Case study: Orlando preps marketing pitch for medical tourism

Orlando is already a world-famous tourist destination as it is. So when it comes to inbound medical tourism--foreign patients seeking U.S.-based care--will that give providers there an edge? This is just the sort of question that executives were pondering at a medical tourism summit held this week in the Florida city, which already plays host to world-class tourist destinations like Disney and Universal Studios.

At the Orlando Medical Meetings & Tourism Summit, execs discussed two potential sources of medical tourism for the region: patients who might travel there to get medical procedures at area hospitals, and healthcare professionals who might attend conventions and meetings there. Orlando is already one of the country's top locations for meetings and conventions, but medical tourism could be a "game changer," for the region, according to Gary Sain, president and CEO of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The region's medical assets include two large hospital systems, Florida Hospital and Orlando Health, which is certainly a start. More unusual is the 7,000-acre "medical city" development planned for the area, which will include the University of Central Florida's new medical school, Nemours Children's Hospital and the Burnham Institute's East Coast Research Center.

The key issue will be how to integrate all of these disparate offerings into a "cohesive story line" that can be sold as part of one integrated medical-tourism initiative, according to marketing executives who attended the meeting.

To learn more about Orlando executives' plans:
- read this Orlando Sentinel piece

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