The whole world is shaken with the Corona Virus, the economy is at stake. But the most affected industry is Hospitality and Tourism. It has come to a standstill. Now the big question is Will people travel after things have eased out a bit? If yes, what are the various things that will be considered before planning any holiday? What will be the travel trends post-COVID-19? The industry is already gearing up and looking at various avenues where they can attract travellers considering safety and hygiene as a priority.

Experts Speak

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. There will be a ‘New Normal’ way of travel after Covid-19. The overseas travel will be a big no for some time so the domestic travel will see a sharp rise. Travellers will avoid public places like monuments, adventure parks, temples, beaches, hill stations etc. A lot of webinars are being conducted by experts from the industry to study the behavioural pattern of travel the travellers will be adopting, new products they can offer, designing new packages out of the box, sustainable tourism etc.  Travel in India will start in 5 stages.

  1.  No Travel
  2. Going out/socialising in restaurants/bars/pubs
  3. Intrastate travel on long weekends which is expected by September –October 2020
  4. Interstate will be only after October 2020.
  5. Outbound travel will only be after March 2021.

Expected Travel Trends post-COVID 19

Both state and central government along with various tourism bodies have already initiated guidelines for hygiene & cleanliness, measures for social distancing, sanitation certification etc to ensure sustainable tourism. Road travel 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 which a traveller might consider post-COVID -19 or once they feel it is safe to travel.
  1. Experiential Travel– Though it has been on top of the mind for quite some time now to avoid public places travellers would consider experiences like culinary, yoga, wellness & spiritual, learning an art, culture, dance forms, music, religion, people, festivals, languages, wine trails apart from the regular adventure experiences.
  2. Wildlife– Wildlife stays, safaris, National Parks has already emerged as the most sought holidays amongst Millenials but will also see a rise with family travellers shortly. October – November is the season for Bird watching in India as most of the sanctuaries see migrating birds.
  3. Rural Tourism– away from the city’s hustle and bustle Rural Tourism showcase rural life, food, art, culture, heritage thereby benefitting the local community economically and socially. This has immense potential and will see a rise for sure. This will also encourage responsible tourism.
  4. Walking Tours/ Heritage Walks– City-based walking tours /heritage walks in smaller groups to the lesser-known heritage and historical sites will be sought after especially for those who will not want to travel to other cities.
  5. Caravan Tourism– A 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 for countryside experiences to forests, riverside, deserts and remote areas where the accommodation facilities are limited.
  6. Glamping– Camping with all posh amenities is called Glamping and has already picked up in India. Various pockets in Rajasthan like Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Ranthambore, other 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.
  7. Staycations– which is already trending abroad and now in India too. It can be just 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 which we need to keep in mind is ‘ Travel only when it is safe’.