National Tourism Day: A look at the rise of health tourism and wellness-oriented vacations

Health is wealth. True to this adage, doctors often prescribe wholesome vacays along with doses of medicine for the quick recovery of the ailing

Pramita BoseUpdated: Friday, January 20, 2023, 09:02 PM IST
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Ashtamundi, Kerala |

Health is wealth. True to this adage, doctors often prescribe wholesome vacays along with doses of medicine for the quick recovery of the ailing.

Recommendation of such a getaway retreat at times bears fruits. For instance, the bubbling, smoky and sweltering hot springs for arthritic patients, seasides for the sufferers of bronchial asthma, lush greenery for a better eyesight, de-stressing and rejuvenation therapies for the overworked through Ayurvedic Panchakarma or steam/sauna bath for good cardiovascular conditions, stronger immunity levels and other health benefits. You come back with recharged batteries and get back to your daily grind with a reinvigorated force.

Nowadays, travel agencies or tour operators offer packages that ensure value for money and enhance the quality of life. The itinerary adds holistic treatments, keeping health tourism in mind, and delivers something extra to their loyal customers.

“Either you check out the exotic local biodiversity, hop to Thai wellness clinics to remove toxins from your body, or visit a fish spa centre to pamper your skin, you’ll do more good to your system than ever in life," concedes Minal Gupta, a regular tourist from Delhi.

Lifestyle creator Shiwangi Singh observes that “there is a latent wanderer with a roving eye in everyone."

Bungee Jumping

Bungee Jumping |

“The crazy part of a travel programme is to explore the adventurous side of oneself. As a thirsty traveler, I’d definitely arouse that daredevilry element in me by giving those derring-do acts a shot. This will impel me to run, jump, and walk for hours, thus steadily boosting my fitness levels," she enthuses. “It is difficult to monitor one’s health carefully on a tour, keeping the calorie count in check amid all the fun and frolic, but it is possible to shape up with certain activities away from home," she suggests.

Bungee jumping and other adventure sports, such as whitewater rafting or rock climbing, can meet a vacationer’s fitness requirements while also allowing him or her to relax and unwind.

“Bungee jumping is a great way to burn calories and build core strength while being harnessed in the air. Rock climbing is another enjoyable and safe sport for people with a fear of heights. Besides having unlimited fun, you may toughen your torso. Hiking is another great way to clear your mind while also enjoying nature. It’s an ideal way to prevent boredom while plodding between attractions or restaurants. This way, one could overcome the monotony and get some exercise without straining the body," she lends tips.

It is said that people suffering from osteoarthritis or joint pain often recover from hot spring therapy. Is it true that these natural geysers are an effective remedy to relieve pain?

“These are like ancillary options to alleviate joint aches. In fact, absorbing the steaming heat from the hot springs might block the pain receptors, preventing the feeling of discomfort from seeping into the physical senses, which were intact until entering the pool. Severe conditions like acute arthritis and fibromyalgia may subside too," opines orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rahul Grover, who’s also the founder and director of Glyra Orthopedics, New Delhi. Nevertheless, he adds a word of caution: “It’s usually advised to see your doctor before developing a hot-spring habit."

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater Rafting |

As an alternative avenue of tourism, wellness junkets have gained momentum over the years. However, the coronavirus outbreak had significantly affected the wellness tourism market in India. Consequently, the tourist inflow plunged hugely, thanks to the strict COVID protocols, as spending on travel slumped above 40%.

Tour operator Southern Travels conducts frequent trips to international thermal heritage sites. Offering bespoke packages on demand to its tourists, the travel company’s itineraries are essentially designed around customers’ preferences and requirements. Charges vary accordingly.

“A tourist’s zest for roaming around is always writ large on his face. However, nowadays they look for an oasis of peace amid an ambience of silence. They wish to strike a work-life balance and shut out the hazards of their hectic drudgery. They seek an escape

Manikaran Sahib

Manikaran Sahib |

route to soul-searching and self-healing," fathoms A. Krishna Mohan, managing director of the travel agency.

Thermal tourism has the potential to spur geotourism and ecotourism for the sightseers. Travel influencer Hardi Oza Patel of Velvet Escapes believes in dishing out unique experiences to the holidaymakers on her list.

Promoting tourism in the far-flung territories and exotic locales of the earth, Patel perceives that conservation of local resources and respect for the regional culture and customs are of utmost importance. “We make efforts to optimally utilize the area and maximize its economic gains by hiring local tour guides and other hands to render employment opportunities," she informs.

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