TAT partners with Doctor A to Z to launch first online Health and Wellness promotion in BahrainBangkok, 27 August 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is partnering with an innovative Thailand-based medical tourism portal to conduct its first online health and wellness roadshow (Hybrid Roadshow) in Bahrain. More than a hundred travel trade representatives specialising in the health and wellness sector, as well as socialites, diplomats, business people, celebrities and the media from Bahrain and all over the Gulf region have been invited for the Amazing Thailand Health and Wellness Roadshow to introduce the range of services offered by the portal “Doctor A to Z” (www.doctoratoz.co). Comprising of both B2B and B2C sessions, the roadshow in Bahrain on 17 September, 2019, will be led by Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Deputy Governor for Europe Africa Middle East and the Americas, TAT. Joining her at the briefings and other events will be Dr. Anucha Panoi, Chief Executive Officer of Doctor A to Z. With strong support from all partners, this Hybrid Roadshow is designed to enhance the exposure of special Thai health and wellness products and services in the Gulf and Middle East countries, broaden the source markets of health and wellness visitors to Thailand, and facilitate their communications process to link buyers with sellers, and products with suppliers. It is the first time online communications technology has been applied for conducting such a marketing promotion. Positioned as an online Medical Hub, Doctor A to Z amalgamates several Thai health and wellness practitioners, products and services under one website. They include JCI accredited hospitals, clinics, centres and individual doctors specialising in a wide range of disciplines. This provides both health and wellness trade buyers as well as consumers an easy, efficient and convenient way to find the right “solution” to their specific problem or requirement. Bahrain was chosen as the first city for the offshore launch of this service because it is still generating positive numbers of health and wellness visitors to Thailand. Mrs Srisuda said, “Although there is fierce competition in the health and wellness sector, Thailand is still a popular destination due to the high quality of our products, services and facilities, as well as other factors; such as, value for money, personalised care and good holiday opportunities for family members.” According to Dr. Anucha Panoi, “Our vision is to develop Thailand as a ‘Digital Gateway on Health and Wellness with the support of TAT, the National Innovation Agency and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA). “Our outstanding point is that we have a medical team with more than 20 years of experience. The technology developed by our team, known as “Health on Cloud” and “Healthflexi system”, makes it more cost-effective and efficient for anyone with a specific health and wellness requirement, whether it is preventive or cure, to find the right person, place or product to meet it. This saves a lot of time and money on both sides and ensures the best possible delivery of service. “Streamlining the preparatory process can contribute to early peace of mind and enable the patients to come to Thailand in complete confidence of what they can expect. That certainly enhances the appeal of coming to Thailand for health and wellness treatments,” he said. The B2B session will allow the trade buyers from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries to connect directly with the Thai sellers. The B2C session will include a business dinner with invited VVIPs, diplomats, business people, celebrities and the media from the same countries. Saudi Arabian trade buyers are also being invited as Saudi citizens are allowed to come to Thailand for medical treatment. This presents a great opportunity to promote this market, as Bahrain geographically shares a land border and direct bridge connection to Saudi Arabia. According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, in 2017, Thailand ranked 4th on the list of Top Ten Wellness Tourism Markets in the Asia-Pacific region and 13th on the list of the Top Twenty Wellness Tourism Markets worldwide. Health and wellness is one of a number of niche markets being promoted by TAT under the umbrella marketing concept of “Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades.” Some of the promising demographic segments include senior citizens, millennials and working women. Thailand is one of the world’s most popular health and wellness tourism destinations, ranging from prevention to cure. While the numbers from the long-standing source markets in the Gulf countries are tapering off, new business is emerging from places; such as, Myanmar, Australia and Russia. The Royal Thai Government has approved 90-day visas for patients and medical visitors from China, Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar, Vietnam as well as the GCC which include the Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The Ministry of Public Health has so far listed 118 hospitals and healthcare centres that are eligible to provide a confirmation letter to patients or visitors seeking medical treatment in Thailand. Thailand has been named as one of the Top 10 Muslim friendly tourist destinations in the world by the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 (Ranked No. 2 for Non-OIC Destinations). It also enjoys easy accessibility with extensive connections by major airlines; such as, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Oman Air and Kuwait Airways. In 2018, Thailand is estimated to have received 3.42 million visitors for health and wellness, generating income of 140 billion Baht. The main source markets are Myanmar, Lao PDR., Cambodia, Vietnam, China, UAE, Oman, Australia and New Zealand, with an average length of stay of 10-14 days. The top demand categories are medical check-ups and treatment for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, joint surgery, joint replacement, dental, eye surgery, as well as cell transplant. surgery, joint replacement, dental, eye surgery and cell transplant.