The Middle East is one of the largest potential source markets of patients due to the high costs of healthcare and limited facilities in some states. Some trade estimates suggest that one in five global medical tourists and a significant percentage of health and wellness travellers are from Gulf and Arab states. Patients from UAE alone account for $2bn in healthcare travel on an annual basis. As a result, many countries are targeting the region.
Germany has long been a popular destination for those from the Middle East. Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa
, in the Black Forest in Baden-Baden, offers a natural medical spa experience as part of the Oetker Hotel Collection
- a European luxury hotel group. Brenner's Park is a luxurious hotel and medical spa where specialist doctors offer advanced diagnostic techniques in aesthetic dentistry, dermatology, naturopathic detoxification and elimination therapy, in addition to nutrition coaching, weight-loss programmes and beauty packages. Samir Daqqaq of Oetker Hotel Collection explains,
"The Middle East is one of the most important markets for us. Over the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of GCC tourists to Germany.” Hans-Peter Veit, at Brenner's Park-Hotel & Spa, adds, "We are happy to invite Middle East tourists to enjoy the world-renowned natural and holistic medical care on offer at Brenner's - a hotel with an international reputation for over 135 years that has been a medical spa for over 25 years. We guarantee a unique experience for our guests - healthcare for the body, mind and soul and a medical spa like no other. With 20 treatment rooms and customized spa programs, our guests enjoy a comprehensive therapeutic care in comfort."
Statistics by the German Federal Statistics Office
show that the number of overnight stays by GCC nationals in Germany during the first five months of 2010 was 243,759 nights - an increase of 16.4% compared to the same period in 2009. When compared to the same period in 2008, the number of GCC visitors to Germany rose by 30.3% - among the highest from any region in the world, making Germany the preferred destination for travellers and medical tourists from Gulf states.
Health and wellness holidays are one of the main marketing themes for Germany in 2011. The campaign features three key themes: spas/health resorts, wellness/beauty hotels and medical tourism, showcasing the modern and cutting-edge medical facilities, luxury hotels, spas and spa-towns. More than 400,000 tourists already visit Germany for health-oriented vacations, as do 70,000 medical tourists, and these numbers are growing. The German National Tourist Office
markets “Wellness &Beauty” with a cross-media concept that centres on hotels and is supported by the independent hotel sector and wellness tourism brands.