Low cost medical treatment available in India isn’t something new for tourists from other countries. Attracted by India’s world-class healthcare facilities at affordable prices, more and more patients from abroad are flying down to avail medical facilities, which are too expensive in their own countries. India now seeks to scale up medical tourism by liberalising its e-visa system for most of the countries except Pakistan.
Over the past two years, medical and wellness tourism in the country has jumped by nearly 25%. To tap the interest among foreigners in availing of medical facilities and huge potential of the medical tourism sector, the government is planning to launch a wellness and medical tourism policy on International Yoga Day on June 21.
Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said his ministry is working towards turning India into a wellness and medical tourism hub. According to reports, one in three foreign patients in India — 165,000 patients out of a total 460,000 — is from Bangladesh. After Bangladesh, a major portion of medical tourists are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Kenya.
Another area which is also fast gaining popularity is eco-tourism.In the last two years, the eco-tourism sector of India has shown a considerable amount of growth. A growing number of states are taking to green tourism for marketing their natural heritage. The Himalayan range, Kerala, the North-east India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dudhsagar Falls, Tsmoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve and the Lakshadweep Islands are some of the major eco-tourism hubs in India.
The Kerala State Government has earned a record INR 145.53 billion from eco-tourism alone in 2016. The Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls fetched revenue of INR 42.79 billion. Wayanad, on the other hand, has generated a profit of INR 40.28 billion. The region of Thiruvananthapuram has earned revenue of INR 10.8 billion.
Canopy walks is also being implemented between Castle Rock, Uttara Kannada district and Dudhsagar Falls on the Karnataka-Goa border.