Thomas Cook (India) Limited and SOTC Travel’s consumer data indicates that the Companies’ Spiritual Tourism segment is witnessing a significant uptick of approx. 40% vs. pre pandemic. With a strategic intent to target this increased demand, the Thomas Cook and SOTC Travel have expanded their Spiritual Journeys/Darshans portfolio with ready-to-book and customizable tours across India’s top preferred spiritual locales like Char Dham, Do Dham, Ramayan Trails (Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Rameshwaram), Prayagraj, Kashi-Vishwanath corridor, Vaishno Devi, Varanasi, Rath Yatra, Bodhgaya; also the Tamil Nadu temple circuit of Chennai, Tirupati, Kanchipuram, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram,and more. The specially crafted Spiritual Journeys/Darshans range across price points, starting at Rs. 11,270.00* to premium-personalised tours include VIP Darshans and Chardham Yatra by Helicopter.
Exclusive offers include Early Bird Discounts and upto Rs. 2,000.00 off on select bank cards.
While historically India’s seniors/Gen S composed a key segment for Pilgrimages Thomas Cook & SOTC Travel have seen an uptick in demand from segments like multigenerational families and honeymooners/couples.
What is noteworthy is that the Companies are witnessing a discernible shift – with increasing demand (over 25% Vs 2019) from India’s millennials and Gen Z. However, consumer data/insights reveals that the demand is not restricted to traditional pilgrimages but for pilgrimage plus or spiritual products. Thomas Cook and SOTC Travel have hence designed an attractive range that features a combination of spiritual breaks with unique local experiences and outdoor adventure like white-water rafting and night trekking in Vaishno Devi, Rameswaram – a hub for fun or diving with PADI professionals, bungee jumping in Rishikesh, etc. Also, unique experiences like magnificent views of sunsets from the ghats, boating on the Ganges or exploring the weaver’s village in Varanasi; birding at Chilika Lake and visiting a heritage crafts village in Puri; learning a local art like Kalayaripayattu and authentic local food trails in Kerala. For added comfort and convenience, select tours include helicopter services and VIP darshans.
Thomas Cook and SOTC Travel’s range also includes customized pilgrimage plus tours include meditation, yoga, and wellness programs like the Panchakarma ayurvedic program at Kumarakom, Yoga Centre/Ashram in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, etc.
Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “The concept of Spiritual tourism is evolving rapidly and is gaining momentum not only from Gen S but also young India’s Gen Z and millennials. We are witnessing an uptick in demand emerging from India’s metros and mini metros, in addition to tier 2 and 3 cities. To tap into this significant opportunity we have expanded our Spiritual Journeys/Darshans portfolio to include unique and customizable experiences like outdoor/adventure such as white water rafting/bungee jumping and local cuisine trails. Our diverse range extends across affordable to luxury price points.”
Mr. Daniel D’souza President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel said, “The pandemic has resulted in a strong revival of spiritual tourism, and we are witnessing a significant and growing demand for spiritual locales like Char Dham, Do Dham, Prayagraj, Kashi-Vishwanath corridor, Ramayan Trails to Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Rameshwaram, the Tamil Nadu temple circuit and more. What is interesting is that customers are now combining their spiritual tours with leisure holidays and this was the genesis of our pilgrimage plus holidays that offers our customers with an eclectic mix of options they can choose from and comes with special offers to sweeten the deal.”