As part of efforts to promote medical tourism, the Tamil Nadu government is planning to bring out tourism brochures in consultation with medical institutions with some useful tips on health care.

Citing the “availability of super speciality hospitals in the State, providing quality services affordable cost,” the State would adopt the strategy to achieve its primary objective of making Tamil Nadu a favoured domestic and international tourist destination, according to a report of the State’s eleventh five year plan.

A slew of good hospitals are located across Tamil Nadu, with patients, especially from the Middle East, Pakistan and some African countries, thronging the state for medical services.

The Tourism department staff will be specifically trained to attend to the needs of the people, it said.

Chennai, for instance, boasts of some of the big names in India like Apollo Hospitals and Harvey Super Speciality, with local players such as Aravind Eye Care and PSG Hospitals in Madurai and Coimbatore respectively remaining popular.

Further, publicising and marketing festivals such as Pongal and dance festivals at Mahabalipuram and Chidambaram are also part of the strategy to achieve the said objective, it said.

The harvest festival `Pongal’ (in January) could well assume more significance as the Tamil Nadu government recently rescheduled the Tamil calendar, announcing that Pongal will mark the birth of the Tamil new year.

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had urged people of the State to celebrate the festival with pomp and fervour, as it would henceforth coincide with the new year too.

The Tourism department was also considering roping private and corporate players and oil companies for developing some areas like Golf clubs, adventure tourism, cruises, star hotels and heli-taxi, among others.