SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The hospitality industry in Puerto Rico took a significant step toward positioning the island as a prime destination for health and wellness travel when the Caribe Hilton and Condado Plaza Hilton were certified as a WellHotel™ after completing an intensive training and evaluation program offered through the Medical Tourism Association®, the Puerto Rico Medical Tourism Corporation and Medical Tourism Association® announced today.
"The medical tourism experience does not begin and end with treatment," Renée-Marie Stephano, president of the Medical Tourism Association®. "In many cases, patients may require special medical attention before and after a hospital stay until they are able to travel safely. "The good news is that the hospitality industry -- through carefully researched and crafted education and training – is proactively recognizing the unique needs of these medical travelers and raising standards that not only meet expectations of both patients and their guests, but help to define satisfaction levels for the entire medical tourism journey."
The Medical Tourism Association® worked closely with the international healthcare community and stakeholders who purchase its services to establish the WellHotel™ certification program, which offers a unique curriculum that fosters effective interaction among hotel administrative and service personnel with patients, medical providers, and ground operators. The Caribe Hilton Hotel and Condado Plaza Hilton participated in training programs that ensured their services were responsive to medical guests from safety requirements and interpersonal communication to cultural sensitivity protocols and disease prevention practices.
The Puerto Rico Medical Tourism Corporation, an arm of the commonwealth's tourism structure, is in the midst of an aggressive campaign to market the island's healthcare services to international patients. In the next three years, those efforts are hoped to create some 3,000 jobs and inject $300 million into the island's economy.
Francisco G. Bonet, executive director of the Puerto Rico Medical Tourism Corporation, said, in addition to the Caribe Hilton and Condado Plaza, a half-dozen more hotels in Puerto Rico are expected to complete WellHotel™ certification requirements by the end of this year.
"As part of our strategic plan, we hired the MTA for the process of training and certification to entities that not only provide healthcare, but also complimentary services to medical tourism patients. Many of these hotels are already in their final stage and, today, we are pleased to announce the first certifications for Caribe Hilton and Condado Plaza," said Bonet, who recognized Metro Pavia, HIMA San Pablo and Ashford Presbyterian Community as healthcare providers in Puerto Rico that had participated in an earlier round of training that, when finished, would certify some 35 hospitals to offer medical tourism services to foreign patients.
The Puerto Rico Medical Tourism Corporation is a sponsor of the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, Sept. 27-30, 2015, in Orlando, Fla., where investors and entrepreneurs can learn about healthcare and tourism services in Puerto Rico and how public officials are joining with the private sector to revitalize the Caribbean island into a hub for medical tourism. http://www.medicaltourismcongress.com/
About the Medical Tourism Association®
As the first membership-based international nonprofit trade organization and think-tank for the medical tourism and healthcare industries, the Medical Tourism Association® develops and implements creative and sustainable strategies for attracting direct foreign investments. The MTA provides advisory services to investors researching the industry and matches these financiers with medical tourism-related projects. www.MedicalTourismAssociation.com
Contact: Joseph Harkins, 561-791-2000, ext. 803, [email protected]
SOURCE Medical Tourism Association