India forms National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board

The government of India recently formed the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board to provide dedicated institutional framework to promote medical tourism and the Indian system of medicine covered by Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH).

The board shall work as an umbrella organization that governs medical tourism and tackle issues relating to regulations, monitoring, marketing and promotion.

The foreign tourists who visited India for medical purpose in 2014 reached 184,298.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism reported that in March 2016, the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) reached 8.17 lakh (817,000), a 12.1 percent growth over the same period last year.

Bangladesh accounts for the highest share of tourist arrivals at (14.07 percent), followed by the UK (13.16 percent) and the US (11.84 percent). Germany (3.74 percent), Canada (3.57 percent), Sri Lanka (3.48 percent), Malaysia (3.45 percent), Russian Federation (3.19 percent),  China (2.92 percent), France (2.92 percent), Australia (2.83 percent), Japan (2.43 percent), Nepal (1.72 percent), Singapore (1.67 percent) and Thailand (1.60 percent) rounded up the top 10.

India introduced the e-Tourist Visa in 2014. It is now available for nationals of 150 countries. In 2015, a total of 445,300 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 39,046 in 2014, registering a growth of 1040.4 percent.

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