Sunday, 20 September 2009

Hosting Games and healing Souls

Ayurvedic and Medical Tourism industries will benefit from 2010 Commonwealth Games as the industry is expected to fetch Rs. 800 crore of revenue during the glaring event, according to The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

According to Chamber, domestic ayurvedic industry market which is currently estimated at Rs. 3000 crore will go up to over Rs. 5000 crore in next 2 years in view of rising demand for ayurvedic therapy and products. This is due to the fact that major hospital chains in Delhi, NCR and Northern Region as also ayurvedic/spa centres are gearing up to attract large number of visitors and generate maximum revenue.

States like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and even UP, ayurveda/spa and medical tourism centres will also contribute in its growth, which is currently dominated by Kerala and Karnataka, feels the Chamber.

In a Paper brought out by the ASSOCHAM on 'Opportunity for Ayurvedic & Medical Tourism during CWG', it has been predicted that ayurvedic industry would alone earn a business of Rs. 500 crore and revenues prospects for medical tourism are predicted for estimated amount of Rs. 300 crore.

The job opportunities that would arise for professionals of these two promising industries are projected for 40,000 people, said Mr. D S Rawat, ASSOCHAM Secretary General while releasing the estimates. Mr. Rawat pointed out that the ASSOCHAM estimates are based on the assumption that over 1800 athlete participation would be bare minimum for 2010 commonwealth games in variety of sporting disciplines and tourist arrivals for the people is projected for 6-7 lakh overseas visitors. The countries of which maximum outflow of tourists would emerge include UK, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka etc. and over 4 lakh domestic tourists from.

The Chamber paper hoped that keeping in view of India’s ancient tradition of ayurveda and its low-cost medical tourism facilities, apart form UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka a large number of outside visitors from aforesaid countries would like to take advantages of domestic ayurvedic and medical tourism facilities/resorts.

The Chamber estimates reveal that each foreigner visiting India during Commonwealth games is likely to spend Rs.10,000 to Rs. 35,000/- in availing ayurvedic expertise in various spa and herbal centers.

While, the medical tourism spending will be higher between Rs. 40,000-Rs.1,20,000 in view of cardiac surgery, bone marrow transplant, etc., bulk of tourists will spend in ayurveda and related treatments, said Mr. Rawat.

Based on enquiries received by the ASSOCHAM through its various workshops and seminars, various players in the hospitality industry based on Delhi, NCR, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are proposing to set up over 200 ayuveda, spa and herbal centres to provide possible comforts to tourists and athletes that gathered during the period.

The export potential of ayurveda is currently pegged at Rs 12,500 crore and approx. 20,000 units are involved in this field and the main players include Dabur, Himalayas, Zandu, Baidyanath. In India, there are approx. 380,000 registered medical practitioners of the ayurvedic system as compared to about 700,000 modern medical system.

The reputed private hospitals in Delhi and NCR like Fortis, Moolchand, Sir Ganga Ram, Apollo, Noida Medicare, Metro, Dharmshila, Max etc. can tap the large inflow of medical tourism. Better connectivity from the games villages and hotels in Delhi will also pave the way for these hospitals to contribute the medical tourism sector. For the last several years, Apollo and Escorts have treated over 1 lakh foreign patients.

Currently, the medical tourism market in India is estimated to be worth over US $ 300 million with approx. 170,000 foreign patients coming in every year and expected to grow into a US $ 2 billion business by 2012 with advantages of low-cost medical and surgery treatment compared to US and EU.


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