Sri Lanka is steadily emerging as a major competitor to Kerala’s ayurvedic system of medicine, a leading industry expert says.
“Sri Lanka has slowly come up as a threat to our market,” said Sanjeev Kurup V., Secretary of Kerala Travel Mart Society.
“I was in Sri Lanka only last week, and I estimate they have taken away 30-40 percent of our business,” Kurup told IANS.
Ayurveda plays a key role in attracting close to one million foreign and over one crore domestic tourists every year to Kerala. Almost 70 percent of the foreigners and 30-40 percent of Indian tourists come to Kerala for ayurvedic treatment.
According to Kurup and others in the industry, even earlier Sri Lanka was doing well in the business of ayurveda. But the long running conflict did cast a shadow on tourism in general.
“After the war ended in 2009, ayurveda business is picking up rapidly in Sri Lanka,” said Kurup, who saw for himself that ayurveda clinics had sprouted along the island nation’s southwestern coast, the tourist hub.
“Yes, Sri Lanka is also making a pitch for ayurveda,” Suman Billa, Secretary in Kerala Tourism, told IANS in a telephonic interview.
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