MEDICAL AND WELLNESS TOURISM IN INDIA

  • Recently, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism.
  • The policy envisages promoting India as a Medical Value Travel (MVT) and Wellness destination.
  • Medical & Wellness tourism may be defined as ‘activities related to travel and hosting a foreign tourist who stays at least one night at the destination region for the purpose of maintaining, improving or restoring health through medical intervention’ .
  • To create a robust framework and synergy amongst the Ministries of Central Government and State Governments and Private Sector for promoting India as a Medical Value Travel (MVT) and Wellness destination.
  • For this, a new National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board will be created as Minister of Tourism as its Chairman.
  • It will provide a dedicated institutional framework to take forward the cause of promotion of Wellness & Medical Tourism.

The Strategy has identified the following key pillars:

  1. Develop a brand for India as a wellness destination.
  2. Strengthen the ecosystem for medical and wellness tourism.
  3. Enable digitalization by setting up Online MVT Portal.
  4. Enhancement of accessibility for MVT.
  5. Promoting Wellness Tourism.
  6. Governance and Institutional Framework.

Steps taken for the Promotion of Medical and Wellness Tourism

  • The Ministry of Tourism, releases global print, electronic and online media campaigns in important and potential markets overseas, under the ‘Incredible India’ brand line.
  • ‘Medical Visa’ has been introduced, which can be given for specific purposes to foreign travellers coming to India for medical treatment.
  • ‘E- Medical Visa’ and ‘E-Medical Attendant Visa’ have also been introduced for 156 countries.
  • The Ministry of Tourism provides financial Assistance under Market Development Assistance Scheme to Medical Tourism Service Providers accredited by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) for participation in Medical/ Tourism activities.

Way Forward

  • Tourism encompasses multiple ministries and takes place in and within many states and thus requires collective efforts and cooperation with centre and other states.
  • To truly ensure a seamless tourist transportation experience we need to standardise all interstate road taxes and make them payable at a single point which will facilitate the ease of doing business.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

 

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