Global Medical Tourism and the Impact of Covid-19 in 2020

This short survey has provided us with a useful layer of information and insight to gauge the outlook for the Medical Tourism sector in a post-COVID-19 world.

Looking through the eyes of both patients and providers, it is reasonable to conclude that medical tourism, whilst reeling from current travel bans, will take several more months to see any sort of return recovery. The uncertainties posed by 2021 look to further delay any sort of return to pre-COVID-19 levels of travel, especially as more lockdowns are enforced and second and third waves are occurring all over the world. This is not to mention the huge delays seen in getting the vaccinations processed – a task likely to go on for years to come.

Given the devastating impact the virus is having on local economies, not to mention the travel and hospitality industries, something will need to be done before the entire world is vaccinated with regards to the reopening of boarders and loosening of travel restrictions. Airlines and large hotel groups are likely to reach boiling point before the end of Q2 and to prevent the huge loss of jobs, it is likely that some travel easing will be in place which will allow a small fraction of the tourism industry to pick up where they left off. It is at this point we would expect to see a considerable uptick in travel from those Medical Tourists who have been putting off their overseas treatment.

We are predicting a 35-40% return to pre-COVID-19 levels by Q4 of 2020, with the full resumption not happening until well into 2022. Government incentives like ‘Vaccination Tourism’, where people travel overseas to be vaccinated during their quarantine period, are likely to gain some traction in 2021. However, such schemes rely heavily on some governments’ willingness to adopt this practice and many others failing to administer the vaccine to their population in an ordered and timely manner.

2021, sadly, is looking less likely to be the year the world freed itself of this virus and instead the year that the world began to get itself in order. And this is true for the Medical Tourism industry, as numbers will likely spike again in the summer (June-August), before dropping off towards the end of the year. Then, in 2022, we should expect to see a scramble for cosmetic and dental procedures from all those who have been putting them off and spending much time researching from the comfort of their makeshift home office.

For MyMediTravel, a relatively aggressive approach to cost saving was concluded in Q4 of 2020 and our focus has shifted towards future enhancements and features to improve the service we currently offer. Whilst we continue to update our inventory and to offer our patients and medical providers the best service possible, we do so with a lean operations team. Alongside whom sits our technology department who have scaled up in preparation for the rush of Medical Tourists in 2022.

Feel free to download our survey in PDF format and if you have any questions, you can email them to [email protected]