India plan strategies to promote medical and wellness tourism

The National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board has begun the process of drawing up short-term and long-term road maps and strategies for marketing and promotion of medical and wellness tourism, both within India and abroad. Future activities will seek to create synergy between the tourism sector and the healthcare sector.

The NWTPB includes experts on healthcare, wellness and travel, as well as various government departments and other bodies. One aim is to get the various departments and regulators working with each other rather than independently or against each other.

The board has to devise strategies to increase the number of foreign and domestic medical tourists at the country’s hospitals and wellness clinics, and issue guidelines to regulate the services these establishments offer.

One sector it seeks to promote is naturopathy and yoga, and another is helping Indian hospitals set up hospitals overseas.

The Confederation of Indian Industry expects India’s medical tourism industry to produce income of $6 billion by 2018, and reports that 230,000 foreign patients sought treatment in India in 2015, mostly from elsewhere in South Asia, West Asia and Africa.