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Last Updated : Jan 04, 2019 09:06 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Spiritual Tourism, a travel trend enticing Indian CEOs, is here to stay

With leisure being the prime objective, read on to know how religious places serve as trending destinations.

Suchayan Mandal @suchayanm

Suchayan Mandal
Moneycontrol News

According to experts from various travel booking websites, when corporate professionals are asked about major travel trends of 2019, a common element figures in most responses  – spiritual vacations.

Spiritual vacations are going to be one of the most sought-after trends in the coming year. Popular travel portals such as MakeMyTrip, Thrillophilia and Travel Triangle have already packaged destinations as Spiritual Heritage or Heal your Souls. And the ones who haven’t yet may soon follow suit.

To escape the routine of tiring brainstorming sessions, exhausting excel sheets and meetings, top management across the board now prefer heading to Tirupati, Bodh Gaya, Varanasi, Vrindavan, Pushkar, Bhutan or other places of religious interest instead of non-descriptive hill stations and beach towns.

cluster day view

But, do they metamorphose into Romans when in Rome? Absolutely not. Instead, they prefer to bask in the silence of a resort, attend prayers at temples or monasteries and in general relax in the spiritual surroundings, away from the regular crowds. Technically, they are redefining the concept of how CEOs chill. With leisure being the prime objective, how do the religious places serve as trending destinations, then?

The Trend

“In last one/two years we have noticed a growth of 6-7 percent in terms of top-level corporate travellers coming for spiritual rejuvenation. There are groups as well as individuals who take these trips.”

“We get several top honchos who come and stay with us on a regular basis. Most of the time they come with their families (parents included). Several of them have also come back with their colleagues on offsite visits with us," said Tanya Agrawal, Director, Shri Radha Brij Vasundhara Resort and Spa, Govardhan, Mathura.

Promoted by Shri Group, a prominent real estate developer of North India, the resort offers 24 cottages, a restaurant and a spa and is located at walking distance from most of the temples at Govardhan.

In fact, Bollywood celebs aren’t too far away either catching-in on the spiritual charm and traditional fervour that such places offer. Top-rated actor Akshay Kumar spent three months at the resort while shooting his critically-acclaimed film Toilet, and returned for some peaceful downtime later as well.

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The activities

“Most of the C-level executives who visit us, come here mostly to relax and rejuvenate. Many of them just don't want to do any activity. They just want to sit, walk and laze around. Then there are the spa sessions. Some of them spend time in the gymnasium. A few of them go for a trek of Parikrama as well. During evenings, they mostly spend time playing indoor games,” added Agrawal.

“On a spiritual rejuvenation, we have seen corporate professionals engaging in yoga and meditation. Most corporates who go for these trips wake up early. Being in the city for too long, they are devoid of fresh air. So when in the yoga routine, I generally prescribe more breathing exercises to make their lungs detox a little. Besides, they don’t binge eat, neither do they drink. While this is a spiritual rejuvenation, these trips detox their organs as well,” said Urmilla Singh, Founder, ReJuve, a start-up dedicated to yoga, naturopathy and spirituality, based in Pune.

Budgeting the trip

“Travelling to spiritual places for vacationing for me always means a sense of peace, solitude, and relaxation. This kind of immersive travelling culture which is gradually gaining popularity is often influenced by one’s affinity to look inwards for finding peace and is here to stay. Many of these locations are offbeat in nature and enable you to experience a break beyond the routine touristy experience,” said Ashish Dhruva, Vice President-Marketing, Cleartrip.

And if the experts from the online travel firms are to be believed, this trend is here to stay.

For top-level management of private firms across India, an average day is full of stress and challenges. No, wonder that a wee bit of soul searching and soaking in the spiritual air is gaining popularity.
First Published on Jan 4, 2019 08:45 pm
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