INDIA. Delhi: Various industries have been hit hard due to the ongoing Pandemic, and the Travel industry is at the top of the list. It has been a tough year for travelers, and people associated with travel. Everybody is badly hit – lockdowns, border closures, and flight cancellations, all contributing to almost a death-like situation. Fortunately, at the beginning of the year, studies started showing favourable travel trends.
As the virus situation eased outpost the first wave, more and more people started traveling with the majority of visitors opting for domestic destinations. But with a second wave hitting the world again, all hopes of post-pandemic revival started vanishing.
The travel industry again is coming to a halt. The results are multifold – economic meltdown, unemployment, quarantine fatigue, or exhaustion associated with the restrictive lifestyle, etc. All these have started taking a toll now, affecting almost everyone across the world. You can see every second person getting easily irritated, eating more or less than usual, and having trouble with sleep and motivation.
Vacations, exotic locales, and eating delicious food have always been a medicine to fight exhaustion fatigue and people are eagerly looking to travel again. The only question is When?
What factors will contribute in getting travel industry back to normal?
Experts say that various factors will play significant roles. First of all, domestic tourism has to be strengthened, and people have to be educated to have long extended vacations. Even during the later stages of the first wave, a surge of domestic and “staycation” travel was seen, and the industry experts expect this to carry on into 2021 and beyond.
Vaccines to the rescue
Vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving travel, especially international travel. With the vaccines now easily available, travel studies are already showing positive trends. A revival of confidence in outbound travel is seen in countries where there has been a successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. After getting vaccinated many of the travelers are now planning to go overseas. European Union, the USA, and many countries in Asia are opening up borders to tourists from selected countries.
According to a survey, 77% of travelers surveyed say they will be more likely to travel internationally once they receive the vaccine. The statistic goes as high as 86% for domestic travel. And from the elite group of travelers, almost 90% showed a willingness to travel overseas to get vaccinated.
Not all vaccines are equal
International travel is definitely not on the horizon for Indian travelers though as for the majority of destinations, not all vaccines are equal. Europe is allowing entry to travelers who have received the required doses of vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency, like Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Russia’s Sputnik V, China’s Sinopharm, and India’s Covaxin (only approved by nine countries for now) still wait for approvals.
Vaccine Tourism is also a growing trend. Indian travelers can now get vaccinated in various popular international destinations like New York, London Paris, Barcelone, etc.
Read Also: The Traveler’s Pandemic