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Dec 04, 2012

Government Extends Marketing Development Assistance Scheme to Medical Tourism

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In order to promote Medical Tourism in the country, Government has extended the Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme to include Medical Tourism in its purview in February, 2009. Financial support under this Scheme is provided to approved Medical Tourism Service Providers, i.e. representatives of Hospitals accredited by Joint Commission for International Accredited Hospitals (JCI) and National Accreditation Board of Hospitals (NABH) and Medical Tourism facilitators (Travel Agents/Tour Operators) approved by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and engaged in Medical Tourism subject to adherence to scheme guidelines and availability of funds. No changes in the policy on MDA have been made. However, the Ministry does not have any agreement with any organization/body/entity on Medical Tourism.

 The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, along with State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and other stakeholders promote Medical Tourism as a niche product in the international markets. The specific promotion of Medical and Wellness Tourism is also done by Ministry of Tourism along with the State Governments including at various international travel events and organizing road shows in potential markets. In addition, promotion is also done through the Incredible India campaign.

 This information was given by the Union Minister for Tourism Dr. K. Chiranjeevi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

 Film Tourism

 The Ministry of Tourism has identified ‘Film Tourism’ as a Niche Tourism product and requested the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations to recognize the potential of Film Tourism and constitute special bodies/cells to facilitate filming in the States/Union Territories. However, no specific spots have been identified in the country by the Ministry of Tourism to attract foreign film makers to shoot their films on such locations.

 Rural Tourism

  Ministry of Tourism is implementing its Rural Tourism Scheme with the main objective of showcasing rural life, art, culture and heritage in villages which have core competence in art and craft, handloom, textiles, natural environment etc. Under this scheme, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) is provided upto Rs.50.00 lakh for infrastructure development and upto Rs.20.00 lakh for capacity building of the local villagers at each identified site.

 CFA is sanctioned to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations on the basis of proposals received from them, subject to adherence to scheme guidelines, availability of funds and inter-se priority.

 Out of rural tourism projects sanctioned at 186 villages since the inception of the scheme in 2002, projects at 87 villages have been completed by the State Governments/ UT Administrations, so far.

  Development and promotion of tourism, as well as execution of tourism projects, is primarily the responsibility of State Governments/ UT Administrations. However, Ministry of Tourism, besides providing CFA for rural tourism projects to States/UTs, promotes rural tourism at various national and international tourism fairs / marts such as World Travel Mart (WTM) London, International Travel Bourse (ITB) Berlin, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Mart, etc. Ministry of Tourism also facilities participation of artisans from rural tourism sites in various national and international tourism events to enable the artisans to showcase their crafts and products. Landscaping and improvement of roads within the Panchayat limits are some of the components of the Rural Tourism Scheme for which CFA is provided to the State Governments/UT Administrations.

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