Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam Tuesday called for integrating Health and Wellness Tourism as part of the recently launched Nava Kerala Mission programme.
Inaugurating a one-day conference on Health and Wellness Tourism organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, he said health is one of the four key areas where mission-mode initiatives had been undertaken by the Government through Local Self Government institutions in the Nava Kerala Mission.
Health and Wellness Tourism projects should be integrated to it, he said.
"As a state which has made significant progress in health care in terms of high life expectancy, minimal infant mortality and state-of-the-art infrastructure, Kerala's entry into Medical and Wellness Tourism can only be smooth," he said.
The Governor said that Kerala has the potential of a destination that could offer, besides leisure and wellness, the best medical facilities also, and upgrading the concept of wellness to 'medical wellness' would be easy which will in turn attract a large number of tourists.
However, there was a need for a well thought out strategy to effectively promote Kerala as a Medical Wellness destination, he said adding this should not be limited to marketing efforts alone. Priority should be given to upgrade medical infrastructure in the state, he said.
Earlier, setting the theme for the conference, E M Najeeb, Chairman, Health and Wellness Tourism, and Chairman, ATE Group, emphasised on the need to create an action plan for the right eco-system for Medical and Wellness Tourism in the State.
Kerala has immense potential in this segment as the State has 26 NABH accredited hospitals. He urged more hospitals to go in for international accreditation.
Dr M I Sahadulla, Chairman, KIMS Group, gave an overview of the current profile of medical tourists coming to the state and stressed on the need to deliberate on the reason the state was lagging as it has only 4.5 per cent of the Health Tourism market share.
Easing visa formalities, opening up of insurance and developing skills would enhance our capability in this sector, he said.
V P Nandakumar, Chairman, Kerala State Council, CII were among those who spoke.