The ministry of tourism is drawing out a roadmap to use yoga as a product in a bid to attract more travellers to the country, sources said. The 2015 draft policy of tourism, awaiting cabinet clearance, also stressed on the need to promote yoga to boost tourism.
"As a science that seeks to keep the body, mind and soul in concert, yoga is India's gift to the world which holds the promise of self-realisation," the 2015 draft policy on tourism states.
According to sources, the ministry will first identify yoga centres across the country and then link them to tour operators. "We plan to improve the skills in these centres in a bid to attract foreign tourists. For this, we are going to prepare a module and also request the concerned state governments for assistance," said a source in the ministry.
The ministry is also planning to tap the overseas market to help promote yoga among tourists. Social media and public platforms will be used aggressively to sell yoga.
"Properly marketed, yoga has the potential to draw in a significant number of travellers. It is, however, necessary to (create an) inventory of the institutions imparting yoga and connect them to the tourism market by adapting them suitably in terms of language orientation, physical infrastructure and ability to handle visitors," the draft policy adds.
Subhas Goyal, president, Indian Association of Tour Operators, told HT: "This is a good start. Yoga is popular across the world and the demand for yoga tours is increasing. It is a good thing that the government has taken an initiative in this regard."