Without a doubt, the ageing population has a great influence on the business ecosystem. The ecosystem includes suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, government agencies and more. To thrive, this ecosystem must be adaptable in order to evolve. 

The rapid speed of the population ageing all around the world may have subsequent consequences for socioeconomic development, it demands strategic planning from businesses and proactive policies from governments to respond to the change of the demographic and its consequences. 

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, many governments have adopted policies to address ageing: 

  • 76% promote active and healthy ageing. 
  • 66% support lifelong learning. 
  • 65% encourage private savings. 

Emphasis on the promotion of active and healthy ageing, the Government of Thailand, for example, promote ‘Medical tourism’ – travelling for medical purposes scheduled with vacation during or after recovery state. Factors like cost variations, skilled doctors, and high hospitality standards make Thailand a top destination. The medical tourism sector is expected to grow by 13.2% annually, reaching $24.4 billion by 2027, with acknowledgements to private hospitals in Thailand that also play a significant role in fostering collaboration between hospitals and creating new recovery-oriented businesses and investments. 

In the ecosystem of the medical tourism industry, hospitals and clinics are considered as medical providers and yet hospitals assess the strength of their partnerships with their key suppliers. Here is when the exhibition industry can play a significant part in the medical tourism as a platform for gathering all relevant stakeholders in medical tourism to facilitate networking between medical services, tourism services and technologies to create opportunities which help the ecosystem encourage both innovation and growth which create new value propositions. 

To exemplify, besides the Thai government policies, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) also act as a government body in promoting active and healthy ageing in support of health industry exhibitions such as Thailand LAB International 2024, September 11-13 at BITEC, the show offers a wide range of technologies from Lab Tech, Biotech and Med Tech, extending to Digital Health, Precision Medicine Biopharma and Smart Health Services through co-location with Bio Asia Pacific. Another show like MedLab Asia & Asia Health 2024, July 10-12 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center which is the premier medical laboratory trade event in the ASEAN region, offers a unique blend of cutting-edge products, networking with industry leaders, and opportunities for career growth through learning and upskilling. 

These roles not only support the exhibition industry but also support the MICE industry as a whole and capabilities of the MICE industry enhances medical tourism by connecting medical and tourism businesses and promoting knowledge-sharing forums to advance Thailand’s medical sector and develop new medical tourism routes. 

For more information about Medical Tourism Industry growth in Thailand, please visit MICE Intelligence Center (TCEB).