Proving that low prices are not the only way to get medical tourists, German hotels and hospitals are attracting an increasing number of customers from the Middle East whose key concern is luxury, comfort and attention to cultural needs.
Germany understands that to attract high-paying medical tourists from certain countries, you must pay attention to their religious, cultural, dietary and other needs. To this sector of the market, price is not important. But what does matter is attention to detail, high-level personal service and very comfortable surroundings. When this type of patient wants to talk to his doctor, they mean now, not in a few hours time when it suits the doctor. Failure to appreciate cultural needs is why many Middle East medical tourists are turning away from certain countries who just offer them their standard service, to places like Germany that understand their needs. Often they bring several family members and stay a long time for treatment and recuperation, so they spend a lot of money-in return they expect to get special treatment.
The Charles Hotel in Munich, part of the Rocco Forte Hotels group, is a leading hotel in the centre of Munich. With a high hospital density, Munich has become an attractive destination for patients travelling from the Middle East. Frank Heller of The Charles Hotel says, ‘In 2011 over 70 % of our Middle Eastern guests were booking into our hotel for a medical stay. We collaborate with the best hospitals and surgeons in the city, offering Middle Eastern guests a home away from home while they recuperate in a luxurious and comfortable retreat. To cater to the specific needs of our Middle East guests, The Charles Hotel has an Arabic chef, rooms have a copy of the Koran and prayer mat, and there is an outdoor courtyard where guests can enjoy shisha. Other exclusive services include our personal limousine service and in-house medical concierge.” The hotel also offers luxury spa and wellness services.
Rocco Forte’s Villa Kennedy hotel in Frankfurt, works closely with Dr Ulrich Mondorf, an expert in illnesses common across the Middle East – diabetes, renal and coronary heart disease. Offering tailor-made check-ups for Middle Eastern visitors, Dr Mondorf provides international patients with high-quality medical care in a comfortable outpatient environment, allowing guests to relax and recuperate in a five-star environment. Another Rocco Forte hotel, the Hotel de Rome in Berlin, is within walking distance of top hospitals
German medical tourism is growing at 20 to 30% a year and much of this trade comes from the high spending Middle East. Residents from the UAE alone spend up to $2 billion in healthcare travel annually. Attracted by high quality medical and accommodation, and Germany’s excellent medical reputation, Germany is a leading destination for Middle Eastern medical travelers seeking top quality, safe and easily accessible healthcare.