Health Tourism is the New Trend of 2020

The current viral conjecture completely devastated the tourism sector, among many others. We can barely see any airplanes in the sky, we don't hear people talking in foreign languages in the streets - which is a sight that most of us can agree is odd, especially given how big tourism was and has been for Portugal in the last 5 years, amounting for a total of 8,7% of the Portuguese GDP in 2019.

Global economy is on a downfall, there's no question about it. We are on the verge of an unprecedented economical crisis, but as we've seen on our previous article (check: link), real estate in one of the few industries that is still going strong. Which leads us to believe that now might very well be one of the best times no invest in new properties, or renovating old ones.


Photo by Ezra Jeffrey-Comeau on Unsplash

We then decided to investigate how tourism will branch out to different trends and ultimately survive in a time where there is no estimate on when things will begin to normalize again. What we've found out was that health tourism is going to explode in the upcoming months and even probably years. The COVID-19 situation gained different proportions throughout the globe: The USA having currently registered more than 1.7 million cases; Russia with 387000; the UK with 269000; Spain with 238000; and Italy with 231000. What does this matter to us? Well, many countries have had tremendous success on stopping the outbreak, recording very low numbers compared to the top 10 countries in the world. Among many reasons as to why these nations have managed to do so, what is important to reflect is how these will ultimately benefit from their success in terms of health tourism.

Portugal's health tourism has always existed, from hotspring SPA's, to residential acquisition enabling treatments in both Lisbon and Porto's best hospitals, anti-aging and detox centers, among others. In spite of the current scenery, health tourism is going to grow immensely, especially in Portugal. It is most definitely a remarkable effort to contain the pandemic and achieve our numbers like we did, and the whole world has seen that.


Photo by Ricardo Resende on Unsplash

Now why is health tourism trending in 2020? The resulting reputation of Portugal's performance upon the pandemic has given us a prestigious trait, which leads people to acknowledge that Portugal is a safe and prepared country to deal with these types of situations. Moreover, the increased quality of the Portuguese services when it comes to the fast-growing sector of health care will be a decisive factor for the success of this kind of tourism.

How good is Portugal?

  • Plastic Surgery Industry - Portugal's acclaimed beauty treatments on the city of Coimbra already count on a world-class prestige, providing one of the highest quality services in Europe. Combining this with the fast-growth of this industry (Total surgical and nonsurgical procedures increased by 5.4% in 2018 by the International Study Shows Aesthetic Surgery), we can expect a certain rise in numbers on the upcoming months.
  • Health Care - Registering a better ventilators/habitants ratio than 85% of Europe, making it one of the safest and most prepared countries to have medical support.
  • SPA's - The hotsprings of Unhais da Serra, Sulfurea and Caldas de Monchique have reached an undisputed place on the market, making them a world renown source of quality treatments and SPA/Resort destinations.
  • Detox Centers - One of the most popular industries in the US market of the last 5 years. Detox centers are seen as the fountain of youth of the modern days, having a world of treatments and techniques. Portugal is no exception to this trend, already counting on dozens of centers throughout the country.
Woman in SPA

Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

In conclusion, it is safe to say that health tourism will be taking over as one of the newest and most important trends of 2020 onwards. Portugal is, as we've seen, the destination of choice: a safe, highly-prepared and quality-filled country that is sure to provide his tourists the best experience possible.