16 July 2008

New Zealand to get tourism boom from medical travellers

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New Zealand is set to get a tourism boom as more Americans choose to travel to the country for medical treatment. According to Stuff.co.nz, the launch of medical tourism company in the country has spurred more Americans to apply for a visa to New Zealand and have complex surgery there.

Medtral, the organisation, aims to operate up to 100 times a year for US tourists across the next five years. The company will start in Auckland hospitals, then expand into Wellington and Christchurch in the future, reports the news provider.

According to the company's director, Andrew Wong, it is cheaper for many people to fly to the country with a family member, have surgery and get accommodation rather than file for American medical insurance excesses. He added it makes financial sense for them to travel to the country and also leaves the opportunity for some to apply for a working holiday visa to New Zealand and stay longer.

New Zealand tourism boards and the Government have recently been discussing plans to boost the numbers of tourists and long-term visitors to come to the country, reports HawkesBay.co.nz. Tourism revenue accounts for approximately five per cent of New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product, and the Government is looking to increase the country’s fiscal benefits from initiatives such as medical tourism.

Anyone interested in taking a working holiday to New Zealand should confirm their eligibility by taking the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment.

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