Thailand’s first competition for medical-tourism bloggers, www.MedBlogContest.com , provided one dozen international finalists with an opportunity to witness firsthand the superior quality of treatments and procedures available here for foreign nationals.
Chosen from among hundreds of applicants from Southeast Asia and around the world, twelve finalists in the Thailand Medical Tourism Blog Contest spent a week observing top-rated medical facilities in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, and Ko Samui.
Upon the conclusion of their research visits, the finalists returned to their home countries to relate their experiences on their medical tourism blogs.
A panel of judges chosen by the Tourism Authority of Thailand monitored the content and readership of the blogs, selecting two individuals to share in nearly US$20,000 in cash and prizes.
A Filipino television personality and a retired teacher from the United Kingdom have been named winners of the competition.
Ivan Henares, 31, of Muntinlupa City in the Philippines, won US$10,000 cash and a US$3,000 travel voucher for drawing the most visitors to his blog, http://medblogcontest.com/blog/9/ .
English-born Michael Rose, 64, a resident of Thailand, won US$3,000 in cash and a US$2,000 travel voucher for the quality content of his blog, http://medblogcontest.com/blog/4/ .
Touring local medical facilities gave the finalists a sense of “the best of what Thailand’s medical tourism industry has to offer,” said Mr. Henares, calling the experience “mind-changing.”
Mr. Rose, who praised TAT for a “superbly organized and run competition,” credited the experience with introducing him to the high quality of medical tourism in his adopted country.
Citing “the level of care offered, the relatively low cost of complex procedures and the way Thailand has integrated tourism and medical care into a complete package,” Mr. Rose said, “I would certainly recommend Thailand as a top-class medical tourism destination.”