India's medical tourism to grow in 'leaps and bounds'


An international seminar held in India last week concluded that medical tourism could flourish if the hospitality industry, travel agents, state government and local people work together.

Abhijeet Patil of Raja Rani Health Alliance said that increasing numbers of tourists were visiting India in search of treatment abroad and that tour operators therefore had "immense opportunities" by way of fee-based agreements with hospitals.

"Medical tourism is one of the most lucrative industries as it is anticipated to attract tourists from (the) world over, especially the UK, South Africa, Canada and Malaysia, and is expected to grow into a $1.5 billion industry by 2010," he said, according to the Financial Express.

Mr Patil advocated an alliance of medical professionals and institutions "to work towards the goal of promoting India as a medical tourism centre", while Vitthal Kamat of the Kamat hotel group said that providing modern medical services and state-of-the-art hospitals would enable the tourism sector to grow in "leaps and bounds".

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