INDIA: Yes, its time now to restart travelling.
For a traveler, the year 2020 had been one of the strangest years in recent times. The global Travel & Tourism, hospitality aviation, and cruise industry progress came to a standstill amidst a severe, broad-based pandemic outbreak. Tourism boards, hotels, and eateries; everyone was badly hurt and is now trying to do their best to get back to normal.
As a travel writer/photographer, I am still worried about the future of people like me. The question today is how and what to talk about travelling and more importantly whether to talk about it at all. The answers to questions relating to whether to travel or not, are still complicated and comes with numerous ifs and buts.
Effect of pandemic on travel business
The travel industry is primarily a service industry, and a source of work opportunities for millions across the world: the airline industry, airports all over the world, car rental agencies, ocean liners and ferries, railways, hotels, homestays and hostels, camping, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, tourists guides and tours, financial services and travel insurance, and more. Unfortunately, many jobs have already been lost, many businesses are already shut down and there is no hope of them reopening. Various travel agencies have pulled their shutters, and no one is giving travel advice. The losses already are amounting to tens of billions of dollars.
Shortage of travel features
Travel journalists, photographers, and bloggers have been hit very hard because of the pandemic. No travelling means no new features. Many of us have started side projects: affiliate marketing, shifting to lifestyle section, selling gadgets and clothing, offering training online, organising virtual tours, and various other services. We are now offering content on travel safety topics, like safety information during COVID-19 trends, recommendations about short trips near your homes, how to keep your car in good shape, etc. And many travel writers are encouraging readers to think about ways to travel responsibly, safely, and sustainably during the pandemic and beyond.
Reopening of tourism
Luckily, we have seen positive signs over the last few months and especially during the festive weekends last year. Several factors, like the latest travel trends including staycations and workcations, weekend getaways, family travel, and the introduction of new tourism attractions have started contributing to the upward trajectory of domestic travel. Also with vaccination against the coronavirus underway, the sector is hoping for a turnaround.
The hotels have reopened and people have started moving out and tourist destinations are now seeing the return of travelers. People are now traveling without any fear, though only to domestic locations.
With new cleanliness standards for airports and mask mandates in flights for travelers, people are now taking to flying as a relatively lower-risk activity. All the travelers and travel companies are now operating in accordance with the local health and safety guidelines. And for me, I think Travel today will be a unique moment in life and a great new experience.
Going forward, coming from a pandemic, various Tourism boards in India and across the world have also taken the cue and devised new events and also restarted some old and popular events that used to attract a lot of tourists.