Medical tourism is big business: 80,000 Omanis traveled to Thailand last year
More than 80,000 Omanis travelled to Thailand in 2015, the designate Thailand Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, said.
“A majority of the tourists from Oman visted Thailand for medical treatment,” Ambassador Jesda Katavetin said.
Explaining why his country is a major hub for medical tourism, Katavetin said affordable hospital care, state-of-the-art equipment, well-trained medical personnel, and easy access to doctors makes Thailand a major destination for people who seek quality healthcare.
“Omanis are welcome to get a visa-on-arrival as usual, and Thailand has already offered a multiple-entry visa with a validity of six months and with the entitlement of a period of stay for 60 days at a time,” Katavetin added.
Both the countries are trying to boost the number of tourists coming to both countries, Katavetin explained.
“The launch of new airlines offering direct flights between Bangkok and Muscat might also boost the number of tourists in this sector,” Katavetin stated.
Oman and Thailand have enjoyed an excellent bilateral relationship for a long time and they share a lot of things, Ambassador Katavetin noted.
“We look at the Gulf countries as a new frontier for cooperation,” Katavetin said.
In 2015, the Sultanate and the Kingdom of Thailand celebrated the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
“The Kingdom of Thailand can be a good partner for the Sultanate of Oman in its attempt to help diversify the Sultanate’s economy during this crisis period and this is the perfect time to diversify the economy,” Katavetin asserted.
Thailand can also share its expertise and work in sectors, such as tourism, fisheries, and medical services, he added.
“In fields, such as fisheries, Thailand has high expertise and we can easily share with our friends in the Sultanate and help the country diversify its economy,” he said.
“We can help the Sultanate become a fisheries hub in the GCC,” he added.
The Kingdom of Thailand believes it can do more business with the Sultanate of Oman, according to Katavetin.
“An Omani can easily partner in Thailand by investing in the services sector business like the hospital sector,” Katavetin said.
According to him, the people of Oman and Thailand share a solid foundation in furthering bilateral relations and can act as the biggest asset for the two countries.
“The people of Oman and Thailand share a lot of similarities and they are the real asset of these countries,” he said.
“Both the people are known for their great hospitable nature and this makes them different from others,” he added.
Speaking about the Thai community in Oman, the ambassador said, “We have a small community here in Oman, which is around 500 and out of that 300 are working with the national carrier of Oman.”
“This shows the demand for Thai hospitality,” he added.
Katavetin also congratulated His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, on behalf of the Thai community, on the occasion of the Renaissance Day of the Sultanate.
“We are grateful for His Majesty’s kindness, which allows us to live prosperous lives in this beautiful country. We wish His Majesty good health and happiness,” Katavetin said.
By Mobin Mathew Blessin