Health Travel and Medical Tourism Destination Development




Maria Todd works with health, tourism, economic development and educators throughout the world

Are you ready to develop a distinctive health, wellness and rehab tourism destination?

Maria Todd has been working on medical tourism development projects since 1983. She coordinated more than 1000 patient referrals before the CEO of the Medical Tourism Association completed the first grade, and more than 3000 referrals before the CEO of the Medical Tourism Association completed primary school.  With her training as a healthcare administrator and surgical nurse, coupled with 30 years of hands-on experience on five continents, and several years working as a travel agent, hotel, and hospital accreditation expert, Maria Todd's medical tourism knowledge and experience is unparalleled in the industry.

Maria started working in health tourism long before she entered healthcare, and completed her training as a healthcare administrator and surgical nurse. She began in the industry as a travel agent for one of the word's largest travel and tourism agencies, the American Automobile Association's Worldwide Travel Agency, a service for AAA members in the USA, and that offer reciprocity to foreign auto clubs in Germany The General German Automobile Club (ADAC),  the Royal Auto Club (RAC), The Automobile and Tourism Club of Greece (ELPA), Magyar Autóklub (MAK), the Federation of Indian Automobile Associations (FIAA), the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the Automóvil Club Argentino (ACA), the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), the Korea Automobile Association (KAA), the Asociacion Mexicana Automovilístca, the Automovil Club de Mexico, A.C., the The Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM), the Fédération Automobile D’Ukraine (FAU), the  National Automobile Club de Tunisie (NACT), and the Automobile and Touring Club for United Arab Emirates (ATC UAE).  She also worked as a mystery clinic and hospital inspector and inspector of hotels and restaurants for Maritz Research, the largest custom research company in the United States. In 1980, she began her training in healthcare and soon thereafter, began working on her first hotel conversion project to provide specialized accommodation in a health tourism spa recovery resort in South Florida for a group of investors and plastic surgeons. After three successful projects. she consulted to health tourism investors, doctors, hospitals and spa retreats to develop medical, dental, rehab, dialysis and clinical trial tourism programs on five continents.

In 2010, Maria Todd designed the world's largest medical tourism "cluster" organization and the first and only Globally Integrated Health Delivery System®.  The new term of art was granted a trademark registration by the US Patent and Trademark Office in Washington DC.

Handbook of Medical Tourism Program Development, written by Maria Todd is like no other book on the market. It was originally written as an informative workbook to help physicians, hospital executives, and other health and wellness tourism suppliers and government authorities work through their unique startup and business model strategy and derive the greatest value from time spent with Maria during one-on-one consulting. It is now available for purchase at all major retail and online booksellers.

The Handbook of Medical Tourism Program Development, written by Maria Todd is like no other book on the market. It was originally written as an informative workbook to help physicians, hospital executives, and other health and wellness tourism suppliers and government authorities work through their unique startup and business model strategy and derive the greatest value from time spent with Maria during one-on-one consulting. It is now available for purchase at all major retail and online booksellers.

Maria works with government agencies and investors on health and wellness tourism destination development. She has been fortunate to pass vetting with the WHO, IMF, ERDB and other development banks and funding agencies on 5 continents and 120 countries. 

Most places are interested in growth for their medical tourism program, but not growth at any cost. When a medical tourism destination wants to attract a buyer category, the place must carefully define the personas in the category in order to achieve its goals.  Every visitor seeks a unique, pleasurable and memorable stay while spending money on food, lodging, local products other goods and services. This spending has a multiplier effect on local income, employment, and on the tax revenues generated by businesses as long as those receipts are reported and taxes paid appropriately. 

Maria works with tourism boards, hotel associations, medical societies, hospitals and clinics to develop a strategy to build the destination brand character, message, product, and awareness.  Destination marketers of medical, dental, dialysis, and wellness tourism and thermal springs rely on four broad strategies to attract patients and their companion travelers, build their industrial base, and increase exports. These include, but are not limited to:

An image strategy- to communicate something about its present features to others

An attractions strategy - to communicate local attractions that can be embedded into a patient visitor experience at the destination

An infrastructure strategy - a place has to function. Its visitors need good transportation, walkability, safety, constant power and clean water, clean air, rigid modern building codes and enforcement, and recreational spaces along with good hotels and restaurants and taxi services, and

A people strategy - to market its celebrity physicians and dentists, its culture, the friendly, welcoming hospitality of the local residents, its research scientists. In selecting target markets, destination promoters must consider the perceived character of their people. The image of their people affects the interest of potential target markets. Places must encourage citizens to be friendly, helpful and considerate of visitors. They may also need to train residents with new skills to find jobs in the burgeoning medical, dental and wellness tourism markets. This goes beyond the typical healthcare skills to also include language training and cultural sensitivity skills to work effectively with all people from all parts of the world.


logo_higowellMaria Todd also helped to design the functionality for the world's only health tourism information systems platform, HIGOWELL, which offers four different levels of functionality for facilitators, wellness resorts, hospitals, and health tourism clusters involving different brands of hospitals and clinics in a region.  HigoWell recently received first round funding after successfully selling and installing the platform in several settings since the product's launch in 2015.

How to get started

The first step is to call or write and tell us where you want to locate your new practice, your area of specialization, your current program status, your time line, and your budget. We typically start with having you read and work through Maria's Handbook of Medical Tourism Program Development book, and then schedule a telephone or in-person consultation. Optimally, this meeting takes place at your location, but alternatively, we can meet with you at our office in Denver, which is set up with conference rooms and work tables, white boards, and lots of resources we maintain in the office.  Afterward, depending on your needs, we can support most everything else via telephone and web-conference at our usual and customary hourly rates and occasional return missions.  When we travel to you, the fee is inclusive of travel expenses, travel time and consultation time. Maria will not perform any work without a fully-executed fee agreement and modest retainer deposit. As the retainer deposit account is depleted, Maria requests a modest replenishment to continue working on your project.

PLEASE NOTE: Maria Todd owns and operates Mercury Healthcare International, Inc.  While she has been actively involved in medical tourism referral coordination for more than 33 years, Dr Todd no longer personally coordinates referrals of individual consumers to health tourism providers as a medical tourism facilitator.  Her work is exclusively focused on providing specialized fee-based consultation on health tourism business operations and development. 

cover adMercury Healthcare International operates an outsourced, full-service, medical tourism coordination and logistics service and third-party administrator service for its group health purchasers and health benefits management brokers and insurance partners.  Our Globally Integrated Health Delivery System® includes more than 6000 approved and inspected hospitals, 850,000 vetted physicians, and over 9000 ambulatory surgery centers. In addition, more than 300 thermal springs hotels and resorts, in 18 countries have been inspected and approved for network participation.  For more information,  please contact the group health services coordination team at

MHI also publishes Medical Tourism Destinations of Distinction, a quarterly lifestyle and health tourism magazine that features 3 distinctive destinations in each issue along with interesting articles on health and wellness travel and related topics.  Dr Todd serves as Editor in Chief of the publication.  

Featured destinations are selected in collaboration with local, regional and national tourism boards and their featured destination health tourism suppliers.  for additional information on the magazine or to contract for advertising space, contact



Learn about Medical Tourism and Wellness Program Development and Operations from Maria Todd

Maria Todd frequently presents workshops, Master Classes, webinars and seminars for hospitals, clinics, trade associations, professional societies and also gives guest lectures at medical staff meetings and university programs.  In addition, she often conducts focused, custom training programs onsite for clients including the Cleveland Clinic, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, the Korean Health Industry Development Group, The Monterrey Health Tourism Cluster, The Republic of South Africa, Opus Dei Health Systems, Adventist Health, Trinity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare East), Order of St Francis, Gundersen Health, Spectrum Health, Marshfield Clinic, Pediatrix®, Glaxo, Bristol Myers Squibb, Allergan, the Veterans Administration, KCI, Hill Rom, and hundreds of other leading brands in the healthcare industry.

Maria trains physicians and healthcare executives on the business and operational issues related to health and wellness tourism business development and operations. Regardless of the approach you take to enter the market, there are best practices and practical lessons to be learned from the only health tourism expert in the world with more than 3 decades of practical experience. Learn what to build and why,  how to  connect with the market of consumers, insurers and employers curious about medical, dental and rehab tourism, dialysis tourism, wellness tourism, diagnostic testing, transplants and clinical trials tourism.

She trains healthcare professionals and executives, government authorities, investors, and about how to plan, budget and launch your new medical tourism services, how you'll establish a trustworthy and competitive brand, how to establish your market position, how you'll collaborate with suppliers and referral partners, and how you'll contract and promote your new business model.  She also covers use of social media as a marketing strategy, reputation management for physicians, establishing professional brands for doctors and dentists, patient education materials, for patients, brochures, flyers and your website.

mht logo2015For the past several years, MHI's subsidiary, Mercury Health Travel has operated its program of MICE & Medicine®, a unique program for executive checkups at distinctive health tourism destinations.  She is often invited to give presentations to hospitals, clinics and industry events about how to structure this non-threatening "ice breaker" program to introduce a health tourism brand to business and non-business executive and high-net worth travelers.

Maria K Todd, MHA PhD

Chief Executive Officer
The Mercury Healthcare Companies
600 17th Street
Suite 2800- South Tower
Denver, Colorado USA 80202


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