Only a few years ago, medical tourism was a blip in overall global tourism
spending. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar industry that is expected to
increase by up to 25 percent per year over the next 10 years.²
Using Visa transaction data we can see how much medical tourism has
grown and project future growth from there. As the world’s population
ages, hundreds of thousands of travelers are expected to seek medical
services outside their home country—and spend billions of dollars on
treatments. Visa can provide a near real-time view into the size and scope of
the world’s leading medical tourism centers.
By examining cross-border spending for medical services in more than
176 countries, we found the United States to be the single largest hub
for medical tourism. Thailand, Singapore, Germany, Korea, and Spain are
quickly catching up, increasingly attracting visitors from around the world,
according to an analysis of transaction data.
Business and government leaders can use this information to identify
unique opportunities. Understanding the travel patterns can inform
investment decisions, like where to build new hospitals. Meanwhile, travel
service providers can also benefit from these insights—whether planning
investments in ancillary businesses, like hotels, or determining where to add