Wellness tourism is registering double the growth as compared to other travel niches. According to Global Wellness Economy Monitor, wellness tourism for India market is growing at 20 per cent.
By Vishakha Talreja
The news of Cafe Coffee Day’s founder VG Siddhartha’s suicide made India Inc shudder. It also led to lot of chatter in corner rooms that how entrepreneurs, business heads and CXO’s lead stressful hectic lives and there is a growing need to disconnect in order to look after themselves. Thankfully a growing number of corporate professionals are taking wellness breaks to detox and disconnect, leading to the trend of checking in at Ayurveda resorts or spa retreats for holistic wellness programmes or detox.
Wellness tourism is registering double the growth as compared to other travel niches. According to Global Wellness Economy Monitor, wellness tourism for India market is growing at 20 per cent. While earlier people would check in at an Ayurveda resort for a particular ailment or the retreats would mainly receive foreigners or old people, the trend is definitely changing with younger CXOs taking detox breaks. One of the key growth drivers of the wellness tourism market is also the increasing interest of hospitality industry towards wellness.
Wellness retreats are sticking to traditional Ayurveda but are designing retreats and holidays keeping the young Indian corporate population in mind. Take example of Mekosha Ayurveda Spa Suites Retreat, located an hour from Trivandrum Airport where all 11 suites have an in-suite treatment room and you don’t have to walk to the spa area, giving ample privacy and luxury to corporate professionals. The retreat offers Panchkarma Treatment, weight loss program and also detox packages besides treatments for specific ailments and conditions.
“Most of us have erratic work hours, and we are constantly sleep deprived. There is no set routine and we need to recalibrate our mind, body and soul. Most senior executives also lead a lonely life. A wellness holiday offers a blend of all this – there is human contact with your spa doctor, masseuse, yoga and meditation guru. It offers an opportunity to just pause for a bit, unwind and eat nutritious food. There are massages that helps one get rid of toxins and also you get to spend time amid nature,” explains Ram Wasan, founder, Mekosha Ayurveda Spasuites Retreat about the growing trend of wellness holidays among corporate professionals.
In fact stressed out corporate professionals were one of the reasons why Ashok Khanna launched Ananda in the Himalayas, now a popular spa retreat, back in year 2000. It was the time of IT Boom and the country was witnessing growing number of successful yet stressed out IT professionals. Khanna aimed to bring happiness back into their lives through a retreat that could de-stress them and that’s how the idea of Ananda was born!
Hotels too are taking wellness seriously for their guests who may have otherwise checked in for their business. ITC Hotels has weaved in wellness into business travel by introducing ‘wellness themed rooms’ at its Hyderabad property – ITC Kohenur. The rooms come with fitted Vitamin C showers, have plants to improve air quality and there is a focus on sleep with a mindful turndown service and a sleep box that helps you sleep better. Wellness is also focus at The Roseate Ganges, luxury resort on the banks of Ganga in Rishikesh that opened doors this year.
The resort through its bespoke programs offers blend of spirituality, fresh food and spa treatments to heal harried city dwellers. In the same vein, Hyatt Hotels is focussing on well-being of its guests and has partnered with wellness brands to make them part of the Hyatt Loyalty Programme. As part of its experiences programme FIND it has introduced wellness breaks as well.
(The author is a well-known travel writer. Views expressed are personal.)