Kerala to boost medical tourism


One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Kerala has been badly affected by the collapse of the hotel industry during the recent pandemic. But now, tourism in Kerala is beginning to revive, after two years of Covid-19 disruption. With hotels nearly full for the coming months, travel experts believe the Indian summer will be busy.

“There is a 50% increase in bookings. The first few months of the year saw an increase in the number of tourists from neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka apart from the locals. But after March there is a rush of tourists from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi,” explained George Dominic, representing the Association of Licensed and Classified Hotels of Kerala.

Additionally, Kerala also welcomes leisure travelers who are looking to Indian destinations due to pandemic-related regulations or the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“We had reduced fares by around 25% to attract visitors for the summer. But now there is so much occupation rush it looks like discounts won’t be necessary,” Dominic added.

As the tourism sector accounts for 10% of local GDP and over 23% in terms of employment rate, Kerala hopes to recover pre-pandemic demand and even exceed forecasts.

“Arrivals have been so strong this year that we hope to exceed pre-Covid levels in the second quarter,” said Rajesh CG, research fellow at Kerala Tourism.

Medical tourism is also on the rise in Kerala with people from all over the world coming here in search of the best Ayurvedic, beauty or wellness treatments at great prices. Surgery is also on the list of claims.

“The flow of medical tourists has improved and is almost back to normal. People from developed countries flock to India mostly for surgical treatment due to 30-70% reduction in cost.

“Kerala has a big advantage when it comes to cosmetology patients. Our main competitors are Thailand and Sri Lanka. The latter is currently not doing well due to the economic turmoil,” added Joseph Thomas, Founding Director of Medlounges.

Additionally, in order to boost travel in the region, the official Kerala Tourism Department is currently promoting caravan and adventure trips for domestic visitors, such as beach surfing and surfing boot camps, as well as snake boat races, after a three-year break from such events.



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