21 June has been proclaimed as International Yoga Day and experts feel that it is a great opportunity to improve the global position of Brand India. Although this event will be hosted in 192 countries simultaneously, the world will look upto India as it is preparing to celebrate it on a grand scale.
The travel industry is elated for the simple fact that this event will work well for inbound tourism. In the last few years, a number of yoga tours have been conducted with people coming over from countries such as France, Russia, Germany and the US. Yoga is a practice, which is both spiritually and bodily beneficial and the World Yoga Day intends to promote the message far and wide.
Showcasing Potential for Inbound Tourism
When PM Modi urged the world to celebrate yoga at the international level, not many were confident of its outcome. Now that the UN has given its nod, experts see the World Yoga Day as a real chance for India to show its potential for inbound tourism. Presently, yoga has caught the imagination of the world and people are also coming to India on yoga tours. However, the number of organizations conducting such tours is pretty low. With the World Yoga Day, there is a distinct possibility that more operators can come into the fold and yoga can create its own niche in Indian tourism with exclusive packages to boot.
Yoga Tours Get Impressive Response
Indian tourism industry has gradually started witnessing the trend of a group tourism package on Yoga for students, leisure travellers and professionals from around the world. According to the leaders in travel industry, the yoga tours are getting impressive response. They strike an optimistic note when they say that the concept would soon prove more rewarding and India could be further promoted as a tourist destination. Acknowledging the fact that there is significant potential of spiritual and yoga-based tourism in India, many consider World Yoga Day as the strong edifice on which Brand India can be built.
If the MD of a travel services company is to be believed, there are lakhs of people who come from different parts of the world to practice yoga in India. Popular yoga gurus and the private yoga studios where trained individuals conduct classes are the fulcrum of such tourism.
Impetus for Hospitality Sector
Certain tour operators in India also feel that the World Yoga Day will do wonders for the hospitality sector of the country. Thy observe that ashrams may not suffice when it comes to catering to the huge number of people coming over to India for learning and practicing yoga. Since people coming to India for yoga tourism stay for a long period of time, the demand for guesthouses and service apartments will naturally see a spike. Such facilities can only be provided by the hospitality sector.
Another line of thought has emerged in this context. The industry experts note that yoga’s appeal is not limited to foreign tourists who are looking for some training and relaxation. Nowadays, big corporate houses are also looking for yoga sessions for their employees, especially, for offsite training programmes. Hence, the International Yoga Day can give further impetus to this concept.
A Note of Caution
Amidst the huge wave of enthusiasm and joie de vivre all around, there is a note of caution for all. In order to be able to promote Brand India and its yogic traditions well, it is essential to come up with new efforts to market the product. Celebrating yoga for one day will not guarantee its long-term success.