“I’ll never forget the moment when 60 Minutes, America’s premier news show, contacted me to do a story on the hospital. It was like reaching the peak of Mt. Everest.”

Ruben Toral remembers those days fondly, when Thailand’s Bumrungrad International Hospital, where he was the group marketing director from 2001 to 2007, was at the epicentre of Asia’s medical tourism boom. “We had an exceptionally great product and we were the first movers.”

As much as the 12-minute TV segment on Asia’s emerging medical tourism market, which aired in 2005, marked a high point for Toral’s healthcare career, it also anchored the growth trajectory of Bumrungrad as one of Southeast Asia’s top medical travel hotspots.


Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

Xinyi—who is from Singapore but based in Bangkok, Thailand—joins us as a reporter primarily covering travel and tourism with a business lens. She’s spent the last decade writing about the business of travel in Southeast Asia for publications that include TTG Asia, Travel Weekly Asia and Skift.

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