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South Korea’s Medical and Cosmetic Tourism

Perhaps the elixir of youth truly exists in the form of plastic surgery. Although going under the knife may be a common routine for the rich and famous in order to stay young and beautiful, they want to come out looking natural and keep their doctor’s appointment as private as possible.


Government Supported Medical Tourism

South Korea is the world’s top destination for medical and cosmetic services. The government strongly promotes its medical and cosmetic tourism, supporting accredited medical tourism agencies and collaborating with selected hospitals, clinics and health care providers.

To ensure safety and optimum results, the Government of South Korea encourages medical tourists to work only with registered tourism agencies and accredited hospitals. About 20% of South Korea’s medical and cosmetic providers is found in Gangnam, with hundreds of clinics offering various surgical procedures and related services collectively called medical tourism packages.


Medical Tourism Revenue Triples in 2012

Based on the estimates from the Korea Tourism Organization, the country’s medical tourism was valued at $453 million in 2012, thrice the amount in 2009. South Korea’s medical and cosmetic tourism is no joke. Its cosmetic surgery rate is higher than that of Greece, Italy and the U.S.

South Korea’s All-Inclusive Medical Package

Clinics in South Korea provides a full range of medical and health services, including hotel accommodations, airport transfers, online communication support with multilingual options, and video consultations. On average, a plastic surgery trip costs $14,000, including fare and accommodation.


K-Pop Culture Boosts Korea’s Medical Tourism

The popularity of K-Pop has huge impact on the promotion of South Korea’s medical and cosmetic tourism. K-Pop artists want to alter their looks, wanting to look like westerners. Many K-Pop fans, on the other hand, want to look like their Korean idols. Either way, K-Pop culture draws more people to South Korea to undergo plastic surgery despite the fact that it costs less in their own countries.

South Korea’s medical tourism offers revolutionary cosmetic surgery and medical services combined with utmost anonymity, travel, recreation and uninterrupted recuperation. No wonder that people flock to South Korea and come home looking incredibly different – a good kind of different, that is.


Photos by: Thomas Fisher Rare Book LibraryRepublic of KoreaUSAG- Humphreys and Tokyo Fashion

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