*Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, Munnar, Kerala Tel: 04865 230606,232989 (Off), Mob: 094472 46162, Fax: 04865 232106 E Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellness, in general, is used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. It is a multidimensional state of being, describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life. Health/Wellness tourism refers to trips that are taken by tourists with the principle purpose being to improve their health and/or wellbeing. The wide use of alternative medicines makes India a particularly intriguing destination, and can bill itself as a holistic health solution. Kerala has been well known for hundreds of years for its practice of Ayurveda-a system of medicine that believes not simply treating the ailment but attending to the whole person. Kerala's equable climate, natural abundance of forests (with a wealth of herbs and medicinal plants) and the cool monsoon season (June - November) are best suited for curative and restorative packages. Before or after their treatment—or both—medical travelers can enjoy Kerala’s many popular tourist destinations. Whether they enjoy heritage tourism, or viewing wildlife, a beach vacation, or back water experiences, Kerala has a great deal to offer. The concept of health holiday, now better known as Wellness holiday, is based on the principles of Ayurveda, meditation, yoga, physical exercises and a balanced diet. It is like rejuvenation and clean up process on all levels - physical, mental and emotional. Ayurveda deals elaborately with measures for healthful living during the entire span of life and its various phases. Besides, dealing with principles for maintenance of health, it has also developed a wide range of therapeutic measures to combat illness. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the reason as to why Kerala is being chosen as a preferred destination for Wellness Tourism and to explore the current opportunities and facilities offered to the Wellness seekers. Key Words: Well being, Health holiday, Ayurveda, Rejuvenation. INTRODUCTION
More than 50 years ago, the World Health Organization defined health as more than freedom from illness, disease, and debilitating conditions (WHO, 1947). The suggestion by World Health Organization that health had a positive component led to the use of the term wellness—now widely used to describe the state of being representing that positive component (Corbin, Pangrazi, & Franks, 2000). Halbert Dunn developed the philosophy of wellness tourism to illustrate about a special state of health comprising an overall sense of wellbeing which sees man as consisting of body, spirit, mind and being dependent on his environment (Dunn, H.L, 1965). It is a concept that is attractive to visitors who love combining wellbeing and lifestyle healthcare services with the strong desire to travel overseas. The global advancement in medical research and technologies, increased facililities of transportation and demand of immediate quality healthcare have provided the patients worldwide to travel abroad for treatments. The Indian healthcare industry has realized the potential of this niche market and has begun to tailor their services for international visitors (Ilyas, 2008). Government and private sector studies in India estimate that medical tourism could bring between $1 billion and $2 billion US into the country by 2012. The reports estimate that medical tourism to India is growing by 30 per cent a year. In order to qualify as a contemporary wellness tourism experience, we would contend that some deliberate contribution has to be made to psychological, spiritual or emotional well-being in addition to physical. This takes wellness tourism from the realm of being merely a passive form of tourism with a focus on...