The regions of Russia’s Far East could propose establishing medical tourism programs to lure in visitors from Asian countries, the CEO of Russia’s Far East Development Fund Alexei Chekunkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
“In the sphere of medical tourism, we have an interesting project on Sakhalin Island. There are people with progressive ideas working on the team of [Sakhalin Region] Governor Valery Limarenko, and they want to ensure that the Japanese come [to the region] for medical treatment. Not the other way around. It is quite possible, taking into account the [population] aging and hard commercialization of services abroad,” the fund’s CEO said, adding that medicine was no longer a social service, but rather a very expensive privilege everywhere else in the world.
According to Chekunkov, medical staff from Russia’s Far Eastern regions may also travel to Korea and Japan to offer their services. The Sakhalin Island and Primorsky Territory are two potential areas of development in this field in Russia, the fund’s chief specified.
“Yes, it’s dark and cold there, but in the same Murmansk offers the best fly fishing in the world. This is royal entertainment. Furthermore, all winter entertainment is very easy to arrange: for this, you need a little capital, snow, and cold. We have snow and cold, we also have capital. Recreational tourism – hot springs and spas, Kamchatka offers this. Ecotourism – people want to eat the cleanest fish in the world, drink the cleanest water. These are all open niches for us,” Chekunkov said.
The Far East Development Fund was established in November 2011 to facilitate the inflow of investments, develop projects in Russia’s Far East and foster cooperation with foreign partners.