“Thomas Cook India & SOTC Travel Embrace Trend of Pilgrimage-Cultural Adventure Fusion Across India”

The pandemic-induced YOLO (You Only Live Once) sentiment has had a profound impact on Indian travelers, influencing a shift towards immersive experiences and a preference for spiritual destinations. This shift is not solely focused on sacred sites but encompasses a broader spectrum of experiences including adventure, wellness, food, culture, and history. Thomas Cook (India) Limited, a leading omnichannel travel services company in India, along with its Group Company, SOTC Travel, has observed a significant surge in demand for spiritual destinations, with a notable increase of 100% year-over-year. This heightened interest is particularly evident in cultural experiences and adventure tourism. The recent inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, coupled with advancements in connectivity and infrastructure, has further amplified online searches for such destinations by 10 times. In a strategic move to capitalize on this burgeoning yet relatively unorganized market segment, both companies have expanded their portfolio of spiritual tours to encompass a diverse range of pre-packaged and personalized tours to spiritual locales across India and the subcontinent.

Traditionally, seniors and Generation S individuals constituted a significant portion of the spiritual travel segment. However, Thomas Cook and SOTC are now witnessing increased demand from a variety of segments including multigenerational families, honeymooners, couples, millennials, and Gen Z individuals.

Consumer data analysis indicates that the demand extends beyond traditional pilgrimage sites to include unique local experiences. Consequently, Thomas Cook and SOTC have curated an enticing product line named “Pilgrimage Plus,” which combines spiritual retreats with local experiences. These experiences range from outdoor adventures such as mountain biking and paragliding in Vaishno Devi, to activities like diving with PADI professionals in Rameswaram, river rafting, and kayaking in Rishikesh, camping in Uttarakhand, and jungle trekking in Gujarat. Additionally, unique experiences like sunset boat rides in Varanasi, the Chhau dance which fuses classical Indian dance with martial arts and folk traditions, the nesting of Olive Ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and Rushikulya in Odisha, exploring the stepwell in Rani ki Vav in Gujarat, or learning the martial art of Kalari payattu in Kerala are also featured.

Furthermore, Thomas Cook and SOTC offer customized spiritual and wellness options such as meditation, yoga, and wellness programs like the Panchakarma ayurvedic program at Kumarakom, and Yoga Centers/Ashrams in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, among others.


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