India’s health and wellness tourism industry has become one of the most lucrative markets in the world. The country’s health and wellness tourism industry is expected to generate revenues of Rs. 315,497 milion by the end of this year – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.6% over the forecast period (2012–2016). According to Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is a massive $563 billion industry worldwide within the $3.72 trillion global tourism industry, a 10.6% growth from 2013-2015.
Ayurveda and Yoga is a 2000-year old science that has time and again proven to be effective with its use of natural herbs and individualized treatments that are prescribed according to one’s body type.
Together with Yoga and Meditation, the demand for traditional Indian wellness programs continue to grow, thanks to its global reach and the various initiatives put forth by the Indian government to – simplify visa processes, improve and authenticate Ayurvedic and Yoga centers with AYUSH certification and encourage insurance coverage for many Ayurvedic treatments today. Increasing the e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) scheme to 150 countries has also witnessed a surge in the number of tourists arriving on e-Tourist Visa to 36,982 by June 2016. It’s a roller coaster ride ahead as the country is expected to be the fastest growing nation in wellness tourism in the next five years, with over 20 per cent gain annually through 2017**.
While some travelers plan their travel around wellness activities — spas, health resorts, yoga retreats (also known as secondary wellness travelers) many travel with the primary purpose of wellness (also known as primary wellness traveler). With better awareness, interest for Ayurveda as the preferred choice of treatment, not only for stress and general wellness but also for more serious conditions like Arthritis, Diabetes, Rheumatism, Parkinson’s among others, is on the rise. Ayurveda’s concept of addressing and treating the root cause of the disease versus addressing the symptoms, using all natural herbs has made it the preferred choice for many. Treatments like Panchakarma are globally recognized as the most “effective detox” programs, as it is specifically designed to suit individual requirements than take a one-size-fits-all approach.
Just as travel and holiday bookings are largely done online, more and more wellness enthusiasts are looking online to find their wellness requirements. AyurUniverse was created to cater to these net savvy travelers and make wellness holiday bookings seamless as ever. The website is the first of its kind dedicated wellness portal catering specifically Indian wellness programs to enthusiasts from around the world, is looking to fill that gap. A one-stop shop, it allows customers to research various wellness centers based on rating, price, location; choose a Wellness programs and review their experience all in one platform.
The website aims to be a catalyst, as we provide wellness travelers knowledge and wide choices so that they are able to make an informed decision. India currently offers the widest range of traditional Ayurvedic centers and Yoga retreats. While Yoga has gained enough popularity, we want to educate everyone about the other traditional Indian wellness programs including Ayurveda, Siddha, Meditation, Kalari and Marma Chikitsa too.
Since our official launch in June 2016, we have received interests and queries from enthusiasts from 144 countries (3,300 cities) worldwide. As awareness of Ayurveda continues to grow and easy access to information on treatments and packages, verified wellness centers and access to Ayurvedic doctors are made easily available, we expect these numbers to grow rapidly.
The world has embraced Yoga and Meditation in a big way for over two decades and now has discovered the immense benefits of Ayurveda. The growing realization that only India offers authentic Yoga and Ayurveda means that India is surely on its way to become the fastest growing destination for wellness tourism.
The future is bright for Ayurveda and Yoga. Retreats across India are fast gaining popularity among Indians, foreigners and NRIs alike. While foreigners from United States, Germany, UK and Russia still make up the largest source market, there is demand from NRIs and Indians, looking to escape and rejuvenate from their over-worked and over-stressed schedules.
It is evident that travel has such an integral role in one’s life with people travelling not just for sight-seeing but also to relax and heal their body and mind for a better quality of life. Our Indian wellness systems are here to provide just that and more.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication