DELHI: Health and wellness tourism are the next big things in India, said Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union minister for culture and tourism at the 3rd Mail Today Tourism Summit on Tuesday.
Sharma, who leads the famous Kailash Group of Hospitals in Noida, said, “The tourism sector alone has seen a growth of 23-25 per cent last year. In UK, if you go for a bypass surgery, it will cost you not less than Rs18 lakh. In India, a hospital will charge you Rs3 lakh.” reports India Today.
India is already popular among patients from the Middle-east – mainly countries like Iraq and Iran – besides African nations and Pakistan, for various procedures such as liver and kidney transplant.
Various political leaders have also raised the potential of yoga, ayurveda and India’s various ashrams in healing and therapy tourism.
The Lok Sabha MP from UP’s Gautam Budh Nagar also said that if Indian medical professionals working in UK and Australia are to withdraw and return to India, their system would collapse in seven days. “That is how capable we are,” he added.
Speaking on the other aspects of tourism, he said, “I have asked my officers to begin exploring new travel destinations. We already know that Himalayas and Kashmir are gorgeous, that the Northeast has its own charm, and south India has various temples. But we are sure there is more to India than what we already know.”
He highlighted that his ministry has identified 13 ‘pilgrimage/destination circuits’ which are now going to be promoted aggressively both in India and abroad. These are Northeast India, Buddhist, Himalayan, coastal, Krishna, desert, tribal, eco, wildlife, rural, spiritual, Ramayana and heritage circuits.
Close to Rs1,513 crore have been sanctioned for the mega project. These are together called ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and PRASAD (National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive) schemes.