TIRANA, January 24
Medical tourist arrivals in Albania doubled during 2019. Even though the official figure confirmed by the Institute of Statistics, (INSTAT) is modest, the growth seems promising. The number of international citizens who came to Albania for medical treatments during January-December 2019 was 658 or 138 percent more compared to 2018.
Private-run hospitals in Albania improved their coordination with domestic and foreign travel agencies to provide medical tourism packages. Moreover, they are investing more in marketing to reach out to clients in new potential markets.
According to their data, most of the clients come from Italy, but there are also British customers.
The plastic interventions are the main asset that Albania has had in recent years, to withdraw foreign tourists. Many Italian, Turkish and Greek doctors have come to live and work in Albania during the last ten years, spreading the word of mouth to their fellow nationals about the convenient prices regarding the cosmetic surgical procedures. For instance, the Italians come mainly in Albania to have a nose job or known in scientific language as rhinoplasty, because in Albania the price is 50 percent less than in the neighboring country, whereas the British prefer more services regarding in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Other services include face and body surgery such as ear pinning, facelift, chin remodeling, breast surgery augmentation and reduction, arm lift, also cosmetic procedures, and reconstructive procedures, dental treatments, general treatments, and many more.
Even though still humble in the international health care market, Albania has started to withdraw more and more tourists each year. Now not only the big airlines but even those low-cost have direct flights to and from Tirana International Airport, which connect the capital city of Albania with the most important cities of Europe and beyond.
Foreigners consider medical treatments and procedures in Albania mostly because of the affordable cost and geographical proximity.
Read also: International Tourist Arrivals up 8% in 2019
Data source: INSTAT