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Now: spa and shop holidays

December 16, 2005 11:50 IST

Across the world, Tourism Minister Renuka Chowdhury might be spreading the word for medical tourism coming of age in India, but back home promoter Parineeta Sethi is reversing the trend to offer wellness holidays for Indians travelling from here to the United Kingdom.

For starters, her Wellness Holidays has signed up an exclusive marketing and publicity arrangement with Champneys, United Kingdom's most celebrated spa. She will use the infrastructure of her company Exposure Media Marketing (worth Rs 10 crore) to provide Wellness Holidays with its initial support.

Targeting the growing numbers of Indian tourists to the UK, Wellness Holidays is also tying-up with UK-bound airlines and travel agencies to offer and include Champneys spa packages.

"For Champneys, all bookings from India, whether direct, through travel agents or corporates, will be through Wellness Holidays," Sethi says, "with a percentage of commission for each sale."

Sethi's interest in spa holidays was sparked with the increasing enquiries from Indians wanting to find places to de-stress. "Champneys is aimed as an add-on to the UK holiday for the leisure traveller," Sethi says. She adds, "We are offering corporates the option of including a spa holiday at Champneys as part of their company incentives."

The 30-year-old Champneys spa group has four spa resorts --Tring in Hertforshire, Forest Mere in Hampshire, Henlow Grange in Bedfordshire, and Springs in Leicestershire.

With a choice of 20 fitness activities along with various therapies, massages and presentations by specialists, Yvonne Konieczna, international public relations and marketing manager, labours that packages can be tailormade for long-stay visitors.

"There are 62 treatment rooms along with state-of-the-art beauty therapies and holistic healing therapies to indulge, relax and rejuvenate," says Konieczna.

A traditional week long stay at Champneys Tring could cost £769.95 (standard) or £2,599 (deluxe suite), while a weekend break could be for £299.95 (economy) or £429.95 (suite), covering the stay, food, unlimited use of facilities, massages, facials and all of Champneys residential inclusive elements.

Wellness Holidays also has tie-ups with eight other spa holiday destinations exclusively for Diners Club's 1,30,000 members in Malaysia, Switzerland, Thailand, Maldives, Hong Kong, Indonesia and -- in India -- Goa and Bangalore.

With world class spa centres like Ananda in India, Sethi feels "Spa holiday options across the globe offer travellers variety, and inculcate  the lifestyle of wellness into holidays." The company is in talks with several other spas for exclusive tie-ups for the Indian market. Sethi's mantra? "Spa and shop," she smiles.
Nanditta Chibber in New Delhi
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