MARKET ELEMENTS

Tourism Market Trends

Healthy visitors, and tourists, people who travel either for leisure or for business purposes, worldwide, guests and visitors have the right to feel safe and properly treated in the case of an emergency or healthcare problem that may occur during their stay abroad or during a public event.

  • The average age of travelers is increasing, as World Travel Monitor notes.
    The number of travelers over 55 years old has increased from 23% to 35%.
  • Internet is emerging as the major mean for booking and buying trips reaching up to 54%.
  • The documented and informed decision of the traveler about choosing his travel – tourism destination is increasingly demanding (The Customer is King)
  • Lilian Muler, President, European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT):
    • ‘’…………. with improved accessibility, the €100 travel and tourism market for people with disabilities or physical restrictions could develop strongly ……………….. ‘’
  • Professor Helmut Wachowiak, International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef ( IUBH ) near Bonn Germany:
    • ‘’ ……….over the past 5 years health vacations by Europeans have increased by 38% while medical tourism has gone up by 24%, the IPK research found …………. ‘’
    • ’’ ………… in future successful health tourism destinations would need to offer high quality services, quick availability of treatment and competitive prices as well as being attractive destinations for accompanying persons ………………‘’

(The World Travel Trends Report 2012/2013
By IPK International, ITB BERLIN- itb-berlin.com/library
Messe Berlin)

Taking into account the epidemiological profile of travelers it is concluded that medical problems and health incidents that may occur vary between simple acute problems to complicated and life threatening conditions. Hotels and accommodation premises undertake significant responsibility being the first line of providing solutions and effective management in such conditions.

Wide attendance events require dedicated first aid, medical, and other health-related services at a higher rate than baseline population. There is great variability within and between mass gatherings.
The weather, event duration, age and behavior of the crowd, topography, event-specific hazards, use of alcohol or drugs, and whether attendees are participants or simply spectators will vary substantially between events. At any single mass gathering, a complex interplay of factors will affect the patient incidents rate the acuity and the case mix.
Mass Gathering Medicine at an event often involves periods of extremely high patient volume with variable acuity, usually with limited history available. Mass gatherings often provide environments that complicate the provision of care, including high ambient noise, temperature extremes, precipitation, and uneven topography. Care is provided in temporary structures with limited resources. Health care providers are challenged to function without their familiar clinical systems while attempting to maintain a high standard of care, often for large numbers of patients over a variable and sometimes extended period of time.
Preparation and advanced planning are crucial to the success of any MGM deployment. Proximity to hospitals and the capacity of local emergency health services must be considered.

Health Tourism Trend

Medical tourism is a type of alternative tourism. The term “medical tourism” is widely defined for the provision of cost-competitive private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients who need surgical and other forms of specialized treatment, outside their country. In the context of medical tourism, both medical tourists and ordinary tourists, who suffer from chronic diseases, have the chance to be provided with medical care by well -organized healthcare facilities while enjoying hospitality by high level hospitality premises making in this way an utmost satisfactory experience in selected destinations.
Elective medical tourism concerns patients who visit destinations of their choice to perform both surgeries and / or other health care treatments – interventions.
The most important factors that influence and ultimately lead patients to the final destination of their choice for health care services are:
– The service cost
– The quality of the provided medical service
– The required waiting time in their country for the provision of the service
– The need to combine medical care with the experience of entertainment and traveling.
The combination of all these factors enables the medical tourists / international patients to receive medical care promptly without wasting time due to waiting lists at an affordable cost and at the best quality level of service.

Articles

“”….The cluster of SARS cases at Hotel Metropole in Hong Kong in 2003, the first superspreading event recognized outside mainland China, was responsible for the spread of the epidemic from Guangdong Province to Canada, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong itself.
All 20 cases were associated with transmission of SARS CoV on the ninth floor of the hotel, where the index case-patient had stayed for 1 night before becoming critically ill and being admitted to a local hospital the next day…..””

“””…………..The increasing demand for health care from tourists is a challenge that especially well known destination countries strive to meet year after year. The seasonal peak coincides with the main summer season, which is more pronounced in coastal areas. Seasonality is thus an important factor in the enterprise of hospitality and accommodation services.
Health care services need to be flexible in their response to the needs of tourists. The main reasons for foreign citizens accessing health services in the region include the sudden alteration in health (70.6% of cases); 9.5% requiring pharmaceuticals; 2.8% for medical treatment or surgery and 1.1% receiving dialysis.
Seaside tourism is marked by large and seasonal concentrations of individuals which affect facilities and services set up to respond to this demand. Each year preparations for the summer season commence in March (a similar practice takes place in the autumn in the run up to the ski season) with the selection of specific health staff able to communicate in various European languages. A number of specific measures are then undertaken.
During the summer season, with the aim of ensuring a prompt response to medical emergencies, ‘Progetto Vacanze Sicure’ (Safe Holidays Project) has been implemented along the entire Veneto coastline, incorporating a number of different initiatives:

  • the distribution of semiautomatic defibrillators financed by the regional health service; seven medically-equipped vehicles; three medically-equipped motorcycles and sixteen ambulances (including two water ambulances). An additional helicopter rescue service
  • tailored specifically to tourists has been put into operation, representing a further development within the complex system of tried-and-tested emergency services
  • available in the Veneto Region. The helicopter health care rescue service ensures
  • that there is coverage throughout the Veneto region via four helicopter stations.

Based at the Venice Lido it covers the entire 120 km stretch of Adriatic coastline and is equipped with sea rescue facilities. In the space of ten to fifteen minutes the rescue team, made up of a doctor, nurse and air pilot, are able to reach the individual in danger at the location where the emergency has occurred…..””

“”….Mass gathering events represent a major risk for communicable disease. Current reasons for this are:
– The potential for rapid dissemination of an imported or emerging infectious disease.
– Significant pressure on civil infrastructure (such as hotels and food caterers), which can easily result in poor hygiene standards.
– Difficulty in implementing public health control measures such as contact tracing, in case of an epidemic, due to the multitude of countries and visitors represented at the event.
– Increase severity of air pollution and frequency of climate-related diseases;
– Increased potential for trauma and injury incidents, which are also associated with alcohol consumption.
– The potential deliberate use of biological and chemical agents or radionuclear material…..”

“”…………. During the 2006-2010 study period, 7,089 persons presented to FASs for medical aid during rave parties. Most of the problems (91.1%) were categorized as medical or trauma, and classified as mild. The most common medical complaints were general unwell-being, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Contusions, strains and sprains, wounds, lacerations, and blisters were the most common traumas. A small portion (2.4%) of the emergency aid was classified as moderate (professional medical care required), including two cases (0.03%) that were considered life-threatening. Hospital admission occurred in 2.2% of the patients. Fewer than half of all patients presenting for aid were transported by ambulance. More than a quarter of all cases (27.4%) were related to recreational drugs.
CONCLUSIONS:
During a five-year field research period at rave dance parties, most presentations on-site for medical evaluation were for mild conditions. A medical team of six healthcare workers for every 10,000 rave party visitors is recommended. On-site medical staff should consist primarily of first aid providers, along with nurses who have event-specific training on advanced life support, event-specific injuries and incidents, health education related to self-care deficits, interventions for psychological distress, infection control, and disaster medicine. Protocols should be available for treating common injuries and other minor medical problems, and for registration, triage, environmental surveillance and catastrophe management and response…..””

-Resources- References

  1. OOSTERHOUT, Tom; VIETEN, Marc; WAAL, Marieke. Patient Care Hotels around the Globe. The Netherlands. 2013. 6p.
  2. UNITED STATES, Department of State – Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Hotel Security and safety assessment form. United States of America. 2014. 16p.
  3. HANNA James; Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Mass. Crowd-Intensive Events. 1994. Ottawa. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.P.55.
  4. TSOUROS, Agis; EFSTATHIOU, Panos. Mass gatherings and public Health. The experience of the Athens 2004 Olympic games. Denmark. World Health Organization, 2007. 402p.
  5. CALABRO Joseph; JAVIER Edgardo; REICH Joel, KROHMER John; BALCOMBE Joan. Provision Of Emergency Medical Care For Crowds.1995-96.United States.Emergency Medical Services Committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians.P.29
  6. BRODIE Sid. Guidelines for concerts. Events and organized gatherings. Western Australia. Environmental Health Directorate. December 2009.P.154