Speaking at the first Medical Media Lunch Rika Jean-Francois, the CSR officer at Messe Berlin GmbH in charge of Medical Tourism, said that interest in the segment at ITB Berlin had trebled in one year. According to a new study, the industry was forecast to grow over the next ten years by 25 per cent and offered business prospects to the tune of 50 billion dollars, she said. The driving forces were low-cost flights and the medical services on offer at holiday destinations which made it possible to combine vacationing and treatment. Other factors were laws by which certain types of medical treatment were allowed in one country, but not in another, and an ageing society. Jean-Francis emphasised that ITB Berlin’s goal in 2018 was to promote sustainable medical tourism services and ensure that local residents at destinations benefited from the jobs being created and improved health themselves. Due to this year’s vastly increased demand for medical tourism the segment has relocated to Hall 21. Furthermore, an ITB Medical Night will be taking place for the first time which will offer destination managers and organisers an opportunity to network.