The Ministry of Tourism has held a national workshop in Delhi on the promotion of wellness tourism and national accreditation standards for wellness centres. This was organized with the active participation of the Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health, and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).
150 participants representing the wellness industry were at the workshop to deliberate on the issues concerning ayurveda wellness centres, spas, skincare centres, cosmetic care centres, gymnasiums, fitness centres, preventive health care centres, and yoga centres. The objective of the workshop was to evolve a road map for formulating strategies for the development and promotion of wellness tourism to position India as the leading destination for wellness tourism, incorporating the country’s natural attributes including yoga, ayurveda, siddha, and spas; to increase the number of health tourists, lengthen the average stay and increase total expenditure by wellness visitors; and to increase professionalism and excellence amongst those delivering wellness experiences.
Four groups deliberated on the four key topics; accreditation and the way ahead, capacity building and training of wellness professionals; promotion of the different components of wellness; and promotion of wellness tourism in India and abroad. Each group was targeted to come up with five to six recommendations for sharing with all participants for further deliberations. The resulting five recommendations for each group were presented to the Ministry of Tourism to help it develop the industry.
The workshop saw the launch of the new accreditation standards for wellness centers prepared by NABH and approved by the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The new accreditation standards for wellness centres provide a framework for quality of care for customers and quality improvement for wellness centres. The standards will help to build a quality culture at all levels and across all the functions of wellness centres. The NABH standards have ten sections incorporating 84 standards and 396 objective elements. There is now a complete set of standards for evaluation of wellness centers to enable them to be granted NABH accreditation. The standards focus on all aspects of service delivery including customer rights and education, infection control practices, trained and experienced staff, infrastructure, environment safety, processes and controls and statutory and regulatory compliances. The accreditation process involves a review of the documentation and two onsite visits by NABH assessors. Renewal of accreditation has to be done every 3 years