LOCATED OFF THE EASTERN coast of mainland China, Taiwan’s popularity as a medical tourism destination has, until recently, been limited to demographics from within Asia. That’s rapidly changing: Thanks to a combination of high value and low cost, this island destination shows up with increasing frequency on the radar of medical tourists from Western countries including the United States.
Taiwan offers a combination of sophisticated medical facilities and well- trained doctors (many English speakers) plus state-of-the-art medical equipment and procedures. According to the U.S. State Department, a large proportion of the country’s well-trained physicians studied in the United States. As a bonus, preparing for travel isn’t as arduous as it is for some destinations, as U.S. citizens can stay for up to 90 consecutive days visa-free.
The Joint Commission International-accredited Kaohsiung Medical University Chung Ho Memorial Hospital in Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City, earns recognition for innovative modern procedures such as high-intensity-focused ultrasound uterine fibroid treatment; FOOM, or frontalis-orbicularis oculi muscle eye flap surgery; and Asia’s first Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science-confirmed upper arm allotransplantation.
A number of Taiwanese hospitals also offer bespoke services customized to the needs of international medical tourists. Additionally, travelers can benefit from significant cost savings on common popular procedures such as coronary artery bypass grafts, hip replacement, cosmetic surgery, in-vitro fertilization and gastric bypass. In the dental arena, skilled dentists and surgeons offer regular treatments such as fillings, root canals and implants for a fraction of the cost of the same treatments in the United States.
Planning for treatments abroad should, of course, include downtime after arrival and adequate recovery time post-procedure. As an attractive bonus, Taiwan’s tropical setting includes more than 150 natural hot springs spread across the country, many with accessible mud baths and thermal waters for soaking. This makes it an excellent location for healthy relaxation pursuits leading up to a medical treatment or during the recovery period. In and around the capital city of Taipei, thermal springs include Wulai Hot Springs and the world- renowned Beitou Hot Springs. At Wulai, soaking areas along the banks of the Nanshi River allow for bathing beneath the sky; at Beitou, sulfur waters from a long-ago volcano provide a soothing respite.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.