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Abstract

Medical Tourism is any kind of travel to make a person or a member of his family healthier (Raj,2006). The word Medical Tourism was coined when people started looking outside west for cheaper medical treatment with international quality. It can be broadly defined as provision of 'cost effective' private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients needing surgical care and other forms. Kerala has become one of the leading Medical Tourism destinations of India and gained international attention for health tourism and is becoming a popular health tourism hub. There are a number of speciality hospitals in Kerala that offer specialized care for complex medical conditions. Patients from all over the world are becoming medical tourist in Kerala for low cost and health restorative alternative treatments. Speciality hospitals in Kerala are at the forefront of Medical Tourism. Many of the hospitals offer a complete package that includes consultancy with a medical specialist, diagnosis, appropriative medical treatment, pre and post operative care etc. The quality of health care offered by the doctors, nurses and support staff, makes Medical Tourism in Kerala the preferred choice of patients seeking healthcare solutions in World. Kerala has an excellent track record in the fields of tourism and health care. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has declared 2006-2007 as Medical Tourism Year in Kerala and they organized an International conference and exhibition on Health tourism in 2013 at Kochi, Kerala. According to the CII-Mc Kinsy report Medical Tourism industry in Kerala is expected to be worth $4 billion by 2017.

Confederation of Indian Industry along with Kerala Government is organizing an International Conference on Health Tourism 2015 at Le Meridian, Kochi, Ernakulam on 30-31of October 2015. The event aims to promote Kerala as the hub for Medical Tourism in the country by 2020. The competitiveness of Kerala in health tourism is enhanced by the attractiveness of the alternative systems of medicine, especially ayurveda, for the foreign tourists. Kerala is also known as land of Ayurveda for its traditional medicines which aim at providing rejuvenation, longevity and relaxation to stressed and strained. More over Kerala has a potential to attract tourists around the world due to its cultural diversity, perfect beaches and fabulous cuisine mixed with a pinch of oriental mysticism. Kerala and Ayurveda have virtually become synonymous with each other. World-class facilities are also available in the other traditional forms of medicine as well as modern medical treatment.

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