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Though the coronavirus pandemic is still not behind us, it is certainly better than it was earlier. And this is what travel will look like post-COVID-19.
The whole world is shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, and the economy is at stake. But it is the hospitality and tourism industry that’s been hit the worst. It has come to a total standstill.
Now the big question arises, ‘will people still travel after things have eased a little?’ If they do, what are things that need to be taken into consideration before the holiday is planned? Meanwhile, the industry is already gearing up and looking at various avenues where they can attract travellers – putting safety and hygiene as a priority.
Industry experts are confident that people will start travelling, but slowly. As a human tendency, globetrotters cannot be caged for long. They will take all the necessary precautions and will start travelling. And there will be a ‘new normal’ way to travel post COVID-19.
While overseas travel will be a big no-no for a while, domestic travel will see a sharp rise. Travellers will avoid public places like monuments, adventure parks, temples, beaches, and hill stations. A lot of webinars are being conducted by industry experts to study the behavioural pattern of travellers. They are also planning on adopting, new products they to offer, designing new packages out of the box, and maintain sustainable tourism.
Travel in India will start in five stages. Stage one will be ‘no travel,’ followed by going out and socialising in bars, restaurants or pubs. The third stage – intrastate travel on long weekends is expected to begin by September or October 2020. Following this, interstate travel will begin only after October 2020. And finally, outbound travel will only be possible after March 2021, according to experts and the government.
Both state and central governments, with various tourism bodies, have initiated guidelines for hygiene, cleanliness, and measures for social distancing. They will also be maintaining and will require a sanitation certification to ensure sustainable tourism.
Road rips or self-drive holidays, family and friends reunions, short-haul domestic destinations and experiential travel will be some of the top priority considerations. Listed below are the few avenues a traveller might consider post-COVID-19 or once they feel it is safe to travel.
Though it is the first thing to consider, avoiding public tourist destinations will be a good idea. Instead there are other things they could consider. These could be culinary experiences, yoga – wellness and spiritual experiences, learning some art or dance forms or even music. They could also learn about new cultures, people, languages and go on wine trails, instead of the usual adventure experiences.
Wildlife stays, safaris, and national parks have already emerged as the most sought holidays amongst millennials. However, they will also see a rise with family travellers shortly. Since October-November is the bird watching season in India, it would be a good idea to visit sanctuaries to watching migrating birds.
Away from the city’s hustle and bustle, rural tourism showcases rural life food, art, culture, and heritage. This helps the local community financially and socially too.
Rural tourism has immense potential and will see a definite rise post COVID-19 for sure. The other thing it will do is also encourage responsible tourism.
City-based walking tours or heritage walks in smaller groups to the lesser-known heritage and historical sites will be sought after. People looking to travel but not wanting to leave the city will especially opt for these kind of experiences.
This fairly new concept will attract lots of explorers of all age groups. Few states in India like Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are already promoting such tours. Well equipped Caravans take travellers on countryside experiences to forests, riverside, deserts and remote areas where accommodation facilities are limited.
Camping with all posh amenities is called Glamping and has already picked up in India. Various pockets in Rajasthan like Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Ranthambore, and states like Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Leh, Uttarakhand already have these facilities in forests, on river banks etc to give an out of the world experience.
Staycations have been a thing for a while now – both in India and abroad too. It can be for a relaxing holiday or even for work. Staycations will gain some more attention in the coming future.
Well, it is too early to say when things will start looking better and people will be ready to travel. However, the government has already sensed the magnitude of the current industry glitches and is gearing up to boost tourism post-COVID-19. The only thing we need to keep in mind is ‘Travel only when it is safe.’
Picture credits: Pexels
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With 23 years of experience in teaching, Marketing and as an Editor of a travel
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