the Health Ministry increased the number of licensed centers in 2015, saying: "The capacity doubled and this was reflected in the revenue because these transplantations are the operations whose cost varies between $100,000 and $650,000," he added. Pointing out that an average of $12,000 is obtained from a health tourist, Çakmak explained the following about the market distribution: "About 65 percent of revenue comes from the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] region, 25 percent from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States [CAC], and 10 percent from Europe, the latter of which chooses Turkey more for plastic surgery and dental operations."
4,000 professionals to gather in Antalya
Underlining that there should be more concentration on alternative areas such as health and sports to ensure that tourism is active in the country 12 months of the year, Çakmak noted that, in this context, they will organize the Hestourex-World Health Sports Congress and Fair in Antalya, from April 6-9. Çakmak said, "In the Presidency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the support of the health and sports ministries, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Economy Ministry and Development Ministry, 4,000 professionals from 150 countries will participate in the fair.