DAEGU, May 24 (Korea Bizwire) – An increasing number of medical tourists from foreign countries are visiting Daegu, surpassing 20,000 for the first time last year.
Daegu had nearly 21,000 overseas patients in 2016, up 62.5 percent compared to the year before, making the city the biggest medical tourism destination apart from the Seoul Capital Area that includes Seoul and Gyeonggi Province.
The number of medical tourists to Daegu has gradually increased from 7,117 in 2012 to 12,988 in 2015.
Nearly 35 billion won in profits were generated last year alone in Daegu’s medical sector, thanks to overseas patients. The figure more than doubled on year while the average expenditure per patient rose 36.4 percent to an estimated 1.7 million won.
Daegu Metropolitan City officials say their efforts to reimagine the city as the hub of medical tourism in Asia have come to fruition, which they believe was widely due to competent medical infrastructure.
“The growing number of overseas patients visiting Daegu proves our competence as a medical city. Though the current international political situation is worrisome, what with the deployment of THAAD, we plan to proactively attract patients from other countries and promote direct flights to Daegu International Airport,” Daegu Mayor Kwon Yeong-jin said.
Daegu was the first city in the country to open a medical tourism startup support center.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)