NEW DELHI: Creative Travel is promoting medical tourism with
what it says an eye on a tourism restart later this year.

It is piggy-backing its promotions on the government’s recent decision to broaden the scope of medical tourism visas to include natural and alternative medical treatments, even including Yoga.

In its latest product newsletter is presents the case for an
early start saying a recent government announcement allows “foreign
nationals to visit India on medical visas for Ayurveda and Naturopathy treatments.”

The Creative Travel newsletter emailed to a global B2B
travel planners list says  “this is a
great time to take a detox trip to India, and specifically Kerala where
wellness centres and retreats have opened up with enhanced safety and hygiene
measures.”

But difficulties still remain for travellers even if they qualify for medical tourism visa entry. International flights from the Middle East, Europe and countries in the Asia Pacific are limited, which will hamper efforts to generate a flow of medical tourists from traditional source markets.

In addition, domestic flight capacity is strained with
reduced services between major cities in India which is likely to remain for
many months to come.

But as a recent Times of India report noted the government
has an eye on restarting international tourism in 2021 and medical tourism is
high up the agenda to gain momentum.

India’s government is all set to roll out insurance policies
that will provide visitors with a cover that will include treatment for Covid-19.

According to the tourism ministry, it facilitates tie-ups
between Indian insurance companies and international inbound tourists to offer
cover or allow the visitor’s own insurance policy to cover treatment costs once
in India.

The tourism ministry’s plan will present India as a
preferred destination for medical tourism, cutting across the streams of
Allopathy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Yoga. Discussions are underway between the
National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board and Union Culture and Tourism
Minister Prahlad Patel.

Indian hospitals are being encouraged to secure
accreditation through the Joint Commission International (JCI), which is
considered the global standard for hospitals regarding patient safety and
service quality.

Medical visas can be issued within 24 hours, according to
the latest update.