India has always been a lucrative destination for tourism and travel and is ranked 7th in this sector amongst 184 countries in the world. This country offers an attractive and diverse portfolio of tourism products in the niche segment including cruises, adventure, medical, health and wellness, educational, cultural, sports, eco-tourism, film, rural, religious and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) tourism. Owing to its rich culture and heritage, India has also been recognized as a spiritual tourism zone.
Medical Tourism (MT)
India happens to be one of the most preferred Medical Tourism destinations that currently captures 18% of the global market. It is likely to be worth 9 billion USD by 2020!
Competitive Advantage of Medical Treatment in India
- Accredited clinical facilities on par global standards.
- State-of-art innovative medical equipment and cutting-edge frontier technologies to support medical diagnostics and procedures. This ensures reliable outcomes, reduced complications, minimal hospitalization and quick recovery of patients.
- Experienced and skilled team of doctors, paramedics, nurses and other medical staff who have high levels of competency and capabilities.
- Tremendous cost savings as high-quality care comes at extremely affordable rates. Treatment expenses incurred are usually only one-fifth or one-tenth of other Western countries!
- Zero waiting times for surgeries and other medical interventions in India through expedited visa procedures and online consultation and appointment bookings.
- Highest percentage of English speaking Indian healthcare personnel offering compassionate care with warmth and hospitality diminishing communication barriers to foreigners.
India Tourism Statistics
- The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) in India exceeded the 10 million mark last year.
- The revenue generated from the Indian tourism industry is over 27 billion USD.
- Tourism sector contributes to nearly 7% of India’s Gross Development Product(GDP)
- This industry provides employment to more than 41 million citizens.
- The government has sanctioned 67 projects recently with a renewed focus on infrastructure development apart from promoting theme-based and religious circuits for tourists.
Strengths of Indian Tourism Industry
- The country is geographically vast and blessed with a natural landscape full of flora and fauna making it the perfect spot for holidaying and recreation.
- The presence of huge skilled and unskilled Indian workforce paves a unique opportunity for seeking inflow of foreign travellers. This workforce is the greatest pillars of the service-based tourism and hospitality industry who add the ‘personalization’ touch.
- India has a diverse population and multiple languages thereby catering to varying needs of travellers, be it, adventure, wellness, culture, cuisine or heritage.
- Pro-Tourism approach adopted by the Indian government boosts the industry with several tourist friendly measures including
- Tourist Visa on Arrival (VoA) expedited by the process of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) promoting hassle-free travel of citizens across 43 countries to visit India.
- Easy legal procedures, improved infrastructure development and enhancement of major tourist circuits ensure a pleasant stay for foreign tourists. Further, intensified promotional and marketing strategies and creation of user-friendly, multi-lingual tourist information websites make visitors feel ‘at-home’.
- The launch of mobile applications like ‘Incredible India’ allows both international and national tourists to easily access reliable information about service operators recognized by the ministry.
- Medical Tourism in India is a major sector of Indian Tourism that has great demand for both treatment and preventive healthcare purposes.
Factors such as adequate lodging facilities for patient care-takers, natural healing environment, good infrastructure and transportation, patient-friendly government initiatives and legal protection of foreign nationals by Tourism industry promotes MT. Likewise, availability of high-quality care at low costs, high success rates, alternative treatment options including Ayurveda and Homeopathy, availability of post-operative medical assistance and preventive healthcare and wellness programs for rejuvenation including spa and yoga in MT attracts foreigners boosting the Tourism sector incomes!
Tourism and Medical Tourism thus have a mutually beneficial relationship!