TEHRAN – The 17th International Exhibition of Tourism and Related Industries in Tehran aims to promote traditional Iranian medicine to boost medical tourism in Iran.
The 17th Iran International Tourism and Related Industries Exhibition 2024 is scheduled to be held at the Tehran International Permanent Fair from February 12 to 15, 2024. Representatives from 11 countries are expected to attend, with the Secretary-General of World Tourism of the United Nations Organization as a special guest.
This exhibition is considered the main event of the tourism industry in Iran, given the country’s regional importance in the health sector, evolving into a center for medical tourism. The Office of Persian and Complementary Medicine in the Iranian Ministry of Health is actively participating to attract health-conscious tourists interested in traditional medicine.
The Director General of the Office of Persian and Complementary Medicine, emphasizing Iran’s unique capabilities in traditional medicine and herbal medicine, stated: “Using the tourism potential of Iranian medicine, lifestyle recommendations, coping with different climates (desert, forest , seas, etc.), and strategies for maintaining and improving health, along with simple and effective treatment methods, will be culturally presented to tourists through Iranian medical tourism.”
Nafiseh Hosseini-Yekta added, “The diverse climates in Iran, including mountains, deserts and salt lakes, offer great capabilities for preventing and helping to treat diseases based on the principles of Persian medicine. The capabilities of Persian medicine in the tourism industry can to play an important economic role for the country. Furthermore, the development of health villages and towns using the capacities and teachings of Persian medicine would be very effective in the health economy and income generation.
Hosseini-Yekta emphasized that this emerging industry has numerous benefits for the country, including job creation, economic prosperity, promotion of Persian medicine culture and enhancement of public health.
She underlined: “Persian medicine, as a component of Iran’s culture and civilization, can act as a driving and effective force for cultural variables.”
Hosseini-Yekta addressed the challenges facing Iranian medical tourism, saying: “Lack of necessary equipment and infrastructure in centers providing Iranian medical services, lack of specialized tourism companies active in Iranian medical tourism, insufficient international presentation and advertising of Iranian medical tourism capacities. , lack of specialists in Iranian medicine, lack of sufficient training for service providers in medical tourism, and lack of justification for medical tourism activists and enthusiasts regarding the capacities of Iranian medical tourism are some of the challenges faced by this industry.
Hosseini-Yekta, emphasizing that overcoming these challenges requires cooperation and synergy between various government and private agencies, the medical community and traditional medicine specialists, said: “By addressing these challenges and with proper planning and policy making, we can witness the prosperity of Iranian medical tourism in Iran and benefit from its economic and social advantages.”
She emphasized that this exhibition provides a suitable opportunity for the presentation and promotion of this emerging industry to tourism industry professionals and the general public.
Traditional Iranian medicine focuses strongly on prioritizing health maintenance and disease prevention over treatment. It is one of the oldest forms of traditional medicine, based on the concept of four humors: phlegm (Balgham), blood (Dam), yellow bile (Safra’) and black bile (Sauda’). This concept is based on the teachings of Rhazes and Avicenna in an elaborate medical system.
Experts say medical tourism in Iran is a win-win for both the country and foreign patients, offering affordable yet quality treatment services while the country earns significant foreign exchange.