Indian Tourism: a new focus on wellness
According to an August, 2008 article in the Telegraph of Calcutta, the Indian Tourism Ministry has ambitious plans to position India as the global destination for health and wellness.
It will do this by encouraging the creation of institutes to develop skills in yoga and traditional systems of medicine such as ayurveda.
According to the article, the first institute of this kind will be established in the Himalayan region of Sikkim in Northern India.
With this initiative, the government of India is signalling not only the need to further propagate its traditional systems of health and wellbeing, but also its keen interest in capitalizing on the commercial value of the industry as a whole.
With examples such as traditional Chinese medicine demonstrating significant global capital potential, which in a recent report approached nearly 26 billion dollars in 2007, it is certainly a good time to begin to lay a solid foundation for the promotion of India’s own natural traditions.
A senior official within the Tourism Ministry points out that
“AYUSH (the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) has concentrated only on very theoretical knowledge so far. In these new institutes we will focus on developing core competency.”
While the Indian Tourism Ministry has already been promoting destinations in India that specialise in rejuvenation, this is the first time that it is planning to get involved in manpower training.
With the steady growth of spas and healing centers in the private sector, and the growing international interest in India as a wellness destination, the Ministry’s initiative could add needed support to the development of India as a world leader in the health and wellness industry.