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Lublin - the capital of medical tourism

Medical tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. On June 12th, 2018, Lublin was the most important city for experts of this sector thanks to the 'Health and Medical Tourism Summit - Eastern Europe 2018', which attracted 250 participants from over 20 countries.

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Is Eastern Europe in line with global trends concerning the development of inbound medical tourism? Does active collaboration and exchange of knowledge and experiences enable us to be more effective while managing resources and processes in health and medical tourism? What is the importance of medical tourism for economic development in Eastern Europe countries? We heard answers to these questions during the first event in Poland devoted to the subject of medical tourism. The place of the conference was not accidental - Lublin is a city of dynamically operating Lublin Medicine Cluster, which brings together 130 members from the area of medicine and wellness, and the capital of the region with above-average spa values, which annually attracts thousands of patients from all over the world.

The conference was opened with an inspiring presentation by Ilan Geva, an American expert in medical tourism branding and marketing, who received more than 100 industry awards for the promotion of tourist destinations and companies. He emphasised the importance of clearly defined individual specialisation and the focus on maintaining the highest quality of medical services throughout the whole process of tourist's service in building a coherent and recognisable brand of medical tourism destination worldwide.

The next part of the conference was divided into four consecutive discussion panels. The speakers from the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, Croatia and Poland discussed the increase in interest in the development of medical tourism and the possibility of Eastern European countries becoming involved in this global trend both from the overall perspective and from the perspectives of medical facilitators, local governments and cluster initiatives.

The participants of the conference took the initiative to establish a platform for cooperation between Eastern European Clusters and Associations for the development of inbound medical tourism. I am delighted that here in Lublin we created the first platform for experts and entrepreneurs from the medical tourism industry from Eastern Europe to meet, exchange experiences, and strengthen ties. Thanks to it we will be able to work together in order to further develop this sector in Lublin, Poland and the region - says Marzena Strok-Sadło, the organizer of the conference, the chief specialist in the Department of Strategy and Investor Relations of the City of Lublin, member of the Management Board of the Lublin Medicine Cluster.

During the conference, B2B meetings were also held, during which participants of the conference had the opportunity to establish business contacts with 27 companies operating in the medical tourism industry from Poland, as well as the UK, Serbia, Czech Republic, Germany, Nigeria, India, Ukraine, China, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Sweden.

The conference was organised by the City of Lublin under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Ministry of Sport and Tourism, Polish Investment and Trade Agency and the Marshal of the Lublin Voivodeship. The main media patronage over the event was taken by Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and the International Medical Travel Journal from the United Kingdom.

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