Offering medical tourism destination experiences is smart business. Here’s why:

  1. People probably won’t tell their friends about a hospital or hotel room — but they are more likely to share news of their great medical tourism destination experiences.
  2. If you don’t begin offering “unique, curated experiences” — like private cooking lessons with famous chefs or intimate concerts with musicians. The tourism industry has moved in the direction of the new “experiences marketplace.”
  3. If you won’t innovate, you will reduce your product and brand to a commodity level and lose opportunities to those who do innovate in this direction. There’s no business in medical tourism that cannot innovate in this way, so the proper term is won’t, a contraction for will not.
  4. Members of  hotel and airline loyalty programs are going to be able to purchase these experiences for reward points.
  5. Hotels are beginning to train and position personal concierges that attend to members’ requests – health tourism for minor procedures and checkups will be included. Count on it.

center for health tourism strategy

Personalization is key

The entire hospitality industry, from hotel chains to boutiques to short-term home rentals, is eager to engage with travelers (especially younger travelers) on a deeper level, rather than a one-time monetary transaction.  Expect to see this in health tourism and spa tourism in the near future. Innovators and disruptors in medical tourism have already started.  Our firm is one that works with these disruptors and innovators. Virgin Hotels, for example focuses on personal preference and tastes more than room upgrades. They really want to offer “surprise and delight” to guests.

Customer Lifetime Value Strategy

Innovators look at their existing health and wellness tourism client base base to convert occasional guests to loyal, connected customers. They do this as part of an enhanced customer lifetime value (“CLV”) strategy. The CLV is one way to reduce acquisition costs while building brand loyalty, value and revenue.


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About Maria Todd

Maria Todd is the CEO of the Mercury Advisory Group. The Advisory Group is owned by Mercury Healthcare International, Inc., in Denver Colorado, a specialized consultancy on healthcare operations and business development.

Ms Todd is one of the most sought after influential international keynote speakers and trainers in the medical tourism industry, the Editor-in-Chief of Medical Tourism Destinations of Distinction – a new consumer lifestyle and travel magazine, and author of 16 internationally-published healthcare business development handbooks including The Handbook of Medical Tourism Program Development, with the foreword from Keith Pollard of IMTJ and chapters from Tracy Simmons, and Lisa Beichl and the Medical Tourism Facilitator’s Handbook, an international industry best seller on the topic. Through Mercury Advisory Group, Maria also provides a fair amount of consultation for investment firms and market analysts through GIZ, GLG, PWC, Third Bridge and other consulting firms.  She enjoys working with government authorities on SDG and technical assistance projects.

Maria Todd blogs on LinkedIn’s Pulse because doing so aligns with her sense of professional and personal purpose. The opportunities that come by way of sharing informative, detailed content on her blogs, newsletters, white papers and special reports allow her to be successful in pursuit of that purpose.

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About Mercury Advisory Group

In the intensifying competitive landscape of healthcare business development and growth consulting — Mercury Advisory Group’s experts are leading with advantages most other consulting firms can only dream of leveraging. The firm consistently invests in information, pedagogy and training technologies, and sharing what we’ve learned on our consulting assignments and research commissions toward the realization of our firm’s mission and vision. From Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) at destinations struggling with privatization and national economic hardships to amenities-based healthcare delivery in the urban setting we find that the the essential quality of our purpose brings value and strengthens our resolve when people need us most.

Mercury Advisory Group helps healthcare providers to identify and reach their business goals.  Experts at the Mercury Advisory Group span from former hospital executives to doctors, dentists, and nurses, insurance plan negotiators, paralegals and a team of creative specialists in healthcare branding and marketing. All experts of the firm have at least 15 years of practical work experience in their domain beyond their academic degrees. This requirement, together with peer review is a brand standard before they are permitted to lead consulting projects for clients.  They help clients of the firm to identify unique opportunities, build international brand reputation, and connect with insurers and employers.

3 Comments

  1. Dear Ms.Maria Todd:

    Greetings from India!

    Being a research scholar pursuing Ph.D in a leading Government University in the area of Medical Tourism Marketing in India, I would like to hear your expert views on India as a destination of choice in Medical Tourism today. What in your opinion are some of the key issues in service improvement, which Medical Tourism Facilitators should overcome to enhance customer life time value? Can you suggest some specific emerging areas that need future research in Medical Tourism?

    Thanks & Regards,

  2. I believe that India serves as a ripe destination for development. I don’t believe that it is a destination of choice for patients from certain countries because of distance and because India has failed, as a whole, setting its sights on attracting the toughest audience with the wrong messages. If they instead matched the model and the message to the market most inclined to buy from them, they would realize faster growth and higher returns.

    What’s lacking?

    • Proper market research
    • Proper interpretation of the data
    • Proper branding and message crafting, and cultural and language alignment with the source market culture
    • Proper international selling and marketing techniques
    • Well-planned, destination experience product strategies
    • Government support for medical tourism marketing as an official asset of India instead of this “every man for himself” mentality and lack of cohesion

    India has also earned a negative reputation with many medical tourism facilitators who have been taken advantage of. The two most egregious issues at this time are:

    • Many hospitals don’t honor commission agreements, and instead try to say that the patient contacted them directly
    • Many hospitals engage with too many incompetent and unvetted sellers, many of whom damage the brands of the suppliers, or place them at risk.

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