The tourism industry is gaining strength once again as the COVID-19 restrictions have been eased in many parts of the world. While relaxing and exploring have been a point of travel for most people, after the pandemic, spiritual tourism is also increasing in the country. According to a Thomas Cook and SOTC Travel report, India has seen a 35 per cent growth in spiritual tourism.
The report also highlights the major reasons for boosting religious travel in the country. One of the major reasons is the feeling of gratitude. During the pandemic, people became aligned with religious activities more than ever, they are now extending gratitude to the lords. Not just this, to revive the business or jobs, people are keen on seeking the blessings of God. Also, ‘thanksgiving’ for weddings and the birth of a child is another reason for spiritual tourism.
President and country head of Thomas Cook (India) Limited points out, “Post the pandemic, we are witnessing a definitive surge in spiritual tourism in gratitude and to invoke blessings. With the government’s strong focus on connectivity and infrastructural development, spiritual locales are attracting interest from not only seniors and families but also from millennials and groups of friends. Our product portfolio has hence been diversified to offer a range of convenient pilgrimages and customized options that include wellness, and unique local experiences – across culture, cuisine and outdoor adventure.”
The data shows that around 50 per cent of the population comprises of elderly with 35 % families. According to the study, the top pilgrimage sites include Char Dham Yatra, Do Dham Yatra, Muktinath in Nepal, Amarnath Yatra, Vaishno Devi, Varanasi, Prayagraj, and Ayodhya, among others. Apart from the elderly people, the couples and solo travelers of the age group 30 years to 45 years have shown a strong inclination towards the travel companies’ spiritual packages. They are preferring to the packages which include yoga, meditation, and other wellness programs. The millennials and younger people are more into the spiritual tours which give them space to explore outdoor-adventure and authentic local culture & culinary experiences.