Commonwealth Games popularizes Ayurveda

With the launch of the Commonwealth Games, Ayurveda, Yoga and Medical tourism in general will draw a huge number of visitors and will potentially fetch $200 million, a study that was released on Tuesday said.

Ayurveda and yoga alone will be a $135-million business during the 12-day event, while the revenue prospects for medical tourism are expected at around $65 million, says the study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

“Job opportunity for Ayurveda, naturopathy, yoga, spa and medical tourism professionals is projected for 50,000 people,” said chamber secretary general D.S. Rawat, releasing the study. He also added that visitors from Canada, Britain and Australia would take advantage of the ancient Indian medicinal practices and traditions while they are here for the games.

According to the study, each foreigner visiting India during the Games is likely to spend Rs.10,000-Rs.35,000 ($225-$775) on ayurveda and related treatments, while the spend on medical tourism will be higher at Rs.40,000-Rs.120,000 ($885-$2,650). Occupancy at ayurveda and naturopathy centres have gone up by 60 percent, it adds.

Around 200,000 patients from overseas visit India each year, fetching a business worth over $500 million. This is expected to touch $2 billion by 2012, due to advantages such as low-cost treatment compared to the US and Europe.

Assocham also suggested to the Ministries of Health and Tourism to jointly set up a separate department and training institute to bridge the gap of skilled professionals in this field and also authorize the ayurvedic and Herbal centres.

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