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Health Tourism Expert joins Advisory Board of Positive Tourism Network

Dr. Constantine Constantinides, Health Tourism Integration expert joins the Advisory Board of Positive Tourism Network. His contribution will be related to his competency in health tourism development and will focus on implementation strategy.
Dr. Constantinides is the founder and Chief Executive of healthCare cybernetics (a think and do tank with an internationally recognized competency in Health Tourism)…

Dr. Constantine ConstantinidesDr. Constantine Constantinides, Health Tourism Integration expert joins the Advisory Board of Positive Tourism Network. His contribution will be related to his competency in health tourism development and will focus on implementation strategy.
Dr. Constantinides is the founder and Chief Executive of healthCare cybernetics (a think and do tank with an internationally recognized competency in Health Tourism).

He comes from a country of many islands (Greece) and an economy heavily dependent on tourism. His diverse medical & healthcare sector background together with the observation that the demand for conventional tourism was “on the decline” (internationally) led him (in 1997) to add Health Tourism as one of the domains that the think and do tank would address.

His interest in studying the challenges (with regards to health tourism development) faced by island destinations (both nations and regions) prompted him to approach Positive Tourism Network, producer of the Caribbean Health Tourism & Spa Conference.

The idea was to begin a dialogue on health tourism development and integration in the Caribbean with Jamaica as the initial focus.

This in turn led to his involvement in the third annual Caribbean Health Tourism & Spa Conference (held in association with Caribbean Export – New Sectors Division) in Jamaica (May 2007).

His contribution to the Symposium included participation in sessions dealing with “Standardization and Accreditation of Caribbean Health & Spa Tourism Sector” and “Integrating Indigenous Healers into the Health Tourism Domain”.

During his week-long stay, he had face to face meetings with the Minister of Tourism, representatives of Jamaica Trade & Invest (formerly JAMPRO), local health tourism experts and stakeholders. And, on returning to his base, he submitted a confidential report to the then Minister of Tourism.

His overall impression is that Jamaica and the Caribbean generally, have a potential for successful development of a health and wellness tourism industry. This potential can be converted to actuality with the appropriate implementation of specific concerted actions.

A seminal observation made by Dr. Constantinides is that in the face of fierce and sophisticated international competition, Health Tourism destinations (whether long-established & successful or just developing) have to be “super efficient” just to remain in their chosen league. A further observation was that Health Tourism Domains (or ‘ecosystems”) in their innate state, are fragmented and therefore, inefficient. These observations led him (over a number of years) to develop a universally implementable Domain Integration Project Model.

Domain integration has been initiated in Greece with similar projects about to be implemented in a number of other countries as well. 

Dr. Constantinides has said that the way to begin health tourism integration in a country or region is by “mapping, segmenting and engaging your stakeholders” (as part of a well designed and systematically implemented project).

He keeps emphasising: “from the bottom up and first things first – or in parallel”.
“You cannot brand and promote before you have a product (service) that will stand up to critical and close scrutiny and the challenges of the fierce and sophisticated international competition”.
And “how can you do anything, in a concerted way, if your domain is still in its innate state and thus fragmented (and consequently inefficient)?”

Finally, he points to the necessity of providing formal Executive Education and Vocational Training in Health Tourism (to move away from empiricism and into professionalism).

The 2008-2009 Positive Tourism Network Advisory Board includes Sandra Henry (Jamaica Diaspora Foundation) and Dr. Diane Robertson (Pharmacist, Herb Specialist and author).

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