Ayurveda tourism eyeing a rejuvenating monsoon in Kerala
Kerala is home to at least 120 premium establishments, including traditional Ayurveda centres and holiday resorts that offer wellness packages for tourists.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ayurveda and wellness tourism industry in the state, which is yet to fully recover from its pandemic-induced stupor, is anticipating a rejuvenating monsoon this season. With the south-west monsoon round the corner, stakeholders are on a promotion spree to woo foreign tourists. According to sources, unlike in previous years, the industry is getting a lot of enquiries and is expecting inbound tourists from West Asia, the former Soviet republics, including Russia, Ukraine, and Europe.
It is learnt that the ayurveda and wellness industry contributes to 70-80% of the tourism sector’s foreign exchange revenue. Kerala’s forex earnings from tourism in the 2020 fiscal amounted to just Rs 2,799.85 crore. In 2019, the figure stood at Rs 10,271.06 crore.
“We have been getting a lot of inbound and domestic travellers. They are not bothered about the seasons as the rates are attractive now. We are getting a lot of enquiries from Arab nations. This trend existed before Covid, and this is the first time since the pandemic that we have had this much enquiry from the region. Moreover, tour operators and stakeholders have been engaged in some aggressive marketing in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc,” said Shaik Ismail, president of the Tourism Professionals Club and Tourism Care Foundation.
Kerala is home to at least 120 premium establishments, including traditional ayurveda centres and holiday resorts that offer wellness packages for tourists. However, cutthroat competition from Sri Lanka, Maldives and other states, including Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, and the lack of branding and promotion strategies by Kerala Tourism have been major setbacks for the industry in Kerala.
“Despite contributing so much to the economy, the state is yet to brand the ayurveda and wellness industry. Kerala Tourism should come up with marketing strategies exclusively for the industry. The new players have been unable to make a mark because of the lack of promotions. Only the traditional centres and established ones are able to thrive because of this,” said Sajeev Kurup, president of the Ayurveda Promotion Council (APC).
According to sources, the tourism department has no plans to promote ayurveda tourism this monsoon. “We are planning to market monsoon tourism and we are eyeing the domestic market. Currently, we don’t have any specific plan to promote ayurveda tourism. We are expecting a lot of domestic tourists from north India. It’s summertime there and monsoon tourism would be a major attraction for them. We will launch the marketing campaign soon,” they said.
The tourism industry is also looking to tap and promote the monsoon season to woo domestic and international tourists. Villas, tent accommodation and adventure camps are some of the products being marketed to attract travellers.