Hungary attracts millions of travellers each year. But it’s not just for the architecture, history and culture. Dental tourism is on the rise – increasing numbers of Europeans are flocking in for a bite of the expertise and low prices of dental care.
With its majestic setting on the banks of the Danube, Budapest has long been a tourist hotspot.
These days however, the Hungarian capital is attracting a new type of visitor.
Erna has come here from France for some top-of-the-range dentistry, available for a fraction of the price back home.
Erna said, “I have come to Hungary because they do implants that are cheaper than in France.”
Erna is among some 80,000 people whose choose to travel to Hungary for dental care every year.
In this clinic there are six multilingual dentists who treat up to 10 foreign patients per day.
Dentist Dr. Jozsef Furstner said, “Given that we are now part of the European Community, the quality is tested and is absolutely the same compared to any other country within the EU.”
As Europe and Hungary confront the economic crisis, the country’s 600 dental clinics are flourishing, with a turnover of around 250 million euros a year. It isn’t just the dentists themselves who are tapping into the demand. This business promotes Hungarian dental care and charges a 15% commission for every new patient it finds.
Laszlo Szucs, CEO of the Hungarian Dental Tourism Bureau, said, “More than 90% of clients find their information on the internet. We are using the net and have developed and created a portal and a point of sale that works like those hotel reservations sites except with us you are not booking a hotel room but a dentist.”
The flow of clients to Hungary looks set to continue. Last year Prime Minister Viktor Orban signed a co-operation agreement with the Hungarian tourism board underlining government support of the dental tourism industry.
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