Mangaluru: August 22, 2015: Department of health and family welfare will press for visa on arrival for tourists at Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) with the ministries of external affairs and civil aviation in a bid to boost potential available for tourism in Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi. It is only such facilities that will draw tourists to places that have tourism potential in various areas in Karnataka - health being one among them, noted minister for health and family welfare U T Khader.
Inaugurating the Yenepoya Ayush Centre here on Saturday, Khader said health tourism has a major potential to draw tourists. Citing the example of his recent visit to Kaup in neighbouring Udupi, Khader said ayurvedic treatment centre there had Russians who had come there for treatment. "We can leverage our strengths in medicine systems - modern and ancient - in drawing tourists here and their numbers can be increased by having visa on arrival facility," Khader opined.
In addition, Khader said he will also have discussions with heads of the various medical institutions in the two district. "While drawing tourists to health facilities in the two districts is one issue, it is also important for hospitals to give them necessary infrastructure to match," he said. Hospitals should provide rooms and allied facilities that match expectations of such tourists who will find obtaining treatment here than in European centres, a cost effective proposition.
With moves afoot to develop Mangaluru as a smart city, Khader said it will also be more prudent if the union government pays attention to developing it as smart health city, a move that he said will go a long way to buttress city’s unique selling proposition in terms of institutionalized medical treatment. Private public partnership in promoting AYUSH as an alternate medicine system will only ensure that footfalls of tourists coming to the region will improve, he noted.