HOW CAN INDIA MARKET ITSELF TO REMAIN POPULAR AS A DESTINATION FOR MEDICAL TOURISM
M V SOUMYA
India is becoming one of the favourite destinations for Medical tourism globally. Indian medical tourism is drawing the attention of foreigners with its core competencies. India offers a wide array of services in this field right from providing holistic healthcare services to cultural warmth. It would require a strong support from the Government and proper coordination between various players in this industry – hospitals, airline operators & hotels in order to survive the stiff competition from other countries. It is necessary to identify the different segments of people coming to our country for medical tourism so as to cater to their specific needs. Moreover, the projection of India as an unhygienic country along with other poor ranking is affecting this industry negatively. Proper branding of the country by stressing on its unique aspects of healthcare addressing mind, body & spirit would grab the attention of people. It is also required to maximise customer satisfaction by improving quality. There should also be a proper feedback system to ensure their health condition after treatment. India has a bright future in the field of medical tourism. It has got an added advantage over its major competitor Thailand because strengthening baht has made Thailand’s medical tourism less attractive along with the political and natural disturbance faced by the country. To tap the immense opportunity in this field, proper planning and implementation of ideas is necessary The study also provides a deep insight into the Indian medical tourism market and evaluates the past, present and future scenario of the medical tourism market. It discusses the key factors which are making India an attractive medical tourism destination. INTRODUCTION
Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a Rs. 9,500-crore industry by 2015. Medical tourism is one of the major external drivers of growth of the Indian healthcare sector. Broadly defined as a collaboration of medical services with the tourism industry, medical tourism offers cost effective medical services for individuals who cannot afford these services in their country due to high cost or to people who are tired by long waiting times. Also patients from countries, where treatment is not available, can avail the benefits of medical tourism. India best known as a tourist's paradise offers a choice of beaches, majestic palaces, refreshing hill stations and more. With the new trend of medical tourism in India, now vacationers can enjoy a rejuvenating holiday and also avail of world-class medical treatment of different sorts. Medical Treatment is the latest reason to visit India because of the low cost with world class services and quality treatment. India is promoting the high tech healing of its private health care sector as a tourist attraction. The Ministry of Tourism is encouraging Medical Tourism, Operators to sell the idea of travelling to India for low cost but world class treatment. HISTORY
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most medical travellers coming to India were from the Arab countries, Africa and south‐east Asia. But today, medical travellers to India can be divided into three distinct geographical groups who travel for distinctly different reasons. The first group is made up of the Americans and Europeans. Lifestyle surgeries and costs were the factors driving the Americans to travel abroad. As baby boomers‐ those 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – age, they are increasingly going in for facelifts, dental treatment, Botox treatments, tummy tucks etc. Since cosmetic surgery is not covered by medical insurance many Americans prefer to travel abroad. The second big group of medical ...
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