Kochi emerges as medical tourism hub

 Thursday, September 8, 2022 

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The surfacing of Kochi as the ‘gateway’ of Kerala is costing Thiruvananthapuram a lot. The State capital is losing out to the commercial capital regarding medical tourism.


Until recently, Thiruvananthapuram had been the hub of medical tourists coming to Kerala. The Maldivians grabbed the biggest share of such tourists to Kerala, followed by those from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and a little number from Africa.


However, a decline in the number of flights to the Thiruvananthapuram international airport and an equivalent increase in services to the Cochin international airport have led to the change. The Thiruvananthapuram airport handles only three flights from the Maldives weekly at the moment, whereas, the weekly arrivals number at the Kochi airport is 14. There was a time when the Thiruvananthapuram airport managed two every day flights from the Maldives.


According to the Managing Director of KIMS Healthcare M.I. Sahadulla, the bigger number of prestigious hospitals and improved promotion plans attract medical tourists to Kerala. Though there was a drop in foreign tourist influx after the pandemic, business is generally more from the Maldives, along with Gulf countries like Oman. A small number of these tourists are from Africa and other countries.


Bangladesh, Iraq and the Maldives are the top three contributors concerning medical tourism in India, and Chennai is the main nucleus of these tourists, followed by Delhi and Mumbai.

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