The travel industry was among the worst hit as the pandemic crippled lives and livelihoods. People were locked in their homes for months due to the pandemic, but now with things gradually opening up, people, tired of being cooped up at home, are looking to see and explore the world. With the news of a third wave looming large, no one wants to waste this opportunity and is willing to travel as much as they can before they are forced to stay confined in their homes for the third time.
This will of people is also getting a very positive boost from airlines. Sri Lankan airlines has come up with a great offer of buying one get one free for travellers who want to travel to Colombo and are fully vaccinated. With the Dubai Expo 2020 approaching soon, Emirates Airlines is offering one free expo pass to travellers. Offers for people keen to travel to Bali, Singapore, Maldives are likely to drop soon.
With Covid-19’s second wave on a seemingly downward slope, the travel market will be seeing a huge surge. “Dubai is a hot-selling destination right now as it has just opened, Maldives, Sri Lanka as well. For upcoming Diwali Euro trips will take off and in India, Kashmir has been doing great along with Himachal, Pradesh, Uttarakhand. For coming months, beach destinations like Goa will see a surge.” said Anshul shah, Managing partner of All 4 seasons holiday.
Along with international destinations, domestic destinations have seen a huge tourist intake this year and are planning to be on top of everyone’s list in the coming months as well. “We have gotten several enquiries for all destinations but nearby destinations like Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur, Diu, Daman etc have seen so much surge. Kerala, Ooty, Kodaikanal are going to see a rush this Diwali” said Vivek Shukla, director of Vibrant Holidays.
There are travel agencies also who have faced a hard hit during Covid and now have more of only domestic travellers. “We have maximum tourists going more to places near Gujarat like Rajasthan & Maharashtra. We send 100 members in 1 week to the statue (Statue of Unity). Now people have started to do independent bookings instead of advance booking. It’s more of spontaneous plans now. This has given a huge hit to the agency business.” said Rohit Thakkar, director of Navbharat holidays.
With digital advances and great online deals, the tourism sector has seen big reforms. Pandemic has proven to be a boon to India’s domestic travel, the hotel business within the country saw a huge rush post-second wave which helped them recover most of their losses. “Now tourists don’t want to give money to the agencies rather they love to plan and book their own holidays. Post the second wave, the tourism sector saw a huge rush but this does not mean that travel agencies gained money. It’s the hotel business that has gained a huge amount of money and has been able to recover losses. People have started travelling to Russia, Maldives, etc. If the Covid situation improves then we will see a surplus of 40-50% in international travel this year in comparison to 2019,” said Sanjeev Chhajer, director of CK travels, Chairman of the travel and tourism committee ( Gujarat).
As we predict an avid surge in travelling, a few avid travellers also have some good Inputs to give in this regard. “Covid is here and it’s here to stay, so there is no point in being confined to your homes all scared. But we should never let our guards down as the virus is still here. This is what I will teach my children also that go out and explore the world as much as you can. There’s no better time like now to explore India, we have such a beautiful country, we are spoilt for choice.” said Surbhi Mehta, a travel blogger.
“If one is travelling they must do their research well, take good feedback from people who have travelled the destination you are keen to go, if you are backpacking then try and book more home-stays that way you will be able to cut off the expenses, stay in touch with the airport you are landing at in regard of the Covid norms. One positive thing that has happened post-covid is that a lot of green zones have been declared at many places which are plastic-free. This change will help the environment a lot,” said Ujjval Patel, a travel enthusiast.