Sun, sand and root canal … Costa Rican tourism
Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute.
Of that number, almost 15,000 of them travelled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica.
Manzi estimates that medical tourism brought in $196 million to Costa Rica's health industry in 2011, with patients spending an additional $84 million in hotels, meals, travel and shopping. That makes for a total of $280 million spent on medical tourism in 2011, compared to $252 million in 2010.