According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), wellness travel is set to be worth $919 billion by 2022 which is double its 2013 valuation. GWI data shows that wellness travel makes up about one-sixth of all tourism dollars spent worldwide, and that it’s been growing at twice the speed of general tourism. According to industry experts, wellness travel is one of the fastest-growing travel categories in the world, if not the fastest.
Right now, people are looking for ways to unplug from technology, from tense socio-political conversations, from increasing demands in the workplace and the burden of rising inequities. This, paired with more discussions on preventative health, is sending people to wellness retreats and destination spas worldwide. Over the past 20 years, early scientific studies have linked yoga, meditation and other modalities with mental benefits. It has been found to decrease anxiety, improve memory and boost body image.
Sustainability is also increasingly going hand in hand with healthy travel as the wellness trend continues to evolve. Sustainable properties are being developed in more and more remote locations as the conversation around well-being for people, planet and community will continue to merge, and consumers will not only expect wellness travel to address individual health and well-being, but also to shed light on sustainable development and consumption in relation to travel. The wellness and sustainable travel conversation have become so intertwined that people may not even need to qualify a trip as being “healthy and sustainable” in the future – it’ll just be a given.
Multi award-winning Ananda in the Himalayas is more than a destination spa, it is a soul-stirring experience and life-changing journey in a landscape that cannot be replicated elsewhere. In 2020, Ananda in the Himalayas celebrates its 20-year anniversary and recently announced several new initiatives and programs throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary. A pioneer in Ayurvedic health and wellness, Ananda is intensifying its wellness offerings with a focus on immunity and chronic pain alleviation with several new treatments being introduced throughout the year. The Ayurvedic and lifestyle consultation processes at Ananda has been augmented with comprehensive assessment and diagnostic tools. There is a renewed focus on the sustainability practices as the resort focuses on being more environmentally friendly, with community support. Ananda in the Himalayas now offers a robust benefit program for repeat guests and Ananda Yogis who consider Ananda as an intrinsic part of their personal wellness journey.
Focus on Immunity
Now more than ever, it is important to focus on immunity. According to Ankur Verma, spa director at Ananda, “immunity is of utmost importance now, and we are recommending programs like Holistic Detox and Panchakarma to build up immunity, and reducing the toxin build-up in the body. Apart from focusing on immunity, it is important to not go into a state of panic, being calm and aware at all times is critical. Immunity gets suppressed due to high levels of anxiety as well. Drink plenty of warm water. Staying well hydrated will keep the throat and mucous membrane moist, supporting its action as a good barrier to all microbes. Ginger lemon tea, served with honey, is a good option as well to have regularly.”
Ananda recommends these 5 Ayurvedic remedies for improving immunity:
- Start the day with Tulsi, Pippali (fruit of long pepper) and ginger tea to strengthen and cleanse the upper respiratory tract.
- Use turmeric and black pepper in the meals daily, to boost immunity and reduce ama (toxins). Turmeric can be taken as a drink with almond milk or added to morning oats to prepare a nourishing golden porridge.
- Minimize intake of red meat and avoid usage of any processed meats like bacon, sausage, nuggets, ham, etc.
- Take 15 ml of Amla juice daily. Optionally, take Chyavanprash to supply extra antioxidants and strengthen the immunity.
New and Ongoing Sustainability InitiativesWith a continued focus on sustainability, Ananda in the Himalayas is adopting new initiatives in 2020 to enhance its commitment as an eco-conscious brand. Recently, the resort has become affiliated with ItMustBeNow.com, a sustainable travel platform launched on Earth Day in 2017 that tackles the issue of sustainable travel and tourism from two angles. In addition to helping travelers become informed and empowered, the portal also offers a marketing alliance for responsible travel agencies and hospitality businesses through their NOW Force for Good Alliance. Most hotels are doing the bare minimum in order to claim they have become more sustainable. Few hotels are truly accountable and transparent around sustainability and even fewer have committed to be carbon neutral and support the 17 global goals. NOW aims to work with travel partners who are committed to the cause of being responsible in their practices, reduce wastage and handle resources mindfully. As a hotel partner in this network, Ananda aims to deliver luxury that is not wasteful, reduce and offset their carbon footprint and safeguard their culture, community and destinations.Located in a Maharaja’s palace estate surrounded by a 100-acre forest nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas and overlooking the ancient Ganges river valley, Ananda is a global leading destination spa and wellness retreat. Ananda in the Himalayas is nurtured by the nature that surrounds it, and it is their primary duty to not just maintain it, but also ensure that the nature thrives. Since its inception, Ananda has implemented practices that are more sustainable, socially responsible, and with accountability and transparency. In an ongoing effort to maintain best practices on sustainability, Ananda commits to the below practices and programs.
Waste and Recycling
- Garbage segregation is done to facilitate proper disposal and recycling.
- Ananda has a zero waste-water policy. The recycled water from the sewage treatment plant is used for gardening (The STP plant runs on MBBR technology, ensuring no chemicals are used in this process).
- Food waste is delivered to a nearby pig farm.
- Ananda has installed a water bottling plant at the property with reusable glass bottles. This has reduced 99% of the plastic waste created by single use plastic water bottles at the hotel by approximately 350 bottles per day.
- Sub meters are installed to monitor water consumption and take corrective action in case of any aberration. Through addressing of leakages, water consumption has reduced by approximately 50 kilo liters per day.
- Drip irrigation and sprinklers have bee installed at all gardens and lawns.
- Opt in bath/bed linen reuse program is communicated via cards in each room with option of not washing bed/bath linen every day.
- Golf tee course has synthetic grass turf which does not need watering.
- Ananda has heat pumps (15 KW) in place of hot water generators to heat water. This has helped in reducing around 1200 kg of carbon dioxide emission per day, by reducing the daily consumption of 450 liters of high-speed diesel.
- LED lighting is used in all guest rooms and public areas, as well as for landscape lighting. Up to 408 KG CO2 emission per day has been reduced, by reducing electrical consumption by 1.64 lakh units per year. (450 units per day).
- Ananda has micro switches for all the balcony doors, providing auto switch-off control for air-conditioning when balcony door is open, to reduce power consumption.
- A master key switch is fitted in all rooms that shuts all electricity in the room once the key tag is removed.
- Energy meters are installed to monitor electrical energy in the entire hotel.
Social and Cultural
- Ananda has adopted local schools in the local village (Narendra Nagar) and provides for the maintenance and upkeep of these schools for underprivileged children along with donations for furniture.
- Ananda supports an orphanage in Rishikesh by inviting the orphanage children to present folk dance performances every week at Ananda, and they are paid an honorarium.
- Ananda invites its guests to make a voluntary monetary contribution and matches each contribution with an equivalent amount from the hotel. This fund is used for vocational spa therapy training of underprivileged girls from the local state of Uttarakhand (training is done at the Ananda Spa Institute, Hyderabad) and also partially to support ‘Clean the Himalaya’, a local NGO dedicated to cleaning Rishikesh and its surrounding regions.
- Ananda is a registered partner of the Uttarakhand Organic Committee Board. Ananda supports local farmers who practice organic farming, and sustainable farming practices. Over 80% of the produce used in Ananda is organic and sustainably produced.
- Ananda grows ayurvedic herbs and a few kitchen spices in its own garden within the palace estate.
New Treatments in 2020
Once the residence of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal, Ananda in the Himalayas is dedicated to those searching for peace, harmony and wellbeing. Grounded in Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta and combined with contemporary international experiences which enhance and augment the original, Ananda is the ultimate escape from the mundane to the spiritual, where every corner spells harmony and every color soothes the senses. Ananda uses its own signature range of spa products, made in the region from the purest sources. Indigenous essential oils, muds, clays, gels and vegetable oils, all lovingly blended for their therapeutic energy, imparting wellness that begins from deep within. As part of commemorating its 20th anniversary, Ananda in the Himalayas is intensifying its wellness offerings with a focus on pain alleviation. Ananda will be launching up to eight new treatments throughout the year with two detailed below.
Prista Vamsha Therapy: Complete Spine Care and Back Therapy
Prista Vamsha refers to the entire spinal column. It is a complete spine therapy, which involves three systemic procedures prista-vasti, prista-abhyanga and prista-swedana to strengthen the spine and supporting tissues. The prista vamsha therapy starts with the process of oil pooling, (prista vasti) in which the warm medicated oil is retained inside a herbal paste crevice on the entire spinal area of the body for some time; followed by a deep massage on the entire back (prista abhyanga) ending with rhythmic tapping and then a massage using warm poultices over the spine and back. This intensive treatment strengthens back muscles by releasing the stiffness, lubricates the joints to make them flexible and pain free. It also alleviates lower back conditions like lumbar spondylitis, inter vertebral disc prolapses, lumbago and sciatica. Duration: 55min / Price: INR 7000
Pada Abhyanga: Ayurveda Foot Massage
Pada Abhyanga is regarded as a highly specialized therapy in Ayurveda. Pada Abhyanga is a complete systematic massage, done using medicated oil on the entire foot, focusing all important nerve points. It is a holistic therapy that works towards an effective psychosomatic healing. This treatment helps in relaxation, improves blood circulation, promotes better sleep, reduces anxiety and helps improves the texture of the skin. Duration: 45min / Price: INR 5000