TOURISM: THE NEXT GROWTH AREA
What are the present statistics of tourists visiting India? How long
is the average stay, how much do they spend on average, where do
they come from and where do they go?
Sibal: Around 450,000 medical tourists visited India from South Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America in 2007. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the average medical tourist in India spends more than US$ 7,000 per visit. The average length of stay is around 5.9 days (taken from the ALOS for Indian hospitals, as separate data is not available for medical tourists).
Dhamija: I think 4 million visitors, of which 1 million are nonresident Indians.
What do you project will the above picture
look like in five years time?
If you had a ‘Wish List’ for tourism in India, what would be on that list?
Sibal: The “Wish List” for medical tourism in India would be:
a. Tax exemption for the construction of hospitals and the expansion or refurbishing of existing ones.
b. Incentives under the Income Tax Act for expenses incurred by private hospitals to obtain domestic or internationally recognized accreditation.
c. Governmental support for international advertisements and participation in road shows.
d. Facilitation of medical visas. e. Medical visas on arrival.
Dhamija: Improve infrastucture to western standards, allow casinos, improve infrastructure to Western standards and the concept of Southeast Asian service.
Would you please comment on the growth of medical tourism and the factors that have contributed to that growth?
Sibal: The measures that are helping medical tourism to grow are: i. Growing trend of international accreditation by the International Joint Commission and adherence to quality norms. ii. Expanding private health infrastructure with worldclass doctors and facilities. iii. Growing international awareness about the high quality-low cost value proposition that India offers.
Dhamija: India has the best research and development because of its substantial population.
How are you promoting tourism to the world. What more needs to be done?
Sibal: The Apollo Hospitals Group has seven JCI accredited hospitals, the largest number by any corporate hospital group. Through ACE@25 our clinical scorecard, we have been able to consistently show outcomes comparable to the best in the west. Our experienced clinicians, latest technology, the tender loving care that we provide to all our patients and our low cost model with costs 1/10 of that of the U.S., helps us promote our services overseas.
Dhamija: Copy some of the things being done by Dubai and Singapore on the back of their world-class airlines.
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