(Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL) (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

And with global growth rates of between 15 and 20 percent, health tourism has become the fastest growing branch of tourism around the world. Experts agree that Croatia has massive potential due to its mild climate and abundance of natural springs and spas. 

Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, said the conference was an excellent platform for tourism experts "to exchange ideas and knowledge, as well as underscore the best business practices from Zagreb and around Croatia."

"We aim to create better synergy between the tourism and health sectors, and agree upon the necessary steps for developing health tourism in the nation's capital and around the country," she continued.

Health Minister Milan Kujundžić said Croatia was home to local and international medical experts who were ready to provide health tourists with the necessary attention and care. "I believe this area has the greatest potential in Croatia," concluded the minister.

"Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have come to understand - and will personally advocate for - the priority positioning of health tourism. It mustn't be merely among the top ten, but a top three tourism offer. And if you ask me, I think it should be the most important. Health tourism contributes to year-round tourism by strengthening the 'pre' and 'post' seasons. And this goes for coastal as well as continental areas," said Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli as he addressed the crowd.

Source: HRT