As health and holidays come to be increasingly combined in the modern tourism sector, the rise of wellness tourism in India and South Asia is a trend many are taking notice of.
"Wellness travellers look for authentic experiences and life-changing holidays, they travel with the purpose of improving health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities in an enjoyable resort setting," Rahul Chaudhary, Managing Director, CG Hospitality says.
"Travellers are expecting these experiences to give them somewhat a new outlook towards the world or themselves. Self-care and self-love are where this concept has evolved from. In addition to the self-care focused travellers, there is a huge surge in the travellers looking for creative awakening," he added.
Travel experts say that although a spa "allows an individual to escape from their busy schedule and to invest time in own-self, and it is an ideal place where you disconnect yourself from the world and worries," as shared Swati Balga, Aura Spa Manager at The Park Hyderabad, many also believe that a spa experience is only the beginning of wellness tourism.
As per Vijay Sharma, General Manager, Club Med Southeast Asia, wellness tourism has gained popularity among Indians who prefer travelling slow and taking relaxing vacations.
Guests are seen indulging in a host of amazing family activities with an objective of bringing urban families together to bond over unique moments of fun and adventure. While opting for holidays, travellers are mindful of selecting resorts that also cater to internal well-being.
Wellness tourism is beyond regular spa and thermal treatments to incorporate lifestyle improvement practices that render holistic well-being through travel, he added.
Why is this industry booming and how is it shaping up?
"In a steadily growing economy, where people constantly face a rapidly changing life, wellness tourism becomes even more important as it rejuvenates the body, mind, and soul through the detoxification offered by different health therapies. South Asians are embracing a life-well-lived mind-et in their 40s because they can afford it. They want to achieve and maintain the quality of not only life but a lifestyle," Rahul Chaudhary said.
The definition of wellness tourism has certainly evolved from what it was a few years ago.
"Today, the focus is on transformational travel, something that one can take back after the holiday whether it is an everlasting memory or a good habit. Mental well-being is treated to be as important as physical wellness," shares Neeraj Seth, Director of Marketing Communication and Public Relations at Kandima Maldives.
Finally, how is the industry shaping up?
As per Chaudhary, the wellness idea changes almost every aspect of travel and wellness tourism that will only grow faster in the years ahead because it sits at the powerful intersection of two huge, expanding industries: the $2.6 trillion tourism industry and the $4.2 trillion wellness market.