Iran hosts 1st ECO conference on health tourism

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The 1st Conference and Exhibition of Health Tourism for Economic Cooperation Organization countries has kicked off in the Iranian northern city of Ramsar.
Representatives of the health ministries as well ambassadors from 9 ECO member states, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) envoy, as well as the representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are among those taking part in the three-day event.

In the opening of the conference, Iran’s Vice President Masoud Soltanifar described tourism as a green and lucrative industry which expands cultural interaction among nations.

Soltanifar, who is also head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), also highlighted the issue of health tourism and said Iran is seen as a major destination in this regard thanks to high-level medical services offered in the country.

The Iranian vice president said currently many health tourists travel to Iran from Central Asian and Arab countries.

In 2012, Iran hosted 200,000 health tourists, earning $1.5 billion.

So far, most of the health tourists who come to Iran, have been from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, Oman, India and Pakistan.

Medical tourists from neighboring states mostly come for transplants, ophthalmology, orthopedics and dentistry.

By Tasnim News Agency


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