ring back in your step.
Five years back, the ayurveda tourism industry in Kerala saw a mere five percent occupancy during the monsoons but in most resorts, it is expected to cross 70 percent occupancy this season.
Almost all resorts, whether big or small, now boast of an ayurveda spa. And they all have separate vegetarian kitchens, as vegetarian food is considered a must during the treatment period.
The tariffs for a treatment plan ranges from over Rs.2,500 ($60) for a day to over Rs.65,000 for a three-week comprehensive package. This includes food, accommodation and the treatment charges.
But the popular ones are slimming, stress management and beauty packages - all using oils, herbal powders and leaves.
Praveen George of Poovar Island Resorts, also situated near Kovalam, said their ayurvedic spa that opened in February has already got substantial bookings for the month of June.
"In this spa, spread over 14,000 sqaure feet, we have 10 fully equipped treatment rooms that have water bodies all around. This is believed to be essential for good results. We have also four floating cottages, specially designed using medicinal woods," George said.
Similarly, Tomy Pullikattil, who launched an ayurveda houseboat in Alappuzha, has bookings for the next two months.
Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, recognising the tourism potential of ayurveda, said his department has drawn out the basic standards to be followed by the industry while offering ayurveda as a product.
"These standards are necessary because ayurveda is a sensitive tourism product. If there are any violations, we might lose tourists forever. The department will try its level best to ensure that the best is offered," he said.
The state health department has also got strict measures in place to check fraudulent ayurveda services and products.
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