Travelling international is not going to be on the cards for a while. Apart from the fact that we can’t, countries, too haven’t opened borders for the Indian tourist. While the mode or means of travel may not be available, that is not going to stop us from travelling. With the itineraries becoming more domestic, there is a very high possibility that the new travel trend of staycations and short trips might just help in reviving the Indian tourism industry.
Vacationers Are Heading To Leisure Destinations In The Hills
Vacationers are once again flocking to hills, wildlife sanctuaries, and beaches as states unlock after a stringent lockdown due to the deadly second wave. The resorts, hotels, and leisure destinations in the hills are particularly back in demand. Many travellers from Maharashtra and Delhi are taking to revenge travel. Five-star properties have been going fully booked over the past few days.
Domestic Travel Will Be The New Travel Trend For Indians
It can either be defined as the inability to travel abroad, or the wish to now explore the country, but industry experts predict that there is going to be a massive shift in how people go on holidays. Travelling within the country is going to be a popular choice now because it will be far more accessible. Rohit Kapoor, CEO, India and South Asia for Oyo Rooms says, “In the second half of 2020 and 2021 domestic travel will pick up in India. Since travelling internationally would become more difficult due to structural reasons and a lot of other variables, people would prefer to explore their own country.”
He further adds, “Tourism as an instinct wouldn’t go away. So if people can’t travel abroad, then the entire demand will be funnelled back to India, as they will start looking for domestic options.” This could also lead to new destinations emerging in India. What could be possibly be considered as remote will now be believed to be an ideal spot for a vacation that involves enough social distancing.
Travel By Road Will Become The Most Preferred Mode Of Transport
As rules across various states have been relaxed, we are seeing that nothing is holding people back from hitting the highway. Yes, travelling by air might seem like the safest way to travel, but many people are opting to not go ahead with it until it is absolutely necessary. In fact, they are opting to pick up their car, or book a cab and embark on a road trip.
According to various news reports, as soon as Himachal Pradesh opened its borders, almost 700 people visited the state in 5 days. People are applying for e-passes in order to travel to different states. For some states, even that is not required. Road trips are still being considered as a safe mode of transport by people because it is allowing them to not come in contact with others.
Staycations Will Be The New Way To Holiday
Various Indian states have quarantine rules. Some require you to make a minimum 5 to 7-day stay bookings, others are suggesting a minimum period of 14 days. To travel some of the Indian states, you also need a medical certificate that states that you do not have Covid-19 infection. With so much effort going into planning and executing a trip, travellers would also want to stay back for a while and refresh themselves until they decide to head back.
Many hotels and boutique properties in India, are also now offering packages, that would allow people to work from respective properties. Today, since most of us continue to work from home, all that is required is a good internet connection, even if you are sitting in the middle of the forest with a picnic basket. Knowing that there are only deadlines to emails and not to when you need to return to your hometown, being in a different location will definitely be a relief after spending more than 100 days within the four walls of your home.
Health and wellness will also take precedence. So, wellness resorts too, will have a lot of provisions in place in order to provide their guests with a safe environment. Manoj Khetan, the co-founder of Naad Wellness, located in Sonipat, says, “Naad is up and running and now and being part of the healthcare industry, our safety and hygiene standards are at par with the country’s leading hospitals. The current practices included health screening of all employees before re-joining, infrared temperature screening of all guests and associates at the entrance, and at regular intervals, 100% focus on the sanitisation of the rooms, public areas, therapy rooms and medical equipment. Furthermore, we will be including RFID tagging of linen at one of the finest laundry services in the world, which are also used by the leading hospitals in the country.”
74% People Feel That Their First Trip Will Be To A Domestic Destination
We recently did a survey, and found that almost 74% people feel that the first trip post Covid will be to a domestic destination. There has been a massive buzz around going #VocalForLocal. We are already are seeing how people are adapting it in every other way of life and we will soon see it in travel too. There are many Indian destinations that are at par with international locations. The Sam sand dunes will Jaisalmer will give a tough competition to the Sahara Desert. Also, let’s not forget the iconic India Gate, which will leave you in awe compared to the Arc De Triumphe in Paris.
With discovery and a shift in choices, these initiatives will give opportunities to local businesses to flourish. From restaurants, to artisans and boutique properties that are run by locals and provide great experiences will catch on. Discovery of domestic destinations as holiday locations might just be the band-aid that the Indian tourism industry need, in order to heal.