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Top 5 Emerging Wellness Tourism Destinations in India

By: Ankit Kansal, MD, Axon Developers
India is emerging as the pioneer of alternative healing, wellness, and holistic health segment throughout the world. While India’s rich culture and tradition in Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation is an inherent strength; other factors are also steering the segment towards increased growth. Improved infrastructure and logistics, better communication systems, plenty of semi-luxury hotels & resorts, and ample manpower in the space are also helping the industry thrive. Another critical factor to notice is the fundamental shift in consumer behaviour wherein people are no more just interested in symptomatic treatments but want to address the root cause and prefer long-lasting cures.

This is further driving the growth of Ayurveda & massage centers, Yoga & Reiki studios, health spas, naturopathy hotels & cottages, nature and wellness resorts, Panchkaran centers, fire healing centers, healing & wellness villages, and much more. Not to mention herb nurseries and farmhouses, Ayurveda restaurants, Homeopathy centers, spiritual retreats, and much more.

The share of lifestyle diseases such as stress, hypertension, and diabetes is also growing at a rampant pace, which further makes it necessary to regularly go to tourist places amidst nature and immerse in optimum health solutions.

The wellness tourism sector is presently sized at USD 23 billion and slated to reach USD 140 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 30%.

India already has popular wellness destinations such as Kerala, Munnar, Goa, etc. Meanwhile, as the alternative healing and treatment space is expanding, new wellness destinations are also emerging, integrating healthcare, wellness, real estate, and tourism. From the foothills of the Himalayas to the scenic hills in the Sahyadri, new poster boys of wellness tourism are rising on the map. Mentioned below are 5 such places.

Rishikesh: The beautiful hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas is known as the Yoga capital of the world, attracting thousands of tourists from India and abroad. Rishikesh already has dozens of popular Yoga centers, Ayurveda clinics, ashrams, etc. Alongside Haridwar and Narendra Nagar, Rishikesh is set to capture a large portion of India’s wellness tourism space in the coming future. Besides an existing ecosystem, what gives Rishikesh a competitive edge is the proximity to Delhi, availability of quality manpower, and improved business climate. It takes 4 hours to reach Rishikesh from Delhi via the Dehradun expressway. Other popular destinations such as Ranikhet, Dehradun, and Mussoorie are also at an approachable distance. Average property prices in Rishikesh have already reached INR 5,475/Sq. Ft growing at a CAGR of 5% as per research by Axon Developers. It will further grow northwards, as wellness activities are picking up fast.

Sindhudurg: After the opening of the Rs 2600 crores MOPA international airport at Pernem, Sindhudurg (located ~ 20 mins from the airport) is transforming into a thriving second home and retirement villa destination. Prices are on the upswing and demand for villas, cottages, and lodges is jumping relentlessly. Meanwhile, the GOI has also opened a large Ayush hospital near the airport to add an additional layer of wellness and medical tourism in the region- acclaimed for green-capped hills, turquoise blue water, and spellbinding jungle trails. As MOPA will drive a large volume of business tourists, it further makes sense to start Ayurveda centers & hotels, nature resorts, and healing cottages in Sindhudurg to offer complimentary services to business travelers and meeting visitors.

Kalimpong: Located across West Bengal and North East India, Kalimpong is a sleepy town, situated 50 km from Darjeeling. Perched on Teesta river, Kalimpong is home to verdant tree gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, rich biodiversity, natural waterfalls, and numerous other scenic beauties. The region which is close to Tibet and Bhutan is also known for quant-styled bungalows, monasteries, temples, and Yoga Ashrams. The temperature in Kalimpong is throughout pleasant, which makes it a year-long destination. The region is perfect to spend some time with nature and distress and healing.

Vizag: The coastal town is no more just the second largest city on the eastern coast after Chennai but is also a bustling yoga and wellness hub. Vizag alongside nearby tourist spots such as Araku (100 kms from Vizag) receives a large volume of tourists from India and abroad. It is known for extensive coastlines, emerald green sea water, popular beaches, hilly trails, and much more. The region is also receiving an increased spotlight after becoming the capital of Andhra Pradesh, which will further make the region a bustling ground for Yoga and ayurveda centers, naturopathy & wellness retreats, therapeutic nutrition business, healing businesses, etc. Though the weather is humid near the coast, it is pleasant across the hills.

Chamba: The town of Chamba in the Tehri district, is a relatively less explored nature’s paradise with pristine environs, Deodar and pine forests, and trekking trails. The mighty snowcapped peaks of Himalayas are visible from Chamba.  It is situated at an approachable distance from other tourist places such as Mussorie, Dhanouti, Kanatal, Tehri city, etc. It is perfect for starting Ayurveda and wellness business, thanks to idyllic natural beauties, picturesque mountains and valleys, and proximity to other popular destinations in Uttarakhand.

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