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GNTO focuses on medical tourism for promoting Germany with its GCC road show

The last workshop session of the medical road show organized by the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), the local affiliate of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in Dubai, concluded in Abu Dhabi. Opulentus GermanyThe three-day international event started on Sunday in the Kuwaiti capital and continued on Monday in Doha. The delegation of German experts terminated the workshop series in Abu Dhabi yesterday, the 2nd October. "After the success of the previous years, medical tourism to Germany will be once again the marketing focus of this road show edition," said Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). "The workshop aims at showcasing to the local travel industry, media, as well as medical experts the development of initiatives specifically tailored to meet the needs of visitors arriving from the GCC countries," she explained. The ongoing road show is bringing to Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE a series of activities held by institutional, medical and tourism representatives, coming from Germany. Participants will take part in panel discussions, exchanges of experiences as well as one-to-one workshop sessions, which will provide them with useful information and extensive networking opportunities. All the estimations for the coming years expect an increasing share of international patients to visit Germany for health reasons. In particular, according to the records of hospitals and clinics across Germany, the Arab Gulf States will remain among the main source markets. Hospital discharged statistics show that German medical structures treated nearly 4,200 from the Arab Gulf States in 2010. "The unparalleled level of collaboration between science, research, industry and hospitals transformed Germany in a primary destination for medical tourism," stated Antje Roeding-Boudier, Director of the Marketing and Sales Office for the Gulf Countries at the GNTO. "Arab patients arrive to Germany not only for the high level medical infrastructures, staff and technologies, but also for the several specialised services, targeting international patients and supporting the outstanding reputation of the German medical sector in world," she continued. For the first time, the mark of one million overnight stays by travellers from the Arabian Gulf region was outdone in 2011. Yet, during the first seven months of 2012 a remarkable further increase of 12.7% was registered as compared to the previous year, with 732.591 overnight stays by GCC travellers from January to July 2012 against the 650.036 overnight stays recorded during the same period in 2011. Health is one of the booming tourism megatrends and for this reason it has also become a key focus in the sales and marketing activities of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). Since 2010, the GNTB has been raising the profile of Germany's outstanding medical facilities through the 'medical travel' theme and a global cross-media campaign with the same name. Part of this is the recent 'Medical Travel' brochure available also in Arabic. In response to the positive feedback, the print brochure is being redesigned and the online content is being updated on the 26-language GNTB website ww.germany.travel ('Specials' section). The GNTB will also continue to work together with key market players and a panel of experts in medical tourism. Source: ITCM

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