Uncertainties with Sri Lanka and recent announcements by Mr PM Modi regarding Ayush visas have significantly laid Kerala’s Ayurveda sector to gain massive success. Previously Sri Lanka was earning benefits from medical tourism, but due to Lankan turmoil, medical tourism is taking a turn towards Kerala to avail the Ayush health treatment. This will, in turn, help boost the revenue of the tourism and Ayush sector.
Kerala, a leading name in tourism, is catching the attention of several tourists for Ayurveda too. Recently, a report published in Business Line depicts that this year, Kerala’s centuries-old traditional healing sector is speeding up much faster and is expected to attract the attention of many medical tourists. This is completely dependent upon two factors – One is the recent announcement by PM Modi on Ayush visas, and the second is an unexpected risk being suffered by Sri Lanka.
According to Vignesh Devraj, chief executive officer of Sitaram Beach Retreat, “Kerala is going to benefit a lot as tourists who are expected to extend their stay for health packages that range from 14 to 21 days. This has happened because the German travel insurance firms have warned against availing the health treatment in Sri Lanka. Because the country is currently undergoing a crisis. On the other hand, the steps towards the Ayush visas will become a revenue booster for Kerala.”
Ayush visas to provide authenticity to Ayurveda treatment
According to Sajikumar S, managing director of Dhathri Ayurveda, “Sri Lanka’s crisis will undoubtedly give an added advantage to this place as there will be a drastic inclination of medical tourists over here. In the year 2019, nearly 1.9 million tourists visited Sri Lanka. This helped generate US$4.4 billion, of which nearly 25% was from ayurvedic wellness tourism. But Kerala only has the infiltration of international tourists around 12 lakh in a year, and out of this 30% were for medical tourism.” He added that tourism has decreased due to the pandemic, and the Ayurveda sector has revived. The announcement of the ‘Heal in India’ campaign and the announcement of the Ayush visas is supposed to give authenticity to Ayurveda treatment.
According to D Ramanathan, general secretary of Ammoi, “Earlier certain medical tourists were in a dilemma regarding the availability of visa-on-arrival for the treatment. But, the recent announcements by PM Modi on Ayush visas have minimized certain technical doubts related to visa allotment. The only objective is to provide a systematic way of Ayurveda treatment to help emerge Kerala as a health hub in global markets.” “He further added that a memorandum has been submitted to the commerce minister, Piyush Goyal, which includes a shortage of raw materials, increasing freight charges, availability of containers, diplomatic intervention for Ayurveda’s acceptance and recognition, and steps for marketing Ayurveda products.