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Thailand wants to become dental tourism hub

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The Thai government will launch a pilot programme later this year with the aim of attracting more dental tourists and becoming an international hub for cosmetic dental procedures. (Image: Spotmatik Ltd/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Tue. 28. June 2022

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BANGKOK, Thailand: The Kingdom of Thailand wants to stimulate its economy by becoming an international hub for medical and dental treatment. A pilot programme is set to be launched in Phuket province later this year, and dental clinics that are interested in being part of the programme have been encouraged to apply.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha gave the order in June for the country to generate more revenue by promoting itself as a major destination for those seeking dental treatment and other medical procedures. Famed for its sandy beaches and tropical climate, Thailand already attracts dental patients from other countries—particularly those in the Asia Pacific region—but it lags behind top dental tourism destinations such as Croatia, Hungary, Mexico and Turkey.

In a statement issued by the Royal Thai Government, spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana explained that the plan was to attract foreign tourists with the country’s high-potential dental services in order to stimulate the economy, create employment and boost related industries.

The programme will feature the promotion of cosmetic dental procedures and the introduction of a one-price policy, under which Thai residents and foreign visitors will pay the same fees for dental procedures. A central database is being developed, as well as systems for functions such as processing payments and resolving disputes, the statement detailed.

Dental clinics having an interest in being involved in the programme have been invited to apply during the third and fourth quarters of this year.

International tourism accounts for a large share of Thailand’s economy, and the COVID-19 pandemic caused the number of foreign visitors to drop to 427,869 in 2021 from 40 million in 2019. In June, the Thai government decriminalised the use and production of cannabis and legalised its use for medicinal purposes in a surprise move that is expected to make the South East Asian country even more attractive to foreign visitors.

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