India’s medical tourism sector will revive faster than that in many other countries: ITDC director


Medical tourism will revive faster in India than that in many other countries, a senior India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) official has said.

“Indian medical tourism industry is likely to revive faster than even some developed nations in Europe, and probably USA too. India has shown comparatively better handling of the pandemic situation as compared to these nations,” said Piyush Tiwari, director (commercial and marketing), ITDC.

“Medical tourists will look at countries which seem relatively safer. They will look at a country that has better health protocols. Countries like India that have had a lower number of Covid-19 deaths, are likely to show faster recovery in sectors like medical tourism,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

According to the ministry, medical tourism in India was valued at around $3 billion in 2015, and it was expected to grow to $9 billion in 2020 before covid-19 struck.

According to Tiwari, the influx of tourists, including medical tourists, is expected to remain subdued at least for a good part of 2020. “Hospitality, travel and tourism sector is the worst hit (by pandemic) in terms of severity, as well as longer recovery period, which will also have an impact on medical tourism to a large extent,” said Tiwari.

“While a patient needing treatment cannot wait, medical tourism will be affected mostly on account of travel restrictions, as well as likely increase in airfares,” he added.