ALAPPUZHA: The tourism ministry has extended e-tourist visa facility to medical value tourists.
Kerala, a favourite holiday destination, attracting investments in corporate hospitals in a big way, is expected to benefit the most.
The tourism officials said facilitation counters at the major airports in the country for tourists arriving on medical visas are being set up.
A National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board is already in place. Besides advanced medical treatment, Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and homoeopathy are also on offer to attract visitors.
"The ministry offers financial support to wellness and medical tourism promotion shows, workshops, and seminars to accredited service providers," an official said.
The e-visa facility was introduced at the Trivandrum International Airport in 2013 and subsequently at Kochi and Kozhikode.
Kerala-bound medical tourists are mostly from the Middle-East while patients from Africa give priority to other states. Now the e-visa facility could increase arrivals here.
Kerala's advantages include world-class hospitals, medical professionals with global exposure and the goodwill of its nurses worldwide.
Besides, Kerala has three international airports, and the Kannur airport is expecting a soft-launch later this year. It has two Australia-accredited hospitals and 24 National Accreditation Board for Hospitals certified ones.