Seoul City to create diverse medical tour programs for foreigners
Published : 2013-03-13 20:22
Updated : 2013-03-13 20:22
The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to unveil region-specific medical tourism programs reserved for foreigners as part of efforts to meet growing demand for such programs and further spur the industry, officials said Wednesday.
The municipal government is devising tour programs that integrate the medical services that certain city districts are well-known for along with famous tourist attractions, and is planning to start them as early as next month, according to the officials.
The city has been in consultation with the districts since last year, with five ward offices ― Gangnam, Seocho, Seodaemun, Gangseo and Jung ― agreeing to promote their medical services such as plastic surgery, skin care, oriental medicine and cancer treatments, they added.
“For example, visitors would be able to get acupuncture, enjoy a cup of tea and food made of oriental herb, and then visit a traditional Hanok village all in one swoop in Jung-gu,” said city official Kim Ki-hyun in charge of tourism businesses.
“Currently, each district office promotes its own medical services, which often turn out to be ineffective. We expect this integrated program will create synergy effects,” he added.
Separately, the city said it will earmark 100 million won ($91,240) to promote oriental medicine to foreign tourists by, for example, creating places where one can receive physical therapy and acupuncture.
Last year, some 80,000 foreigners visited South Korea for medical purposes, up more than 20 percent from a year earlier, according to government data. (Yonhap News)