Home Healthcare IT Medical Tourism Market Size, Share and Forecast to 2031

Medical Tourism Market

Medical Tourism Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Specialty Type (Cosmetic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Orthopedic Treatment, Dentistry, Fertility Treatment, Organ Transplant, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRHI733DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 30%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 68.82 Billion
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 62.03 Billion
Largest Market Asia Pacific Fastest Growing Market Middle East and Africa
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Market Overview

The global medical tourism market size was valued at USD 68.82 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 684.61 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 29.09% during the forecast period (2023–2031).

Medical tourism is organized travel across international borders to receive medical care that may or may not be available in the traveller’s home country. Medical tourists cross international boundaries to maintain, enhance, or restore their health by utilizing relatively inexpensive healthcare facilities and treatments in other countries. Patients used to travel from less developed nations to well-known medical facilities in highly developed nations for medical care that wasn't accessible there. In addition to helping patients avoid paying high medical bills, medical tourism offers access to reasonably priced diagnostic tests and medications.

Medical tourism frequently helps people access affordable cosmetic surgeries and beauty treatments from skilled surgeons. Receiving dental care services from dentists who have undergone the highest levels of training and education also helps. Various cancers, including breast, prostate, blood, brain, kidney, lung, cervical, colorectal, ovarian, and thyroid, can be effectively treated using medical tourism. Additionally, it is used to receive medical care during complex surgeries, including those requiring organ transplants. Medical tourism is also becoming more popular because it provides top-notch medical care from qualified surgeons.


  • Other procedures dominate the specialty types segment
  • Asia-Pacific is the highest shareholder in the global market

Market Dynamics

Global Medical Tourism Market Drivers

Increasing Arrival of Medical Tourists

Medical tourism is driven by the number of medical tourists traveling to other countries seeking offshore medical care. In 2017, there were thought to be 14–16 million medical tourists worldwide, according to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Medicine. Nations like the US, the UK, and Canada majorly contribute to the high number of medical tourists worldwide. In the US, more than a million people travel abroad for medical care every year. The number of medical tourists in the US and the rest of the world is predicted to increase by 25% annually.

Over 40 countries in Asia, America, Africa, and Eastern Europe serve millions of medical tourists annually. Thailand attracts the highest number of medical tourists, which includes 2.5 million people every year. In comparison, Malaysia doubled the number of medical travelers to 1.2 million between 2011 and 2018. Singapore hosts 500,000 medical tourists annually, while India receives around 700,000 for medical care annually. South Korea is also witnessing a significant increase in medical travelers, exceeding 365,000 in 2018. The number of medical tourists will likely rise in such countries, contributing to the global market growth over the forecast period.

Advertising and Marketing to Promote Medical Tourism

Advertising plays a significant role in attracting customers. Medical tourism also needs exposure through advertisement and marketing campaigns to improve customer outreach and client relationships. Website advertising has emerged as the most common source of information for medical travelers. Websites are often the crucial link and ultimate bargaining chip between prospective medical travelers and medical treatment providers at offshore medical destinations. Patients perceive physicians and hospitals as presented on online portals as online doctor-patient interactions have replaced the conventional doctor-patient relationship.

Most patients make decisions based on Internet searches, and therefore, it is crucial to provide them with appealing websites with a good layout and clear information without linguistic errors. With proper exposure, even the best clinics can succeed, and therefore, good advertising campaigns and successful marketing strategies enable healthcare establishments to become destination leaders for medical tourists. A famous marketing strategy healthcare institutions adopt promoting medical tourism by combining healthcare services with other relaxation and fun activities, thereby driving market growth.

Global Medical Tourism Market Restraint

Medical and Ethical Concerns about Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is a booming industry. However, the industry is also prone to potential medical and ethical risks. Medical tourism makes nosocomial illnesses and hospital- or healthcare-acquired infections more likely to happen. The dangers of medical tourism include infections caused by multi-resistant organisms, the spread of noroviruses (a frequent cause of acute gastroenteritis), and mycobacterial infections following cosmetic surgery. Medical tourists are potentially exposed to infections that are not usually encountered, thus posing a public health risk to their home country.

A higher incidence of tissue rejection after surgical procedures has also followed an apparent increase in transplant tourism in the last twenty years. Medical ethics may vary between nations as well. For instance, a treatment regarded as investigational in one nation, such as stem cell therapy, may be routinely applied in private medical facilities for international patients. Such risks can be minimized by following proper measures while receiving medical treatment overseas.

Global Medical Tourism Market Opportunities

Emergence of Online Medical Tourism Start-ups 

Medical tourism constantly expands worldwide due to the increasing availability of cost-effective medical treatment for patients in several countries. There are geographical and psychological distances between consumers and healthcare provider locations. Given these challenges, consumers depend on the information available online. Consequently, several start-ups have emerged, enabling travelers to select the best offshore healthcare destinations offering the best personal healthcare treatment and procedures. These organizations also help plan medical travel, from flights to accommodation.

For instance, Doctours, a Los Angeles-based online platform for booking trips and treatments for medical and dental care, offers a complete logistics supply chain of medical tourism. The online portal facilitates the search and comparison of the cost of procedures, enables patients to connect with doctors, and book procedures, including in vitro fertilization, plastic surgery, weight loss surgery, dental work, and Lasik eye surgery. Other start-ups, such as BookDoc, partner with renowned companies such as TripAdvisor, Agoda, Uber, and Grab to coordinate accommodation and transportation for patients seeking medical care. Although there are more than 140 online medical tourism start-ups, the number is likely to grow with the increasing significance of medical tourism. The growing popularity of these online start-ups will create tremendous opportunities for the growth of the global medical tourism market.

Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global medical tourism market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

Asia-Pacific is the most significant global medical tourism market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 27.66% during the forecast period. Medical treatment in Asia-Pacific is almost 90% less expensive than private US healthcare establishments. For instance, according to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, a coronary artery bypass graft costing USD 92,000 in the US costs less than USD 10,000 in India. Additionally, several countries in this region are home to the most popular tourist destinations. Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore attract many patients due to various tourist attractions for recuperating patients, a relatively low cost of living, expat-friendly locals, and decent healthcare quality.

Many countries in the region refer to medical tourism as a form of income for their economies. For instance, Thailand, Malaysia, and India's tourism ministries have been ferociously and aggressively marketing medical tourism. In addition, private hospital chains and investors see the Asia-Pacific medical tourism market as a promising business prospect and invest in facilities, technology, personnel, and services. Therefore, the medical tourism industry in this region is soaring and continues to contribute a significant share of the global market.

The Middle East and Africa is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 28.53% over the forecast period. Several countries in the Middle East are becoming increasingly popular as medical tourism destinations due to low-cost procedures, English-speaking medical staff, and virtually non-existent queues for treatments. Healthcare facilities in these countries have hired top-quality doctors and staff from all over the world, offering them attractive packages and facilities. Also, international cooperation with medical tourism operators drives the regional market's growth. These countries have introduced specific medical tourism visas, established various healthcare specialty areas, efficient advertising efforts, and built infrastructures.

In addition, some countries like the UAE have launched initiatives to establish themselves as a world-class and cost-effective one-stop alternative stop for the booming and fast-growing medical tourism market. South Africa has an under-utilized private healthcare sector, world-renowned doctors, and shorter waiting times for surgeries, driving the medical tourism industry. In addition to essential treatments, South Africa is well known for affordable cosmetic surgery procedures and fertility treatments, breast enlargements, and other procedures, creating a thriving medical tourism industry.

Latin American countries became favorable destinations for medical travelers due to their proximity to the US. An increasing number of people in the US take advantage of high-quality and reliable healthcare services in Latin America. Latin American countries offer healthcare facilities that cost around 50% less than the US or Europe. In addition, the proliferation of JCI- and ISQA-accredited healthcare facilities using state-of-the-art technology has been a great advantage for the regional market.

Europe has been known as a distinguished medical tourism hub for decades. High healthcare standards, competitive prices for medical treatments, stable governments, cheap flights, and accommodation, added with a handy lack of tropical diseases, are tempting some medical tourists to visit Europe. Although over 90% of EU citizens currently undergo medical treatment in their own country, 53% would be willing to utilize medical services in other countries. The healthcare facilities in the region offer an excellent and comprehensive portfolio of medical tourism opportunities at competitive prices.

North America has some of the top-rated medical tourism destinations in the world. Countries such as the US and Canada have maintained high standards of medical care for a long time. These countries have many internationally accredited facilities that have made medical procedures more reliable from a patient's point of view. Highly developed medical technology and a wide range of medical services have made these countries good offshore medical destinations. Such factors drive regional market growth.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Specialty Type
  1. Cosmetic Surgery
  2. Cardiac Surgery
  3. Orthopedic Treatment
  4. Dentistry
  5. Fertility Treatment
  6. Organ Transplant
  7. Others
Company Profiles Acibadem Healthcare Group Aditya Birla Health Services American Hospital Dubai Anadolu Medical Center Apollo Hospitals Asian Heart Institute Asklepios Klinik Barmbek Bangkok Hospital Barbados Fertility Center Bumrungrad International Hospital Changi General Hospital Christus Muguerza Clemenceau Medical Centre Fortis Healthcare
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global medical tourism market is segmented into specialty types.

Based on specialty types, the global medical tourism market is divided into cosmetic surgery, cardiac surgery, orthopedic treatment, dentistry, organ transplantation, fertility treatment, and other procedures. 

The other procedure segment is responsible for the largest market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 28.69% over the forecast period. The other specialty procedures segment accounted for the most significant global medical tourism market share. Other popular medical tourism treatments include bariatric surgery, eye surgery, cancer treatment, neurosurgery, diagnostics, immunology, and urology. According to the WHO, in 2016, 1.9 billion people were overweight, and almost 650 million were obese. Nearly 13% of the world population aged 18 years and older are overweight, while 41 million children aged below five are afflicted with obesity. The growing obesity rates have encouraged people to opt for bariatric surgeries. The most recent IFSO Worldwide Survey reported that 634,897 bariatric operations were executed worldwide in 2016. Annually, nearly 580,000 people undergo bariatric surgery across the world.

Medical tourism is expanding globally, with patients seeking cosmetic surgery in countries abroad. The growing popularity of cosmetic tourism is attributable to numerous reasons, such as lower perceived cost, confidentiality, and availability of procedures in a timely fashion. Also, the availability of multiple procedures for a lower price, personal recommendations, advertisements, and social media influencers are driving the segment's growth. The rising popularity of elective surgeries, body contouring, breast augmentation, and gender reassignment are accelerating the development of cosmetic medical tourism. The cosmetic surgery segment includes breast, face, liposuction, and other procedures (tummy tuck, labiaplasty, hair transplantation, and skin rejuvenation). In addition, cosmetic surgery facilities are emerging in medical tourism locations. They are particularly well-suited for medical travel because they provide elective procedures that are out-of-pocket and non-urgent at a fraction of American costs. Patients from the US have long traveled to Mexico for dental and cosmetic procedures.

The growing prevalence of cardiovascular conditions has resulted in significant health problems and increased mortality rates worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, in 2017, almost 485.6 million individuals had cardiovascular diseases. Also, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for 17.5 million deaths yearly, of which 80% occur in low- and middle-income countries. Popular cardiac treatments in medical tourism include angioplasty, bypass surgery, artificial heart valve surgery, atherectomy, and others. The growing demand for cardiovascular surgeries at offshore medical destinations is attributable to the rising obesity rates and healthcare costs. The main reason for international medical travel for cardiac procedures is the availability of better facilities, new and advanced technology or procedures, and well-known professionals. However, cost savings is the most popular reason for patients from Western countries to visit developing nations for cardiovascular procedures.

Orthopedic surgeries are the most popular medical procedure undertaken through medical travel, only after cosmetic or plastic surgeries. The number of patients traveling abroad for orthopedic surgeries has seen an upward trend in the past few years due to the increasing population of senior citizens. In 2017, the number of orthopedic procedures performed amounted to approximately 22.3 million worldwide. Surgical orthopedics generally treat chronic conditions such as various forms of arthritis in the hands, knees, and back, repair of damaged or injured bone and muscular tissues, and numerous replacement surgeries. It has been estimated that a patient seeking any orthopedic procedure overseas can save as much as 75% compared to their homeland.

Market Size By Specialty Type

Recent Developments

  • January 2023- The India Tourism Development Corporation and the Ministry of Ayush signed an agreement to promote medical tourism in Ayurveda and other traditional medical systems. The ITDC will promote "Heal in India Medical Value Travel in Ayurveda, Yoga, and other Indian traditional medical systems," according to a statement.
  • June 2022- Hospals, India's most significant cross-border health benefits and travel platform, rebranded HealthTrip.com in an effort to increase medical tourism in India.

Top Key Players

Acibadem Healthcare Group Aditya Birla Health Services American Hospital Dubai Anadolu Medical Center Apollo Hospitals Asian Heart Institute Asklepios Klinik Barmbek Bangkok Hospital Barbados Fertility Center Bumrungrad International Hospital Changi General Hospital Christus Muguerza Clemenceau Medical Centre Fortis Healthcare Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How big is medical tourism market?
The global medical tourism market size was valued at USD 68.82 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 684.61 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 29.09% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Key verticals adopting market include: - Acibadem Healthcare Group, Aditya Birla Health Services, American Hospital Dubai, Anadolu Medical Center
Asia Pacific region has the largest market in the Medical tourism market.
Increasing arrival of medical tourists and advertising and marketing to promote medical tourism are the key drivers for the growth of the market.
Emergence of online medical tourism start-ups are the key opportunity in market.

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