Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and Civil Aviation has announced that the Government would be setting up Medical Intelligence Tourism Board of India to facilitate inbound tourism and to create new ideas for attracting more tourists including the medical tourists.
While addressing CII Health Summit in the capital, Dr Sharma said that the first meeting of the Board would take place soon and organisations like CII would play an important role in strengthening the activities of the Board. “The Government will limit its role to facilitating and coordinating in bringing stakeholders together and creating an eco system that promotes tourism”, he added.
Referring to the huge potential that India has in medical tourism, the Minister said that the achievement on the ground was not commensurate. “All stakeholders should join hands to dissect the problems and to evolve ameliorative measures”, he added. Dr Sharma also mentioned that the Government is also taking certain critical measures for attracting tourists into the country. Tourists from over 150 countries could avail of e-visa on arrival, which would speed up the flow of tourists into the country. Smaller countries like Maldives and Sri Lanka are, on an average, attracting over 2 crore visitors yearly by appropriately packaging their tourism strengths. India endowed with a huge land mass and geographical diversity could attract more than these island countries could command.
The Minister said that India has 7000 kms of sea coast which very few countries could boast off. Still flow of tourists across the sea coast are very low. “It is time we set up facilities for yoga, medical treatment etc across the coast line to derive full advantage of the inherent strengths. He also said that India could emerge as an important medical hub since some of the critical surgeries like knee replacement; dental surgery etc. could be undertaken at one-sixth or one-eighth of the cost prevalent in developed countries.
11th December 2015