CIHT 2023: Croatia’s Leading Health Tourism Conference, 11th Edition

Paul Bradbury

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September 28, 2023 – All eyes on Crikvenica as global health tourism experts will gather once more on the Kvarner riviera next month for CIHT 2023.

I go to a lot of conferences in Croatia. And my favourite? Without a doubt, the Crikvenica International Health Tourism conference (CIHT 2023) that takes place each year on the Kvarner riviera.

I had lived in Croatia for 16 years before even realised that Croatia not only had a medical tourism industry, but it had several world-class products, as well as considerable respect among industry professionals all over the globe.

I became very aware of this at CIHT 2018, where I learned about the huge potential of this much neglected sector at the conference, as well as meeting and interviewing some serious international players from the medical tourism world, including Keith Pollard, Editor of the International Medical Travel Journal, and Sherine Azli, CEO of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, voted the best medical tourism country in the world.

In 2013, the Tourist Board of the City of Crikvenica, along with Thalassotherapy Crikvenica as the co-organizer, launched this Conference for the first time, marking the occasion of 125 years of organized tourism on the Crikvenica Riviera. The first goal of this effort was to draw international attention, along with raising public awareness, to the value and potential which the Crikvenica Riviera holds as a health destination. Specifically, the advantages of Crikvenica in this touristic segment are the healing properties of nature and highly proficient health services. Secondly, the goal was to encourage a deeper and more meaningful synergy between stakeholders within this destination, especially between health care institutions connected with tourism. One must not lose sight that health tourism is the foundation of tourist development in Crikvenica.

The CIHT Conference, co-organized by the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster in 2015, helped in the branding not only of the Kvarner Region, but of the entire Croatia as a destination with a diverse tourist offer catering to the needs of various guest profiles. The growing attendance of the Conference over the years proved that there is a need to discuss the strategy of the development of health tourism in Croatia, noting that Croatia is a country featuring a long tradition in health service provision, and furthermore having a favourable climate, natural healing factors and numerous of established health institutions.

This Conference unites health, tourism, marketing and knowledge, and from year to year it has been growing in both quantity and quality. Its significance was recognized by both the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Health, as a conference with continuity, credibility and quality topics discussed by top national and foreign experts. The above ministries have supported the Conference year by year, and have now confirmed its status as the most important international conference of this type in Croatia.

Around 200 industry experts and professionals are expected at this year’s CIHT, which will take place on October 26 and 27 at Hotel Miramare in Crikvenica. There will be 15 lecturers from 7 countries which will discuss the strategies and opportunities of cluster associations, the application of AI for improving business in the health tourism field, the humanization of health care in the digital age and role of the “forest bath” that alleviates technocratic stress and already has a notable place within the Croatia’s health tourism offer.

CIHT 2023

This year the sponsor is JGL Ltd., a Croatian pharmaceutical company with global success and recognition, and the partners of the conference are the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatian Tourist Board, Kvarner Tourist Board and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

Registration for the conference is open! The registration fee for on-site participation is EUR 200.00 and online participation is free. Additional information can be found on the official website of the conference.

Looking for an overview of the medical tourism options in Croatia? Check out our video below.


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