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Published on : Friday, November 22, 2013
Here is some added good news for the Indian tourism sector. India will be the top contributor to the Wellness Tourism segment, registering over 20 per cent growth through 2017, as per ‘The Global Wellness Tourism Economy’ study by SRI International. The study noted that over half the growth in the segment in the next four years will come from Asia, Latin America and Middle East/North Africa. By 2017, the segment is projected to grow at 9.9 per cent per annum—twice the rate of global tourism.
Travel today can be bad for your health. Airport stress and transportation hassles, jet lag and poor sleeping, disruption of exercise routines, and excesses in eating, drinking, and sun exposure can leave a traveller more stressed and less well after a trip. A recent Columbia University study of business travellers found that frequent and extensive travel can even increase cardiovascular risk factors (obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol).
This is ironic because many people look forward to travel as an adventure and an opportunity to rejuvenate and de-¬stress. In fact, when an SRI International survey asked consumers what they do to maintain/enhance their personal wellness, “take a vacation” was among the top five activities selected.2 As more and more people pay attention to their health, they increasingly want to keep up their healthy habits when they travel. And a growing segment of travellers are even taking trips specifically focused on maintaining and improving their personal health and well-¬being. This is driving the growth of wellness tourism.
Although wellness tourism is a relatively new niche segment within the global travel and tourism industry, the practice of wellness focused travel is not new. Since ancient times, people have visited the Dead Sea for its therapeutic properties. Romans travelled to baths, hot springs, and seaside resorts for treatments, healthier climates, purification, and spiritual rituals. For 1,500 years, the Japanese have travelled to hot springs or onsen for healing and community. Though things have changed over the years but despite the rigours of travel in today’s world, the act of travel itself has long been considered a wellness enhancing activity.