"Indias fast-growing wellness tourism industry shows no sign of slowing down, despite the pandemic. "
The desire for wellness retreats when planning a holiday has increased dramatically during times of uncertainty and lockdown restrictions. Everything from meditation and yoga to spa breaks make up a global wellness industry that was said to be worth $6.4 trillion in 2019.
And now a global search of 100 countries – using TripAdvisor searches that include ‘spiritual retreat’, ‘wellness’ and ‘yoga retreat’ keywords – carried out by www.visagenie.co.uk, reveals how many wellness retreats India, specifically, is home to.
Regarded as one of the most spiritual countries in the world, India is home to 276 retreats, with only the US above them on the list – 352 in total. Illustrated by the map below, India is a true hotspot for wellness holidays with several areas of the country ready to welcome those who crave wellbeing.
Uttarakhand, a state in Northern India crossed by the Himalayas and known for its Hindu pilgrimage sites, has the country’s most retreats with 89 locations. Rishikesh, a major centre for yoga study, was made famous in 1968 by a visit from the Beatles – and may well be a reason why the area is so popular today.
Besides a visit from Liverpool’s most famous musical export, the state of Uttarakhand is surrounded by beautiful backdrops, and hosts the evening Ganga Aarti, a spiritual gathering on the Ganges river.
In February, the Uttarakhand government hosted a wellness summit to propel the state into a ‘global spiritual economic zone’, with the aim of capitalising on the rapidly growing global wellness market.
In second, sits Kerala, a state on India's tropical Malabar Coast, which has almost 600kmof Arabian Sea shoreline. Known for its palm-rich beaches and canals, it’s no surprise to see such a beautiful and blissful area of the country so high on the list.
You’ll find some of the most luxurious retreats and resorts in Kerala, and potentially a newfound sense of wellbeing if you ever decide to visit.
Making up the top three is Goa, the famous state in western India, which also has coastlines along the Arabian Sea. With 38 retreats in total, it’s not as popular as the first two, but with top beach destinations and quaint fishing villages, Goa is a place for sea air and seclusion.
Karnataka – 23 retreats – completes the trend of Indian states with coastlines that feature high on the list. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu both have 17, while the remaining retreats are made up by 12 other areas of the country.
The desire to travel
India’s fast-growing wellness tourism industry shows no sign of slowing down, despite the pandemic. New immunity retreats are being created and salvaging the day when it comes to offering holidays that are safe and enjoyable.
And the fact that wellness tourism is touted to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5 per cent by 2022, the rest of this year and early next year will be about relaxing getaways with mental healing as the main focus. If you find yourself in a position of wanting to visit India to sample it’s vast array of wellness retreats, then you’ll need to apply for an Indian visa and ensure that you double check the latest information regarding safe travel and the countries on the UK’s travel corridor.
It will be interesting to see whether India follows in the footsteps of the US, who are promoting the craze of going on a ‘workcation’ where you work from blissful and luxurious spas, instead of working from home. Could this be the next big boom for the wellness industry? Only time will tell.