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Freeman Cebu Business

Cosmetics firm to push Phl as medtourism hub

Ehda Dagooc - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - Cosmetics company Belo Medical Group aims to help the country seize a sizeable share of the multi-million dollar medical tourism market in the world.

Belo Medical Group founder Vicky Belo vows to help the Philippines take the spotlight in medical tourism, particularly in the wellness and beauty services.

Belo, who was able to etch her name as a beauty icon not only in the Philippines, but also in other parts of the world, has been able to attract foreign clients who purposely visit the Philippines just to avail of Belo services. Belo said the company’s foreign clients have been increasing at an average of 30 percent annually.

Foreign clients include, European, Chinese, Middle Easterns, from the United States, and Australians, among others.

"We have big potential to seize the big and growing medical tourists in the world," Belo said in an interview. She however said that the country needs to address support infrastructure to maximize the potential.

Belo said the unimpressive infrastructure in the airport, roads, traffic, among others are one of the few important frontliners that need to be improved.

Despite that, the Belo group is still bent on advancing and attracting more medical tourists to the country, as well as making presence in other countries specifically in ASEAN.

The company is set to open clinics in Singapore, Jakarta, and other ASEAN countries to stress the leadership of the Philippines in light medical tourism aspect, especially in beauty and wellness, or the business of "feeling good and beautiful."

Likewise, through its subsidiary company Belo Essentials, the brand will continue to expand the inventories and product lines for beauty--anti-aging, whitening, acne cure, among others, although different products have already entered the market.

Belo said the Philippines may be slow in realizing to attract the hard-core medical tourism market, but she is confident that the Philippines will be able to immediately attract the beauty and wellness side of the spectrum.

A few years back, Cebu has already established its own positioning, by focusing on attracting tourists seeking for light medical procedures.

According to Cebu Health and Wellness Council vice chairperson Jenny Franco, Cebu is gaining production from overseas market in terms of light medical services such as dental, cosmetics, including wellness and leisure.

Franco said Cebu’s positioning is working on its advantage, while its capability to offer hard-core medical services or major medical operations can be done in Manila.

On the other hand, Franco said that Cebu is now the preferred destination for light medical procedures, like executive check up, cosmetic treatment and surgery, dental, combined with leisure and wellness activities.

Based on recent study released by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, the Philippines has market niches in elective surgery, stem cell therapy, aesthetic and cosmetic/plastic surgery, dental care and wellness treatment, among others.

“The lack of a sustained Philippine marketing campaign abroad has been pointed as a major shortcoming of medical tourism in the country,” the PIDS study underscored. — (FREEMAN)

BELO

BELO ESSENTIALS

BELO MEDICAL GROUP

CEBU

CEBU HEALTH AND WELLNESS COUNCIL

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

JENNY FRANCO

MEDICAL

MIDDLE EASTERNS

PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE

PHILIPPINES

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