Views and Interviews
Consumer Awareness Feature
The world of spiritual tourism
In India our rich history and culture have been shaped by an open canvas of religious and spiritual inclusion among its diverse communities. It is home to some of the world's most revered leaders and holy sites and is a popular destination for those seeking inner peace and spiritual enlightenment.
Over the years, spiritual tourism has evolved around places of pilgrimage, sacred sites with historical significance, and travel to spiritual retreats and events. Under this growing travel banner, there is a visible desire to experience something spiritual in an immersive kind of way - pray, meditate, reconnect, revisit, or just be part of any activity at a spiritual center.
How spiritual tourism has changed over the years
- Increased availability of accommodations – You now have destination resorts (many of them on the timeshare plan) located near places of tourist interest. These resorts are often linked to local guides who can offer the kind of assistance you could be looking for.
- Visible focus on wellness – Spiritual tourism benefits from the growth and spread of meditation and yoga retreats in the country. Some of these resorts have either invested in yoga and wellness facilities or are close to institutional centers that offer these services.
- Greater variety of experiences –The hospitality industry is increasingly seeing the need to focus on spiritual tourism in ways that will build on visitor expectations. From spiritual retreats to meditation weekends, there are now a variety of different experiences available to tourists.
- Participative cultural immersion – Resorts near spiritual centers also provide travelers with a more authentic experience, including cultural immersion activities. There is also the option of personalized spiritual experiences, allowing visitors to customize their own journeys.
- Planned sustainability outcomes – In an effort to support spiritual tourism, resorts are now working around sustainability platforms (eco-lodges for example) as a measure of environment protection.
How resorts can help if they located near a place of spiritual interest
- Provide information about places of interest nearby – either on the website or through subscription-based mailers. Also share updates on spiritual activities and events.
- Showcase the spiritual culture, traditions, and values of local people and communities. Promote responsible tourism practices that respect the environment and local communities.
- Develop tourism products and services that appeal to spiritual travelers and offer special packages for spiritual retreats and pilgrimages.
- Support local artisans and spiritual organizations to promote authentic spiritual experiences. Make customer service a priority to ensure a positive and meaningful experience.
The motivations for spiritual tourism vary but generally include a desire to connect with one’s faith, seek spiritual growth, experience a different culture, and learn more about a particular faith or practice.
Here’s a link to AIRDA’s member resort page on the website.
Image credits: Images licensed from Freepik.
Content Disclaimer: The views expressed in our interviews and stories do not necessarily reflect the official policies, practices and guidelines of the All India Resort Development Association, or its members. These views are based on personal experiences, private opinion, or open source information. (Images used here are either "paid-for" stock photos, images shared by the people we interview, or images under one of the open source licenses such as Creative Commons and others.)
Here’s a link to some recent interviews done by us on the AIRDA website