By Rasana Gasimova
A delegation from Azerbaijan has participated in the International Healthcare Travel Forum held in Amman, Jordan under the patronage of King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein on October 26-28.
The forum was attended by over 700 delegates from nearly 50 countries, local media reported.
Azerbaijan was represented by Ruslan Guliyev, president of the Azerbaijan Health and Thermal Tourism Support Association (AHTTSA), a member of the Global Health Tourism Council Board.
Starting with the opening ceremony, the forum continued in the format of stand exhibitions, panels and B2B meetings. The AHTTSA representative informed his colleagues about the potential of Azerbaijan's health tourism (Absheron, Naftalan, Qalaalti, Duzdag, Gabala, Istisu, etc.). Paper and electronic advertising and promotional materials were handed over to the guests.
A total of seven panel sessions were held during the two-day forum. Global outlook for health tourism, trends in this type of tourism, legalization, regulation and accreditation, education and research, cross-country cooperation in health tourism, branding and marketing strategies, medical, dental tourism, spa and cycling, culinary, sports tourism were among the topics discussed. It was noted that tourism of the third age group is of special interest and the diversified development of new trends were targeted.
The GHTC was established at the initiative of Turkey during the 2013 International Medical Travel Conference in Monaco. So far, four forums have been held.
Azerbaijan Health and Thermal Tourism Support Association (AHTTSA) represents the country in the Global Health Tourism Council and has been the Council’s Board member since 2014. At the Summit held in Turkey in April 2018, AHTTSA Chairman Ruslan Guliyev was elected as a president of this international organization and Azerbaijan has been confirmed as the next host country. In April 2019 in Baku, the chairmanship was handed over to Ukraine.
The number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan for medical treatment in January-November 2018 is growing. Many of the locals and foreign tourists visit Istisu, Naftalan, Galaalti, Duzdagh health centers for treatment.
Tourists are especially interested to visit Naftalan city that is a unique health center. Naftalan oil, which is considered a remedy for many diseases, popularized Azerbaijan long before the oil boom that made Baku famous in the 19th century.
The world’s only museum of crutches is also located in Naftalan. The exhibits in the museum are crutches left by tourists who came to Naftalan for treatment.
Moreover, Azerbaijan has around 300 mud volcanoes.. The mud is used for treatment of radiculitis, skin, cardiovascular, gynecological, urological diseases, and gastrointestinal disturbances. It is widely used in cosmetology as well.
Global Healthcare Travel Council is the directing and coordinating platform for healthcare within the Global system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global healthcare travel matters, shaping the healthcare research agenda, setting norms, standards and ethics, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing healthcare travel trends.
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