Medical Tourism Gets Hairy in Turkey

© Jim White
The idea that people combine a holiday with medical treatment has always fascinated and perplexed me, but some destinations have run with this idea in a big way. Bulgaria proclaims itself to be the “Dental Tourism Capital of Europe” and Mexico welcomes foreign visitors who come seeking medical services that would be out of reach at home.

Turkey’s tourism fortunes are already on the rise, but one niche in particular is experiencing enormous growth. The number of visitors travelling to Turkey to have facial hair implants has grown astronomically in recent years. One cosmetic surgeon interviewed by The Guardian stated that moustache and beard implants now make up 75% of his business. The trend is primarily driven by male tourists from Arab countries where facial hair is valued as a sign of masculinity and virility.

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