China’s Shanghai targets medical tourists

Shanghai wants 14 million international tourists, including medical tourists. It has rolled out 30 measures to upgrade its international reputation as a tourist destination.

To make Shanghai more attractive, the municipal government proposes to beautify urban landscape, improve tourist facilities, make the Huangpu River tour a flagship tourism project, and allow visitors to scan QR codes to better understand the city’s history and culture at more attractions.

Other measures include developing village, cruise, and medical tourism, creating a friendlier environment for investors, and improving tourist complaint services.

According to the plan, Shanghai is expected to get 10 million inbound trips made by overseas tourists in 2020 and the figure will rise to 14 million in 2035.

Shanghai hosted an international tourism festival in September.

Patients visiting China for treatment tend to come from the US, Canada, the UK, India, Australia and Japan. US numbers fell after the ban on stem cell treatment in 2012. A few Argentinians go to Shanghai for cancer treatment.

Shanghai has tried before to attract medical tourists but is facing competition from other health destinations in China, including Hainan which is now more open, a popular tourism destination, and better at marketing.

For further analysis of inbound medical tourism to China in 2018, visit the IMTJ Country Report.