I predict an uncomfortable intersection of industry trends here -- airine cost-cutting and ADA rollback policies colliding with aging Boomers and the institutionalization of "Medical Tourism."
But, with profits to be made by those in the Medical Travel niche, a new constituency will align itself as allies of Universal Design in the travel & hospitality industry (Inclusive Travel). The downside to monitor will be the reassertion of handicapping attitudes, policies, and procedures under the rubric of the medical model. Perhaps a public health approach to that pernicious, and highly contagious model may be the best strategy.
For a glimpse into the niche:
More travel agencies are jumping on the medical tourism trend as about half a million Americans will go abroad for medical treatment this year alone. Global Choice Healthcare is a leading provider of cost-saving medical procedure packages throughout the world and has now announced a partnership with two large travel agencies, Rio Grande Travel in Albuquerque and Solimar Travel Experience based in Washington, DC. GlobalChoice works with a network of world-class hospitals in Singapore, Costa Rica and India with access to more than 100 medical procedures. Costs can be more than 50% to 70% less overseas than in the US so a medical package can make economic sense. For more information visit globalchoicehealthcare.com.
ARTA E-News for August 23, 2006