We are now going to welcome Mª Paz Llorente Sanchez.
So, can you tell us a little bit about just what Canary Medical Key is?
It’s a company that offers intermediary and other services for Medical Tourism. We are endeavouring to attract tourists to the Canary Islands to recuperate or improve their health. The Medical Health industry currently has a worldwide turnover of seventy five billion euros, with an annual growth of 30% and we have yet to secure a real slice of the cake.
Does this mean that no tourists come here to be cured of any type of illness?
Very few so far.
Nevertheless, there are certainly clinics here that are well equipped and able deal with any type of tourist with any sort of illness or condition, aren’t there? Aren’t we considered to be among the best in the country?
Exactly, they are very well equipped. And, among the best in the world, as Spanish healthcare has been ranked between the fifth and seventh position globally. Furthermore, within Europe, the Canaries hold the thirty-sixth position among the approximately two hundred regions with the best healthcare, ahead of all the regions in France except one and ahead of all those in Germany except one too.
Are there many regions in Spain that really dedicate their time to this, placing importance and, moreover, money on Health Tourism?
In Spain, we are just starting really, Turespaña (Spanish Institute of Tourism) is now also backing this type of tourism and it is included in national plans. Besides, the health tourist spends between five to ten times more at their destination than a normal tourist.
In addition, we have excellent resorts and facilities because this type of tourist wouldn’t want to stay in just any hotel; therefore, we have practically all we need. What more do we need, Mª Paz?
We are very well considered as regards both tourism and healthcare. The only thing we need now is to sell ourselves as a Health Tourism or Medical Tourism destination.
How can we sell this product abroad?
Through an international promotional campaign and the Internet. Nowadays, the majority of people who seek treatment abroad do it via the Internet. Consequently, all our businesses must work towards positioning themselves as ideally as possible on the Internet.
Through this window to the world provided by the conferences organised by SPEGC (Organisation for the Economic Promotion of Gran Canaria), how do you think the organisation and these facilities can help you?
Well, speaking to you, for example, on the radio. And then, thanks to all the courses we have done with the EOI (School for Industrial Organisation), we have had a good deal of contact with people from all over Spain, such as from Turespaña, with well-established consultant companies and with other entrepreneurs who already have contacts abroad. Above all, it has been a networking opportunity, to connect up with people who work in the same sector.
We are talking about a very particular sector of tourism. What connections do you have to form in order to get known abroad? Do you know which doors to knock on?
There are specific conferences for the sector and, at the same time, we can also contact medical insurance companies in certain countries. And, particularly on the Internet, as 80% of patients search for their treatment on the Internet. We must “get our skates on” as far as this is concerned.
Do you have an estimation of what you expect for your business? What are your objectives and wishes for the short and long term?
We would like to reach five patients per month, which is an ambitious goal.
People are already coming here for treatment, particularly Scandinavians for rheumatic complaints, the Canary Islands having been recommended because our climate and the salinity of the Atlantic Ocean, isn’t that right?
Yes, but we would like numbers to keep increasing. We hope that this will be the case now that the new European Directive is in place.
How should we perceive your company?
By thinking of our catchphrase “We create health experiences.”
Is there a particular website?
Yes, www.canarymedicalkey.com, and in five languages.
We know that you organised a Medical and Health Tourism conference, tell us about that.
Yes, it was actually the 1st Health Tourism Conference here. The idea was to make known the business opportunities that this market offers. The truth is it went very well, around 55 people attended, so very positive.
Well, good, the important thing is to lay the first stone, then another and continue on little by little. Mª Paz Llorente, head of Canary Medical Key, a company that is working on attracting health tourists to the region. Mª Paz, thank you very much for this interview, it has been a pleasure.
Thank you very much.