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Strategy to Promote Medical, Rural and MICE Tourism

  • 21 Jun 2021
  • 7 min read

Why in News

The Ministry of Tourism has formulated three draft strategies with roadmaps for promoting Medical and Wellness Tourism, for development of Rural Tourism and for promotion of MICE Industry in India.

Key Points

  • Medical and Wellness Tourism (MWT):
    • About:
      • Describes the rapidly growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain healthcare services.
      • It may be broadly classified into three categories - Medical Treatment, Wellness & Rejuvenation and Alternative Cures. Now it is often referred to as Medical Value Travel (MVT).
    • Scope in India:
      • State of the Art Medical Facilities: Top of the line medical and diagnostic equipment from global international conglomerates are available.
      • Reputed Healthcare Professionals: Reputation for high-quality medical training and also fluent in English to converse with foreigners.
      • Financial Savings: The cost of quality of medical procedures and services are low in India.
      • Alternative Cures: India has a unique advantage of offering Yoga, Ayurveda & Naturopathy for treatment.
    • Major Strategy:
      • “Heal in India” Brand for promoting India as a MVT destination.
      • Capacity building of MVT facilitator, enterprises and staff.
      • Setting up of an online MVT Portal to provide one stop solution to facilitate international patients.
      • Convergence of Wellness, Hospitality and Travel businesses.
  • Rural Tourism:
    • About:
      • Any form of tourism that showcases the rural life, art, culture, and heritage at rural locations, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially.
      • It offers an opportunity to promote sustainable and responsible tourism and fulfill the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
    • Scope in India:
      • Indian villages have unparalleled culture, craft, music, dance and heritage to offer to the visitors.
      • Well-developed agriculture and farms to provide stay facilities and experiences.
      • Beautiful climate conditions and Biodiversity.
      • India has coastal, Himalayan, desert, forest and tribal areas amongst others for tourists.
    • Major Strategy:
      • State Assessment and Ranking as a tool for Capacity Building (including that of Panchayati Raj Institutions).
      • Enabling Digital Technologies for Rural Tourism like enabling broadband internet infrastructure to rural areas having tourism potential.
      • Developing clusters for rural tourism.
  • MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions):
    • About:
      • The main purpose is to create a networking platform for business, industry, government and Academic Community and engage in meaningful conversations.
      • MICE is also known as ‘Meetings industry’ or ‘Events industry’.
    • Scope in India:
      • Core MICE infrastructure amenities are at par with most developed countries.
      • India has consistently improved its rank in World Bank Ease of Doing Business and WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Rank.
      • Growing Economic Strength of India.
      • India has progressed rapidly in the areas like Information Technology, and Scientific Research.
    • Major Strategy:
      • “Meet in India” Brand for promoting MICE Industry.
      • Providing Infrastructure status for financing of MICE infrastructure.
      • Skill development for the MICE industry.

Significance

  • Multiplier Effect: Not only does the tourism sector provide high-quality jobs, it also enhances investment in India, accelerates development.
  • Push to the Service Sector: A large number of businesses engaged in the service sector such as airlines, hotels, surface transportation, etc. grows with the growth of the tourism industry.
  • Preservation of National Heritage and Environment and Renewal of Cultural Pride.
  • Soft Power: Tourism helps in promoting cultural diplomacy, people to people connect and thereby promotes friendship and cooperation between India and other countries.
  • Boost to Other Forms of Tourism: India has huge potential for related areas such as Eco-tourism, Nature Reserves, Wildlife tourism, Himalayan tourism. India has 38 world heritage sites that include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.

Constraints

  • Infrastructure and Connectivity: Deficiencies in infrastructure and inadequate connectivity hamper tourist visits to some sites.
  • Promotion and Marketing: Although it has been increasing, online marketing/branding remains limited and campaigns are not coordinated.
  • Tourist information centers are poorly managed, making it difficult for domestic and foreign tourists to access information with ease.
  • Lack of Skills: A limited number of multilingual trained guides, and the limited local awareness and understanding of the benefits and responsibilities associated with tourist growth.
  • Others:
    • There is a perception about India not being a very hygienic country. This impacts the choice of India as a medical destination.
    • Lack of prioritization for rural tourism at the State and National level.
    • Lack of focussed approach on MICE as an industry.

Way Forward

  • ‘One India One Tourism’ Approach: Tourism encompasses multiple ministries and takes place in and within many states and thus requires collective efforts and cooperation with centre and other states.
  • Promoting Ease of Tourism: To truly ensure a seamless tourist transportation experience we need to standardize all interstate road taxes and make them payable at a single point which will facilitate the ease of doing business.

Source:PIB

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