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This article is concerned with healthcare tourism and recent initiatives in the Southeast Asian destinations of Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The spectrum of provision is considered from medical tourism through cosmetic surgery to spas and alternative therapies, all areas of increasing commercial interest with considerable competition regionally and worldwide. The sector's development and marketing in the selected countries are assessed, revealing problems and opportunities, and it is shown to be highly distinctive in terms of both demand and supply. Those responsible for the management and promotion of healthcare tourism are seen to confront particular challenges and there are wider concerns that must be addressed if it is to realize its potential.
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Keywords: Healthcare; Malaysia; Medical tourism; Singapore; Spas; Thailand

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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