Development of health tourism requires government and private sector support

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Croatia can be much more recognisable in terms of the quality of its health tourism services and can earn more, but that requires government support and a synergy with the private healthcare sector, a conference called "Health Spot Croatia" was told in Zagreb on Tuesday. Describing health tourism as an important lever of growth for the Croatian tourist industry as a whole, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said that  it would be included among the top three products in the next tourism strategy beyond 2020.

Health Minister Milan Kujundzic said that the existing legislative framework would contribute to the development of health tourism services, adding that he was confident that conferences like this would also help in promoting this type of tourism.

The conference, organised by the City of Zagreb Tourist Board and the National Tourist Board under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health and Croatian Chamber of Commerce and with the support of the Hanza Media Group, brought together over 200 participants from Croatia and abroad, including representatives of private polyclinics and tourism companies.

Cappelli said that health tourism services were helping to promote year-round tourism in the country and increase investment, adding that over 7.5 million euros would be invested in this sector this year.

He said that health tourism generated about 500 million euros in revenues annually and that the revenues could be much higher given Croatia's natural and professional advantages. He said that tourists seeking healthcare services mostly come from Germany, Slovenia, Austria and Italy and spend about 13 days in Croatia for that purpose.