The Tourism Authority of Thailand last week revealed their plans to launch their new medical tourism website. The website will essentially provide information relating to surgical procedures, health service providers, packages and promotions, destinations, and up to date articles and news.

With medical tourist arrivals for 2009 reaching approximately 1.4 million, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has set ambitious targets for future arrivals. As part of their overall marketing strategy, in order to achieve these targets, the new website is designed to bring together a whole range of information to assist prospective visitors.

Although Thailand ranks first in Asia in medical tourist numbers, surveys place it fifth when it comes to brand awareness and image. The TAT will use the new campaign to counter the increasingly strong presence in the market of rivals including Singapore, India, South Korea and Malaysia.
The agency has spent 20 million baht developing a new website,

Medical treatments available are not only listed but also explained. Each treatment carries a general description along with information relating to the length of treatment or surgery, benefits, ideal candidates, planning, preparation, recovery and potential risks, complications and side effects. A similar level of detail is provided for all other major headings.In conjunction with the website launch the TAT has announced its Medical Tourism Blog Contest, A first prize of $10,000 in cash, together with a further $3,000 in hotel vouchers, is on offer for the lucky winner. The initial stage of the competition runs between 1st of September 2010 to 31st of October 2010.

The first part of the competition requires contestants to submit their blog relating to the topic of either tourism or medical tourism. The 12 bloggers judged to have submitted the most informative and interesting blogs, will then be flown out to Thailand, as the twelve competition finalists. Criteria to be amongst the twelve finalists will include; an ability to demonstrate knowledge of Medical Tourism and/or Medical Tourism in Thailand, innovative ideas for promoting a Medical Tourism Blog, and finally the ability to show enthusiasm.Between the 20th of November the 26th of November, finalists will be treated to a luxury, all inclusive seven day Medical Tourism Familiarization trip or fam trip.

Finalists will travel either to Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Koh Samui or Bangkok. During their times at these destinations they will receive familiarization tours of hospitals and health care facilities. Additionally they will enjoy special trips and excursions, put on by the TAT, to help them both experience and better understand the many and diverse attractions Thailand has to offer as a world class tourist destination.Whilst staying in Thailand they will have to write a blog of their daily experiences using stories, photos and videos. The goal for the contestants is to inform a global audience, concerning the facilities available, for any prospective visitor.

Further, the blogger should also pique a reader’s interest sufficiently for them to want to seek out further information relating to medical tourism within Thailand. The overall winner must look to attract the highest number of visitors to their blog site. Additionally, they will also be judges on the accuracy, quality, clarity and persuasiveness of their blog.

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