Medical vs Wellness Tourism: How to Choose a Destination

Terms “medical” and “wellness tourism” are commonly misunderstood

Welness tourism


Terms “medical” and “wellness tourism” are commonly misunderstood. Many people don’t know the difference between the two and misuse them as synonyms. However, these tourism types differ significantly in their objectives and destinations.


Medical tourists travel abroad to receive more affordable medical surgeries or treatments and look for higher quality standards or a better access to care in comparison to what they could get in their home country. Those travelling for wellness, on the other hand, seek activities that maintain or enhance their health and wellbeing. In this case, their main motivators usually are unique, location-based experiences or therapies that are not available in their home country.


In other words, medical tourism involves treatments or aesthetic enhancements executed by professional doctors, while wellness services are not necessarily provided by conventional medical experts. Wellness tourists aim to prevent diseases rather than treat existing conditions.


For example, medical tourism involves people who travel for surgeries and dental care, while wellness tourism involves travellers seeking to try out SPA treatments and rituals, balanced diet seminars and fitness events.


Both of these tourism types have different criteria to be considered when choosing the destination to visit for treatments and/or activities.


Medical toruism


For Medical Tourism


High quality treatment is the most important factor, but not the only one to take into account when choosing a destination for a medical trip.


Travelling distance should be also considered. Less hours in a plane saves energy and reduces the chance of complications before and after a surgery.


In addition to the price of the treatment itself, the local costs of living, rent, transportation and food largely contribute to the total expenditures and have to be taken into account.


What is more, English-speaking staff in medical sector and no big cultural differences can be important to help you feel more relaxed and make your trip easier.


Welness tourism


For Wellness Tourism


When going for a wellness retreat, the decision can be taken less seriously.


Authentic natural resources, such as mineral or hot springs, activity facilities - such as hiking trails or sandy beaches, fresh air or warm climate play a bigger part in the decision making.


The number of sights of your interest could also be important. Travelling for wellness is a good opportunity to explore the country you’ve never been to (but always wanted to go). Think of the natural or cultural heritage it has to offer.


If you are a foodie, local cuisine definitely contributes to the joy of your trip. When planning, don’t forget to check seasonal ingredients and culinary traditions of the country.

Health Tourism Lithuania offers services for both groups of tourists, as well as those who seek a combination of medical and wellness treatments. For example, medical tourists often choose plastic surgery clinics with excellent price-quality ratios in Kaunas, while those in search of wellness enjoy mineral water and natural mud procedures in the SPA town of Birštonas. Both towns are just 50 km apart, so it’s especially convenient to go for rehabilitation to Birštonas after undergoing a surgery in Kaunas.