21st June is fast approaching and it brings with it yet another opportunity to enhance the power of Brand India.
21st June is fast approaching and it brings with it yet another opportunity to enhance the power of Brand India. Declared as World Yoga Day, the travel and tourism fraternity in India feel this initiative will definitely work well to boost inbound tourism into India. Though there have been Yoga tours being conducted regularly with a widespread clientele from France, Germany, Russia, USA and other regions, a further endorsement of a practice that is said to have its connections both to health and spirituality will further its popularity. According to Ankush Nijhawan, MD, Nijhawan Group, “The World Yoga Day branding will surely help India to further showcase its inbound tourism potential. Yoga as we all know is popular the world over and though people do visit India for Yoga learning and experience and there are tours conducted by few, it has the potential to be promoted as a niche tourism product with dedicated packages.”
Jayesh Asher, of Pearl Travels headquartered in Pune has already ventured into the business and has conducted a group Yoga tourism package of 1,200 professionals and students from the USA. He says the response it generated was highly encouraging and he feels the World Yoga Day initiative will further help to promote India as a tourism destination. Supporting Asher’s thought further, Mehul Gor, MD, Amigo Travel Services, Mumbai, believes in the business potential of Yoga and Spiritual tourism. His company has conducted regular tours of groups from Russia and USA for Yoga tourism. “In December 2014 our company was approached by Iyenger Yoga to look after the logistics and accommodation of 500 international travellers for a 10 nights Iyenger Yoga event in Pune. There are over a lakh of people from across the world who come to practise Yoga,” says Gor.
There are tour operators who feel that Yoga tourism will also give further impetus to the hospitality sector as the ashrams are not enough to cater to all yoga enthusiasts. Anuj Singhal of Mauritius Tourism feels that those who come to India for Yoga experience or training are normally long staying guests. This will eventually lead to a demand for quality service apartments and guest houses. Shefali Gupta of Amigo Travels also feels that this concept will work wonders for India. Irshad Patel, head marketing and sales of Creative Tours and Travels in Mumbai, feels Yoga tourism is not only restricted to leisure and training that the foreigners look for, today India’s corporate houses and companies also insist on Yoga sessions especially in their offsite training programmes. This concept is definitely here to stay.