Reasons behind a failed marriage may be aplenty. India may not have featured in UN’s report on nations with highest divorce rates, but numbers are rising every day, nevertheless.
Marriages in India are considered a sacred institution by many. And it is this morality attached to the idea of marriage that deters people from taking any decisive step towards ending it. At the same time, there are people who, despite all societal censure, have been able to pull themselves out of the patriarchal construct that marriage ends up becoming in India.
Interestingly, the very nation that still venerates marriage is also the birthplace of a travel trend that is only becoming popular with time–divorce tourism.
Now that the tourism industry is tapping into its miscellaneous target clients, to create its niche in several fields, they are also investing in sentiments around marriage.
Where did this trend start from?
Vijesh Thakkar, a tour operator from Mumbai, launched ‘divorce tourism’ packages in 2009, a generous idea that occurred to him after watching his friend’s marriage disintegrate.
Divorce tourism is based on the idea of sending a couple, for a week-long vacation to a destination, to help them work on their marriage, which seems like a fine way to making one last effort to save the relationship, especially in a country where there so much stigma attached to divorce.
This form of tourism is generally sponsored by a relative or family member, who also sends a marriage counsellor in the garb of a tour guide.
Through partnerships with hotels and other travel businesses, quite a number of travel agents are now pushing for divorce tourism packages for couples. According to Time, an exotic paid-for holilday typically involves Dollars 1500-2500 packages to destinations like Maldives, Spain and Czech Republic, among others.
Whether a brief vacation could actually become the point of reconciliation for a broken marriage is a matter of perspective.
On the obverse side, you will see a completely opposite structure of divorce tourism, especially in the first-world countries, the seat of it being London.
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The other side of divorce tourism
Recent reports have shown how more and more spouses are travelling to London with the sole purpose of filing cases for divorce, thus making it the divorce capital of the world. In fact, London has become an all-year-round destination of choice for divorces, owing to its legal justice system that ensures better forms of maintenance, than those offered in any particular divorcee’s hometown.
Divorce tourism may well be subjected to debate by intellectuals, but no one can deny how it is gradually catching on as a trend among people of this generation.