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Marketing Strategies For Medical Travel and leisure In India Tourism Essay

Medical tourism- the concept of traveling far and wide for better medical treatment is not really a novel idea, only the word. The globalization of medical treatment sector and the large demand for low cost-high quality treatment recently has caught the interest of many producing countries that have the sufficient resources and potential to meet these demands. The success and the profitable characteristics of the medical travel and leisure business has put this trade, on top of the plan of both Indian federal government and the private health care providers.

Today, medical tourism has turned into a commonplace practice with a huge number of individuals about the world since usual constraints like language, finance, troubles in global travel and fear of the unknown are no more acting as barriers to the travelers who seek treatment in foreign countries. Countries like India, Singapore, Malaysia etc have developed strategies specifically with the aim of tackling such issues and making themselves as the perfect medical tourism areas.

Although India is appearing as the 'hot-spot' medical travel and leisure areas within the Asia-Pacific and other parts of the earth, it appears to be facing challenging competition from other big players of this industry who have projected an equally good reputation for themselves and are reaping the great things about this business. Therefore, it is important for India to continually rethink and reform its marketing strategies to gain competitive advantage and increase its market talk about in medical attention sector.

It is an undisputed idea that medical travel and leisure is a rapidly growing industry and creating inroads in to the Indian economy. You can find a large volume of stake holders in this industry in South East Asia including countries like Singapore and Malaysia. There are various marketing strategies being used for propagating this industry. My effort is always to seek the gaps that exist and suggest remedial action.

Being from the medical fraternity and having acquired the chance to treat lots of overseas patients, the idea of medical tourism has generated significant amounts of affinity for me. I believe that there are a few deficiencies in the marketing approaches for health tourism in India that require to be looked into and improvised. The aim of my research would be to propose marketing strategies that would boost the Indian Medical Travel and leisure for future years.

3. Preliminary overview of literature

There are three sections of the literature review:-

i) Historical aspects- inception and evolution

ii) Medical travel and leisure in India- today's scenario

iii) Probable concerns and pitfalls of the Indian medical travel and leisure industry.

3. 1. 1 Historical aspects- Inception and Evolution

The concept of building health complexes around hot springs dates back to as old as the Sumerian civilization (circa 4000BC) where healthcare facilities comprised of grand elevated properties with flowing pools. The hill tribes of Switzerland of the region currently know as St. Moritz, through the Bronze Get older (circa 2000 BC) known the benefits of bathing and taking in in iron-rich nutrient springs. The discovery of bronze taking in cups used by them in thermal springs in Germany and France possibly signifies health pilgrimages within these civilizations.

As per written historical accounts, bathing and treating complexes were erected around therapeutic springs in Mesopotamia, India, Greece and China. The concept of medical travel and leisure emanated as travels to sacred baths and hot springs. However, it is the Greeks who have to get the credit for laying the foundations for medical tourism networks.

3. 1. 2 Greek medical travel and leisure.

Asclepius was regarded as the god of treatments relating to Greek mythology. In his honor, Asclepian therapeutic temples have been constructed throughout Greece by the 4th Century BC. These temples were established near the mineral springs which were considered to be the leading "Healthful" Locations. The machine of medical tourism during this time period was as follows:-

Patients and their attendants emerged to Asclepia temples seeking treatment for various disorders. At Epidaurus, the port temple, treatment included gymnasia, palaestra (exercise area), bathing springs and a 'dream' temple. There was a retinue of priests, caretakers and stretcher carriers who attended to the patients before these were granted final visit with the mighty priest. Patients made sacrificial offerings relating to their position- the indegent departed shoes; Alexander the Great left his breastplate.

3. 1. 3 Roman Medical Tourism

The hallmark of early Roman medical tourism centered around warm water baths called Thermae. These centers of treatment were posh organizations. Some of these centers comprised of art galleries conference halls, theatres and sometimes sports stadia. Due to the productive trade with Asia, the Roman baths augmented medical travel and leisure activities like Chinese language medicine, Ayurvedic therapeutic massage and various aspects of Buddhist spiritual recovery at some Roman Thermae.

3. 1. 4 Japanese Medical Tourism-Onsen.

ONSEN means hot mineral springs in Japanese. Medical tourism in Japan focused around these hot mineral springs that have been enriched by surrounding volcanic dirt. It attracted a variety of people including hunters, fishermen, farmers and warriors. It was believed these mineral springs were effective in alleviating pain, healing wounds and recuperation. A thousand years later, this form of medical tourism in Japan continues to be an ongoing sensation.

3. 1. 5 Indian Medical Travel and leisure.

India has been the house ground of alternative system of treatments for the past 5000 years. Areas of medical tourism include yoga exercises, eastern cultural, spiritual and therapeutic compilation with yoga thrown in. India has been a Mecca for alternate medicine practitioners. A new boost was given to health tourism in the 1960's with the "MODERN" movement in the US. This New Age movement seeks "Universal Fact" and the attainment of the highest individual human probable and is seen as a an individual method of spiritual routines and philosophies and the rejection of religious doctrine and dogma. With this movements, India had once again end up being the most popular destination for a large number of traditional western pilgrims. India's profound commitment to health care infrastructure and technology furthered the mass influx of medical vacationers. India is currently one of the world's oldest medical travel and leisure vacation spots and has gained acceptance through the years over other vacation spots.

3. 1. 6 Western european Medical Travel and leisure.

European medical travel and leisure came into existence with the rediscovery of the Roman baths in the 16th century. Together with the rediscovery of the Roman baths, Baden Baden, Aachen and most notably Shower, became spa cities. By the 1720's the spa towns had become frequented by Aristocrats and gentlemen of leisure from other areas of European countries and even royal patronage. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, French royal inventor of the article was the most noteworthy medical visitor of the time. He traversed the continent for 9 years for the treat of his gall bladder problem. He's widely thought to be the father of luxury travel and has helped to create one of the earliest documented spa tutorials for European travellers.

3. 1. 7 Health Tourism-New world.

English and Dutch colonists in the 1600's, constructed log cabins near mineral springs in the newly learned Americas. By 19th century the American reformists made it a habit to go to remote European springs which were rich in therapeutic properties.

Today, there are no physical, economical and cultural barriers that separate nations in one another. Coupled with the flattening global market, simple international travel and lenient trade regulations has opened the vistas of medical travel and leisure destinations around the globe. It has made affordable healthcare supply to patients who find it too difficult or impossible to access such health care facilities in their own countries. Inflated healthcare costs are driving a vehicle the patients to medical tourism areas like Thailand and India for sophisticated procedures at a small fraction of the purchase price. Long waiting durations for medical treatment is another factor that is making patients seek treatment overseas. Also, lack of comprehensive medical care insurance has attracted a large number of patients to seek treatment in foreign countries.

Medical travel and leisure today has turned into a global phenomenon numerous countries broadening their offerings, including unique travel and leisure opportunities for example South Africa is promoting medical safari in a big way.

3. 2. MEDICAL TOURISM IN INDIA - The present scenario

Medical Tourism India or Health Tourism India is a growing concept that has gained huge popularity and is attracting folks from across the world because of their medical and rest needs. The treatments mostly include leg transplant, cosmetic treatment, dental care and cardiac surgery. India is now a favorable medical tourism destination as its infrastructure and technology are in par with USA, UK and European countries, enabling it to provide centers and nursing homes that are best on the globe with top notch facilities. These factors coupled with visits to some of the most alluring and awe-inspiring places of the world have caused the merging of travel and leisure with medication giving rise to the concept of Medical Travel and leisure.

India is promoting health travel and leisure through depicting the "high-tech therapeutic" of its private medical care sector. The Indian authorities is marketing the concept of traveling to India for cheaper and world-class medical facilities to foreigners, with the objective of stimulating the growing Indian medical tourism industry. The insurance policy of the Indian government to combine medical expertise and tourism was announced during the 2003-04 budgets when the funding minister Jaswant Singh propounded India to become a "Global Health Destination". Matching to a report conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the field is so lucrative that it has the potential to become $2. 3 billion business by 2012. Around 150, 000 foreigners frequented India for treatment during 2004 and since that time, this quantity has increased by 15% each year.

In recent times, India has emerged as the "Global Health Vacation spot" because of the following advantages:

1. Medical services are given at almost 30% less expensive than the Western countries and are the cheapest in South-east Asia.

2. India has a huge population of doctors and paramedical staff who've good understanding of spoken English. Therefore terms is a major comfort factor that attracts so many international tourists to go to for the purpose of medical and health tourism which makes it easier for abroad patients to connect well to Indian doctors.

3. Indian doctors skills in various surgical procedures including cardiac surgeries, liver transplants, orthopedic surgeries and other procedures.

4. Indian nursing homes offer a wide array of high quality treatment strategies composed of of joint substitutes, cardiothoracic surgery, dental hygiene, cosmetic treatments and even more.

3. 3. Possible concerns and pitfalls of Indian medical tourism industry

Review of literature suggests the next concerns that need attention if you have to augment and raise the medical tourism sector.

Concerns of the consumers

Some of the consumers believe that India is unhygienic, polluted and bureaucratic. There is absolutely no appropriate accreditation system for the private hospitals. Concerns about medical care insurance which is underdeveloped, insufficient and has few global players. abroad companies refuse reimbursements. There's also concerns about terrorism, communal unrest and bad connection between cities and cities. While some of these concerns are genuine, almost all of them are mere perceptions.

Concerns of the promoters

From the promoters perspective, the concerns that have emerged revolve around lack of regulations relating to ethics and systemic support, lack of infrastructure deficiencies like electricity, power and water, inadequate land reforms, taxation anomalies, financing constraints, implementation lacunae and bureaucratic bottlenecks.


India seems to be an appearing medical tourism vacation spot offering great opportunities in conditions of creating new jobs and generating types of earnings for the Indian market. Hence, it is very important that the impetus gained so far should not be jeopardized and methods should be used to enhance the present situation by expanding and putting into action new strategies.

Research questions

1. What's the present express of Indian medical travel and leisure? - indicating diagnosis of today's situation.

2. What exactly are the disadvantages or experienced impediments of the medical tourism trade sector? - indicating an analytical structuring of the data.

3. What exactly are the ways to boost medical tourism in India through better marketing strategies? - an evaluation of the lacunae in the existing marketing strategies.

4. Is the government doing enough to support the medical tourism industry? - an analysis of the governmental leaning on the industry.

Research objectives

1. To build up pragmatic marketing approaches for health care establishments involved in medical travel and leisure in India.

2. To examine the impact of the federal government action on today's marketing strategies for foreign patients.

3. To make a marketing plan model for medical tourism industry in India


Research perspective

My research procedure is based upon what of the renowned anthropologist Clifford Geertz "man can be an pet suspended in webs of relevance he himself has spun. I take culture to be these webs, and the evaluation of it is not to be an experimental science searching for regulation but an interpretive one inn search of interpretation" (Jewell, S. 2010). It therefore forms an interpretivist strategy. Since the medical travel and leisure industry is a small business and management perspective, any research into this field would show up in to the gamut of positivist and interpretivist methods. My research is essentially a qualitative one since my data collection is mainly secondary in nature. Furthermore, my research is theory forming where in I shall be using the inductive approach to analyze the data. My research also consists of the diagnosis of factors of concern that are related to medical tourism industry of India. It might be my work to sift out the relevant factors and analyze them from the idea of view of producing marketing strategies.

Research design

The way that best answers my research questions will fit into the revised combination sectional design. Here, the research design revolves around the assortment of data that is occurring naturally on the selected period. My research design also involves mainly quantitative data plus some qualitative data too. My research is based after observation and doc analysis. The mix sectional design also provides information on areas of who, what, just how many, where, and the how and just why.

Data collection methods

I will be collecting my data through research of supplementary data. I also plan to submit questionnaires to the stakeholders and the major players of the medical travel and leisure in India with the purpose of seeking relevant data that would help me in responding to my research questions and satisfy my research aims.

Secondary data: the secondary data would be gathered through the next;

Written materials- various websites, websites of homepages of key players, journals and journals, catalogs and publications. I'd also be looking for authorities publications, regulations and serves related to this subject.

Non-written materials- media, television set etc.

Most of the info from beyond your individual company will yield information about the medical travel and leisure industry. While, data that is accumulated from the organizational websites would give information about how things are done within the business and their modus operandi.

ii. Questionnaires: I will be sending the questionnaires to all the major players in the Indian medical tourism industry. The questionnaires will be used to acquire data for quantitative analysis to be able to determine the functioning of various medical travel and leisure facilities in India. The thought of using questionnaires is the fact that a large quantity of data can be produced available covering a wide range of databases for quantitative evaluation. Adequate objectivity can be designed and the results would be of valid and reliable aspect.

Analysis of data

Having gathered all the qualitative and quantitative data, I would subject it to appropriate examination and apply relevant statistical lab tests of significance to ensure that the results are valid, reliable and present a reasonable level of generalisabilty. I aim to deduce the relevant marketing strategies used and to assess their impact on the industry. I will be delivering the analyzed data in the form pie diagrams, bar charts and other types of statistical presentations.


Validity and reliability

Since my data is principally secondary in nature it is presumed that global players in the me personally dical travel and leisure industry would not putting phony data to propagate their business ventures. From this perspective my data would be valid as well as reliable. As my data is being accumulated from internet, websites of various stake holders, magazines etc. I am self-assured that stake holders at this degree of global competitiveness would not be adding wrong data or information for promotional activities that could jeopardize their reputation. However, the constraints of validity and consistency I foresee to come across would be from the questionnaires I would be mailing to the stake holders. The downside I feel I'd face using the questionnaires is the fact some people may well not respond, might take a long time for returning back and the response rate can't be forecasted. However despite these restrictions, I be prepared to be able to create valid information and data for quantitative examination. I will be sending these questionnaires to the concerned stakeholders through their homepages and their websites and try and elicit as much response as it can be from them.


My research design is situated upon the study of a business and does not impinge after a research study research. All factors being studied can be considered as offshoots of a single industry. For e. g. the legislation aspects would be covering the complete industry rather than a single organization or a hospital. Secondly, my goal is to give broad founded generalized guide lines on the tips for bettering medical travel and leisure in India. My look at therefore is always to collect and examine data from where generalisabilty can be achieved.


I will abide by the Coventry University BES ethical recommendations. I will execute my research actually and present all the info accurately. I will get the reduced risk acceptance form authorized by my supervisor to get his approval before I get started my research.

I shall take all precaution to ensure and value the privileges and integrity of things if any.

I shall treat all the info confidentially and would ensure that it would not be utilized for any other purpose other than that intended.

Since my data collection is principally secondary in nature, my research work is considered to be always a low risk from the ethical viewpoint. I will keep all the organic home elevators ethics and the data collected for audit purposes.


I will paraphrase; research and cite the resources utilized by me, to recognize the task of others and avoid any sort of plagiarism.

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