Over the past two decades, Croatia has placed significant emphasis on tourism development and is today recognized as one of the most attractive destinations in the Mediterranean. Although the strongest emphasis is placed on the development of tourism in the coastal area and on the islands in the form of the classic "sun and sea" based offer, the need for the development of distinct, specific forms of tourism has been recognized in recent years, such as rural tourism, sports tourism, gastronomic tourism, and others.
One of the most rapidly growing types of tourism in the world, which is still not sufficiently strategically recognized in Croatia, is health tourism. Health tourism as an umbrella term encompasses three subtypes: medical, rehabilitation, and wellness tourism. According to the National Healthcare Strategy 2012-2020 medical tourism means travelling to other destinations for the purpose of receiving healthcare (for partial surgical procedures, dental, cosmetic, psychiatric, and alternative treatments, together with associated care and recovery services).
As a country with a high-quality workforce and excellence in providing healthcare services, Croatia has a strong foundation for the development of health tourism and its subtypes. The position paper provides suggestions for specific measures and activities that could significantly contribute to the development of medical tourism in Croatia.