Covid 19 Aftermath and Tourism
Covid 19 epidermic destroyed the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. The past year 2019 and 2020 were not the best of years for Sri Lankan tourism sector. The easter sunday attacks affected the tourism in 2019 and covid 19 has struck tourism hard this year as well. Currently whole country is in lockdown and no one is able to travel through the country. Of course, the government is trying to restrict the travel to stop the epidermic from spreading through out the country.
There are a lot of other business and industries providing value to different layers of the tourism value chain. Hotels, restaurants, tour guides and agents and other SMEs related to tourism industry are facing a hard time these days because of not having any tourists in the country.
This situation is common for most parts of the world. Sri Lanka is in a much safer zone compared to the rest of the world since the government took necessary steps in advance to control covid 19 from spreading. The other reason behind the low mortality rate due to corona is the solid healthcare system in the country.
Medical Tourism in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a country with a good healthcare sector. Along with western medicine, Sri Lankan also rely a lot on the Sri Lankan Ayurvedic medicine as well. Ayurvedic medicine has been a part of Sri Lankan culture from ancestral times.
In this context, Sri Lanka is moving towards promoting medical tourism. This is an effort to reveal the power of old Ayurvedic recipes to the world. There are thousands of plants with high medicinal value in Sri Lanka. There are plants that can cure cancer in Sri Lanka. Even though the world is unable to find proper cure for cancers, there are recipes in Sinhalese Ayurvedic medicine that can cure cancers totally.
Taking all these factors into consideration, Sri Lankan government is planning to promote Medical Tourism in the country.
Medical Tourism - A New Arena for the Tourism Industry
What is medical tourism?
Medical tourism simply means traveling to another country to obtain treatment. In the past, people from underdeveloped countries travelled to developed countries for treatments. But with the development of the Ayurvedic Medicine and with the popularization of Ayurvedic methods of healing, westerners have increased their interest in this area. Now, there is change in the trend and people start traveling to countries which they think they might have a solution to their medical issues.
It is a known fact that ayurvedic methods are more sustainable compared to western medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is made purely from raw organic materials like barks and leaves of plants.
What can Sri Lanka Offer for Medical Tourists?
Currently, Sri Lanka is promoting medicinal values plants in spice gardens in Sri Lanka. In those places, they do demos on lotions, and other value added products made from spices.
But spices are not the only plants that has medicinal value. Ancient scriptures in Sri Lanka say that every plant on the earth has a medicinal value. Ancestors knew what plant to use for which purpose. Some of that knowledge still prevails in the country. But it’s declining at the moment because people started believing in western medicine since it gives quick results.
In contrast, Sinhalese Ayurvedic medicine takes time to give results but the results will be more like permanent. You will not get the same illness in the near future for sure. That is the power of ayurvedic medicine in Sri Lanka. However, people always look for quick and easy methods.
Further more, mental health is also another aspect of health that is gaining momentum these days. The best cure for mental health is there in Sri Lanka. That is sure. Why do I say so? Sri Lanka is the epicenter of buddhist philosophy and buddha’s teachings. If anyone needs any medicine to their mind, Sri Lanka is the place to be. The doctors are the monks who practice and teach the buddhas teachings.
A lot of foreigners come to Sri Lanka to practice meditation. Meditation can make you feel relaxed, easy and take you off of whatever the sorrows and complications you have in your life. Lord Buddha has preached that mind is the forerunner of all good and bad states. Medicine to your mind means medicine to your life. There are a number of Aranyas (Forest monasteries) which are secluded from the day to day life of people. In a calm and quiet environments like forests, monks teach different types of meditation one can practice.
Therefore, Sri Lanka has a lot to give to the world through medical tourism. What makes it unique from western medicine is, in Sri Lanka, there is medicine for both body and mind. This unique value is promoted through medical tourism in Sri Lanka.