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What Will 2019 Bring for Wellness Tourism in India: An Outlook Statistics say that travellers take a whopping 586 million wellness trips each year and that's what we need to in cash

By Vijay Kumar Karai

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Today's fast-paced life demands one to be energetic and enthusiastic all the time. However, monotony leads to boredom and eventually a loss of productivity. Thus, everyone needs to take a break to release all the fatigue and stress. A holiday, that allows one to relax, recharge and rejuvenate, can work wonders in reducing stress and breaking the monotony. This has led to a huge increase in the number of people seeking breaks for their physical and mental health.

Although a holiday can offer that much-needed break, it can also be tiring. We often need another vacation to get over the tiredness caused by one vacation. This has seen a growing demand for Wellness travel and wellness tourism, in India and across the world.

We all need a decampment from our routine and wellness tours to enable you to attain mental and physical well-being at the same time. Not only that, this is the fastest growing area in tourism and it is expected to expand further.

People tend to think that wellness holiday involve enforced exercise, strict, bland diets, or activities that may not interest them. However, things have come a long way since then. There are plenty of wellness retreats offered by Ayurvedic retreats or five-star resorts that allow guests to choose what they want. There is a wide range of options for wellness holidays – from rejuvenation to de-stress to detoxification, each suited based on your individual preference.

Statistics say that travellers take a whopping 586 million wellness trips each year. In fact, the Wellness Tourism niche encompasses 15 per cent of global travel. That's the second highest after cultural tourism! It is also lucrative, as wellness travellers spend 130 per cent more than the average traveller. It has been identified that the most sought-after wellness aspects are traditional healing massages, healthy cuisine, Yoga or fitness classes, Meditation or Pranayama and more.

India holds an advantage as a Wellness Tourism destination due to the following factors:

Yoga: Yoga is a practice which was born over 2,500 years ago in India. Wellness tours combine the benefits of Ayurveda, Yoga and meditation to help you escape from your mundane daily lives to restore inner balance. A Yoga retreat not only helps one improve their Yoga practice but gives ones the opportunity to meet like-minded Yoga enthusiasts. A Yoga retreat combines exercise with Saatvik diet and Pranayama or Meditation to help one gain maximum results within a short period of time.

Meditation: Apart from Yoga and healthy diets, wellness tours also focus on meditation. Meditation is known for its multitude of benefits. Apart from improving your health, meditation also focuses on your mind and helps you gain a more positive outlook on life. Vipassana Meditation, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation and 10-day silent meditation retreats are most sought after.

Ayurveda Detox: Panchakarma or Ayurvedic detoxification is not only for detoxifying the body, but also for rejuvenation — strengthening the immune system, and restoring balance and well-being. It is one of the most effective healing therapies in Ayurveda and is recommended to be done for 21-days and on a seasonal basis, to get the best results. Panchakarma removes the excess doshas and corrects the body's imbalances, as well as eliminate the harmful toxins out of the system through the body's own organs.

Rejuvenation Programmes: These programmes help in relaxing muscles and releasing fatigue, and also help in reducing stress and stiffness. Some of the programmes are aimed at providing relief from ailments such as diabetes and arthritis. It acts as a natural treatment which aids in the process of curing the disease. While these are not long-term remedies, regular rejuvenation programmes are definitely worth trying in order to ease the pain. Yoga is also therapeutic in this aspect as many diseases are kept at bay with regular and guided yoga practice.

Cost Benefits: India's major attraction is value for money, the low cost for alternative medicine services available in India is increasingly becoming popular among foreign patients as a replacement for surgical treatments for various ailments. Furthermore, the country is also renowned for its unique travel experiences on an emotional, intellectual and spiritual level. All these results in low cost of tour packages to India,

With the pressures one goes through on a daily basis, self-care by allowing the body to de-stress and heal at regular intervals, is of growing importance. This involves making lifestyle changes - in the way we eat, sleep or work, on a daily basis. It is only when this becomes a habit that one sees the fruits of their labour.

Wellness tourism is evolving and plays a major role in the rapidly increasing tourism sector in India

Vijay Kumar Karai

CEO and Founder AyurUniverse

AyurUniverse was founded by Vijay Kumar Karai. Vijay brings over 18 years of corporate experience in Sales, Marketing and Operations working for brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi and 4 years as CEO of various start-ups. It was during his time as CEO and co-investor of an Ayurvedic spa in Mysore, India, that he realized the potential for an online wellness portal.

Vijay holds an MBA from University of Southern California, USA and Bachelor of Science from Hyderabad, India. He is a proud husband and father of two boys and quite naturally an avid wellness enthusiast. A keen reader, scuba diver and amateur squash player, he also helps his sons run an NGO "Thread India" that helps and motivates underprivileged children to follow their dream career.

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