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May 18, 2024

The Rise of Spiritual Tourism: Hotels and Resorts Embrace Holistic Hospitality

Varanasi ancient city architecture with Ganges river bank at sunset. Indian female tourist enjoy boat ride on the river Ganges

As the demand for spiritual tourism soars, hotels and resorts are rapidly adapting to meet the evolving needs of travelers seeking holistic and wellness-focused holidays. Tarun Gulati, a second-generation entrepreneur, is at the forefront of this trend, and he couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the future of his family’s hospitality business. Gulati’s 30-year-old hotel, Ganga Kinare, located in the serene city of Rishikesh, exemplifies the fusion of spirituality and luxury.

Ganga Kinare offers its guests a unique spiritual experience with daily morning and evening aartis at its private ghat. These devotional rituals, set against the tranquil backdrop of the Ganges, are designed to bring peace and a sense of spiritual fulfillment to visitors. Additionally, guests have the rare opportunity to meditate within ancient caves, creating an atmosphere of deep introspection and connection with nature.

“Spiritual tourism has taken off like never before. People want holistic holidays, combining the power of spirituality with wellness,” says Gulati. Recognizing this burgeoning trend, he is expanding his offerings to cater to the growing demand for spiritually enriching experiences.

Gulati has recently launched two new properties, each with its own distinct approach to spiritual tourism. Holywater by Ganga Kinare is home to Varr, a restaurant that draws inspiration from the diverse culinary traditions of temples across India. This unique dining experience not only nourishes the body but also pays homage to the rich spiritual heritage of the country.

Oneness by Ganga Kinare, the second new property, focuses on creating a community of like-minded individuals seeking spiritual growth and wellness. This resort offers a variety of programs and workshops designed to foster a sense of unity and inner peace among guests. From yoga sessions and guided meditations to spiritual discourses and holistic healing practices, Oneness by Ganga Kinare is dedicated to providing a comprehensive spiritual retreat.

The rise of spiritual tourism is not confined to Rishikesh alone. Across India, destinations known for their spiritual significance are witnessing a surge in visitors. Varanasi, Haridwar, and Bodh Gaya, among others, are becoming popular spots for those seeking a blend of spirituality and wellness. This trend reflects a broader shift in the travel industry, where tourists are increasingly looking for experiences that go beyond mere relaxation and leisure.

Hotels and resorts are responding to this demand by integrating wellness programs, spiritual activities, and cultural experiences into their offerings. Yoga and meditation sessions, Ayurvedic treatments, and temple tours are becoming standard features at many properties catering to spiritual tourists. This holistic approach to hospitality not only enhances the guest experience but also promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of local traditions and spiritual practices.

For entrepreneurs like Gulati, the rise of spiritual tourism presents an exciting opportunity to innovate and expand. By creating spaces that offer a blend of comfort, spirituality, and wellness, they are tapping into a market that values meaningful and transformative travel experiences. The success of properties like Ganga Kinare serves as a testament to the potential of this niche market and its ability to attract a diverse range of travelers.

In conclusion, the growth of spiritual tourism is reshaping the hospitality industry in India. As travelers seek out holistic holidays that combine spirituality with wellness, hotels and resorts are rising to the occasion, offering unique and enriching experiences. Entrepreneurs like Tarun Gulati are leading the way, demonstrating that the future of travel lies in journeys that nourish the mind, body, and soul. With spiritual tourism on the rise, the hospitality industry is poised for a transformation that honors both tradition and the quest for inner peace.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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