Journal of Tourism & Hospitality

Journal of Tourism & Hospitality
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0269

+44 1300 500008


Disparities in the Use of Yoga: An Opportunity for Yoga Tourism Industry to Make a Triple Impact

Avinash Patwardhan

Tourism is increasing globally and is predicted to grow. There is also a noticeable change in the motivation for tourism from hedonic to eudemonic self-realization oriented spiritual pursuits. As a part of this process, ‘yoga tourism’ is gaining popularity. However, this development is encumbered with disparities. Yoga tourism purportedly offers to assuage the adverse effects of stress and chronic diseases partially induced by modernity. These predicaments affect everybody uniformly, rather in some ways, worse for men and the low socioeconomic groups. Yet, only 15.8% of the yoga practitioners are males and tourism is mostly out of the reach of the low socioeconomic groups. The situation provides yoga tourism industry an opportunity. How to get started with yoga is a barrier for males and financial constraint is a major barrier for the low socioeconomic groups to undertake tourism or yoga. It is known that many female yoga tourists have a happy family/personal life. Yoga tourism industry can offer attractive financial and hedonic incentives (pull) to motivate them to bring along their male counterparts. On the other hand, social tourism (financially subsidized tourism for the disadvantaged) exists but does not enjoy much support due to lack of advocacy. Yoga tourism industry can spearhead an incentive driven advocacy movement to lobby charity organizations and government welfare agencies to support social (yoga) tourism. (1) This will open up the hitherto untapped huge male and the low socioeconomic groups market and (2) The event participation might help males and the low socioeconomic groups to overcome their respective barriers and introduce them to yoga practice. Apart from market growth and growth of yoga use, in a long run these developments have the potential to translate into substantial public health benefits in terms of reduction in stress, disease burden, health costs and loss of productivity