Thomas Cook India & SOTC witness 35% growth in Spiritual Tourism segment
The pandemic with its unprecedented hardships/challenges have caused Indians to actively seek spiritual solace. Thomas Cook (India) Limited and its Group Company, SOTC Travel, have witnessed a strong 35% growth in Spiritual Tourism. In a focussed endeavour to tap into this high potential yet unorganised segment, the companies have expanded their portfolio to include a range of ready-to-book pilgrimages and personalized spiritual journeys. Products start at an affordable Rs. 20,000.00 per person for a 5-day tour, with premium-personalised options priced at Rs. 200,000.00 per person for a 6-day tour.
Thomas Cook India and SOTC’s diversified product range features- Pilgrimage Tours, Spiritual with Wellness, Spiritual programs with unique elements – that incorporate local experiences.
India’s seniors segment and 45+ age group form the core segment for Pilgrimage Tours. Keeping this in mind, the companies’ top pilgrimage tours extend across- the popular Char Dham Yatra and Do Dham Yatra (option to charter a helicopter as well; VIP darshans) Muktinath in Nepal, Amarnath Yatra, Vaishno Devi shrine with Kashmir, Varanasi with Prayagraj, Ayodhya, etc.
India’s couples and solo travellers (30-45 yrs) are displaying strong preference for the Companies’ customised spiritual tours that include meditation, yoga and wellness programs like the Yoga Centre/Ashram in Coimbatore, Dharamshala and Rishikesh; Panchakarma programme at Kumarakom, etc.
India’s millennials/young professionals and families present the highest growth opportunity – and their preference is for spiritual journeys in combination with outdoor-adventure and authentic local culture/culinary experiences. Thrilling experiences like white-water rafting and night trekking in Vaishno Devi, Kathadi (close to Rameswaram – an emerging hub of water sports), Badrinath’s famous valley of flowers trek; bungee jumping in Rishikesh, etc. are inspiring India’s millennials to explore the land of spiritual journeys.
Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Post the pandemic, we are witnessing a definitive surge in Spiritual Tourism in gratitude and to invoke blessings. With the government’s strong focus on connectivity and infrastructural development, spiritual locales are attracting interest from not only seniors and families but also from millennials and group of friends. Our product portfolio has hence been diversified to offer a range of convenient pilgrimages and customised options that include wellness, and unique local experiences – across culture, cuisine and outdoor adventure. Customers can book a hassle-free Darshan with us as we seamlessly handle their end-to-end comfort while they focus on their spiritual experience.”
Daniel D’souza President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel said, “Spiritual tourism has been growing rapidly and expected to further propel the revival and growth of tourism in India. We tested waters pre-pandemic and keeping the post-pandemic surge in demand in mind, we have designed our products to streamline the complete end-to-end experience. Spiritual tourism also provides an ideal getaway amidst tranquil nature with a combination of outdoor adventure and authentic local elements. Our ready to book and personalized spiritual holidays have been designed with care and offer a range of price points to suit every consumer segment.”