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Third edition of Kerala Health Tourism 2011 (KHT 2011) - International Conference and Exhibition on Health Tourism

As more people around the world take an active interest in their health, a travel segment known as health tourism has evolved to fill customer needs. Not to be confused with medical tourism, which focuses more on surgical procedures, health tourism is a much broader concept centered mainly around resorts designed to pamper or improve the body and relax the mind.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala is organising the third edition of Kerala Health Tourism 2011 (KHT 2011) - International Conference and Exhibition on Health Tourism during 20  -  22 October 2011 at Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi, Kerala.
The Indian healthcare industry is undergoing a phenomenal expansion and India is now looked upon as the leading country in the promotion of medical tourism, with an annual growth rate estimated at 30%.  Kerala - blessed with nature’s bounty, educated and hospitable people, distinctive and delectable cuisine along with Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation – has all the ingredients for a memorable tourism experience and is particularly well-suited to host medical tourists since it is recognized for its healthcare standards by world bodies such as the World Health Organisation and is currently going through a boom in private medical services.
Kerala Health Tourism (KHT) 2006, the first event of its kind in India, was the kick-off point for creating awareness and getting the stakeholders together to promote Kerala as a preferred destination for health tourism. After KHT 2007, its second edition, hospitals in Kerala on an average reported 30-40% increase in Medical Tourists arrival.

Hundreds of health resorts and spas exist around the world, offering specialized beauty and fitness services, and extended programs to improve your health. Tourism has been rapidly growing across the globe at a tremendous pace. Leisure and adventure travel has gained major ground over the past few years. Over the years drastic increase has been in the pilgrim tourism too. Slowly and steadily another major tourism sector which has been building a fast pace quietly has been the Health Tourism sector.

Health Tourism is gaining momentum across the world and in developing countries. It is turning out to be a very attractive cost-effective private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients needing specialized treatment.

These resorts are almost always located in stunning natural environments or in the trendiest city districts. Spas play a major role in health tourism, but this field also extends into areas like addiction treatment and weight loss.

Destination spas and health resorts are the most common and popular health travel venue. They offer a comprehensive range of services, from massage and Ayurvedic therapy to yoga and outdoor recreation facilities. Medical tourism in India has made rapid strides over the past decade, both domestically and in the global market.

India boasts of some of the finest qualified and experienced doctors, surgeons and super specialists. Indian hospitals have the latest equipment with state-of-the art infrastructure . India’s  super speciality hospitals are at par with some of the best in the world today. As international certifications creates a comfort factor with most of the international patients many a hospitals have already taken them or are in the process of doing it.

The goal of these resorts is to send their guests home feeling happier, healthier, fitter and more relaxed. Everything is contained within the health spa resort, allowing guests to relax and focus on themselves.

Spa resorts often specialize in a particular health remedies. Mineral baths have been around for thousands of years, and countries like Bulgaria and New Zealand capitalize on these natural geothermal properties. Low cost is the norm today without compromising on the quality and it is this ‘cost -effectiveness and competency’ bundled and packaged well with amazing tourism products of India, medical tourism in India is charting new success stories.

A holiday coupled with treatment is something which we wouldn’t have thought of in our wildest of dreams before but today it has become a reality as the total cost, including airfare, hospital expenses, hotel accommodation and the added tourism experience, works out very economic in comparison just the surgery cost in the developed nations.

Mud baths and other natural health cures are usually accompanied by a full menu of pampering services like massage and facials at these facilities. More holistic resorts offer treatments like acupuncture, colonic cleansing, hypnotherapy and meditation.

There are also specialized health centres for issues such as weight loss. These resorts place an emphasis on losing weight and improving eating habits. Guests typically follow a schedule lasting from a few days to a week or more. The meals are specially tailored to boost health and guests attend workshops to learn more about staying fit, eating right and keeping their weight down.

Another common specialized health destination is for addicts. Alcohol and drug addiction are the two most common problems dealt with at these facilities. They are set up like all-inclusive resort centers, except that there is more emphasis on monitoring the guests’ behavior and keeping them on their rigid programs. These are not particularly relaxing resorts, but they can often break a person’s addiction in a healthy manner.

Fitness holidays are gaining popularity with travelers who want to get some well-needed exercise while on vacation. This is the broadest category of health tourism, because the location is more important than the venue. Mountain resorts provide skiing in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer. Beach resorts are also popular for swimming and water sports. A fitness holiday places the impetus of action entirely on the traveller, and there are resorts at virtually every popular outdoor destination on the planet.
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