As the risks of the pandemic begin to alleviate, medical tourism is poised to bounce back after a prolonged hiatus. Soon, people will start to travel for the purpose of getting the best medical aesthetic treatments from the best providers. While this uptick is a boon to the global aesthetics market, it could come as unwelcome news to the domestic market as clinics struggle to revive their business to pre-pandemic numbers. However, it is possible for every clinic to capitalize on the medical tourism trend by becoming familiar with what patients are willing to travel for, and by offering the aesthetic treatments that meet their needs.
Over time, some locations have become known for certain cosmetic surgeries or aesthetic treatments. This usually happens when a particular clinic performs the procedure successfully, and patients flock there to obtain it, after which more clinics offer the same treatment to take advantage of the trend. If the trend is big enough, it has the effect of eventually attracting more specialists to that locale, making it a trusted destination for that procedure. Popular destinations include:
One thing your clinic can do to prevent losing part of your customer base to these far-flung destinations is to open a discussion with them about medical tourism. Despite the attraction of getting a treatment in an exotic locale, there are several inherent drawbacks of traveling for an aesthetic procedure. Different countries have different, and sometimes looser, regulatory stipulations for who can perform a medical aesthetic procedure and how it can be performed. Another important safety concern is the stress that travel puts on the body, which should be a top concern for any procedure that requires recovery time, when stress should be avoided at all costs. Speaking of cost, traveling for a treatment tends to be quite expensive. Even if the destination boasts cheap clinic prices, the costs of traveling and accommodation usually negate these savings. Furthermore, a clinic that has a revolving door of foreign patients isn’t going to offer the same post-procedure support that a local provider will be able to. When it comes to medical aesthetics, that personal touch of customized care from a practitioner who knows you can’t be underestimated.
During lockdown, people everywhere learned to appreciate the benefits of shopping local, and those benefits extended to the aesthetics market. The truth is, the superiority of the procedures offered in these medical tourism hotspots is overblown since the advanced technology that makes them possible is available globally. In fact, many of these state-of-the-art devices are manufactured by domestic innovators like Venus Concept. Our devices are in use in clinics all over the world, making them available to clinics anywhere. You can encourage patients who are itching to travel for treatment to stay local instead by offering the most sought-after treatments delivered by the most trusted technology.
Popular treatments to compete with those offered abroad include non-invasive lipolysis, delivered via our Venus Bliss™ and Venus Versa™ machines, and hair restoration with NeoGraft® and ARTAS®. Many of our partner clinicians, such as Dr. Michael Wolfeld in Manhattan, have made a name for themselves by specializing in one procedure. Dr. Wolfeld is the top hair restoration surgeon in Manhattan, and his patients travel from far and wide seeking his service. However, to maximize your clinic’s appeal it’s a good practice to offer a range of invasive and non-invasive treatments for patients to choose from.
Another way you can draw more interest to your clinic is by tweaking your marketing strategy so it attracts a local clientele. There are multiple ways to do this, like using local business listings, localized SEO, and digital advertising, or by tapping local influencers to boost your reach on social media. The best advertising, of course, is the kind that’s free. Word of mouth is your best tool when it comes to bringing new patients through your doors, and it’s as easy as keeping your current patients happy and satisfied.
While medical tourism is sure to bounce back post-COVID as well as the rest of the aesthetics industry, experts expect that it could take three or more years to do so. This is more than enough time for your clinic to renew its service offerings and present a strong appeal for patients looking to return to their aesthetics plan. Speak to one of our experts today about our state-of-the-art medical devices and business support services.