We all had our travel calendars marked, itineraries chartered and many even had their flights and hotels booked, until COVID 19 swept us away putting on hold all those travels plans. Presently travel might seem too farfetched and unlikely. However, we all have been nurturing that itch to hit the road or catch a flight for the past few weeks. Once the pandemic gets tamed, we can look forward to the days of travel again. However, the travel and tourism industry is set to see drastic changes once travel picks up again and the way people travel too would be redefined.
Change in Travel Trends:
The travel trends until now have been majorly centered on groups, luxury, popular attractions and long duration vacations. One-day tours, weekend getaways and short travels would likely be the favored style of travel in the immediate future as this limits the interactions with the outside world.
From standing in queues to visiting museums, palaces or other popular “TOURIST” attractions in the city, everyone would want to explore the less crowded spaces. Preference would be to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors and amidst nature. As a result, hiking in the outdoors or cycling through the outskirts of the city would undoubtedly become more popular. Interestingly this fuels the idea of travel to a LESSER KNOWN INDIA!
Preferring remote homestays to hotels and hostels would be the norm. Probably booking the whole homestay for you would ensure better safety and fewer contact points with the outside world.
Travelling with unknown fellow travellers and large groups would likely take a back seat with the recommended and preferred travel would be with close friends and family. Travelling in small private groups and with known people is definitely going to be the trend in the coming days.
Safety during travel is going to be imperative and constant measures to ensure the same would be part of every tour and experience. It is important her to differentiate those that will adhere to rules to avoid any penalization form the government versus those that will follow it to sincerely follow it to keep themselves and others safe.
Vehicles transporting travellers would require constant sanitizing and the drivers would have to make sure that they carry sanitizers for travellers. The drivers themselves will need to be wearing masks and gloves during the travel to avoid any kind of direct contact.
The places of accommodation and property owners need to take safety measures to ensure the place is hygienic and safe for guests. Carrying self prepared food and avoiding restaurants or cafes would ensure safety to an extent during travel. This also avoids the breaks at unfamiliar places during the travel.
The vendors and artists at attractions and experiences also need to be educated about the cleanliness of the place and the rules that they need to follow. Apart from the hygiene, they would also be required to make sure that the number of visitors at a time should be not exceed a certain number.
Outdoor activities such as hikes and cycling would be ideal to maintain the necessary physical distancing.
The Responsible Traveller:
In the past the baton of Responsible Travel was held by the travel industry, tour companies and hotels took to responsible ways of sourcing their food, waste management, supporting local communities, generating plastic waste and also water consumption. As much as we expect the world to act sensible, every one of us needs to be responsible for our actions as well. Today responsibility starts with each one of us and as responsible travellers we need to ensure that we are keeping our guard up on safety and don’t become carriers and spread COVID-19 virus as we travel. But it doesn’t stop there, responsible travel is all about leaving no trace and taking back only memories. Lets take this COVID-19 time out from travel to reevaluate how much we as travellers can do to help reduce waste, reuse and recycle our travel waste.
As your travel during these times, be conscious of your physical condition. Check our temperature and look out for any symptoms, report it immediately. Sanitizing our hands and wearing masks goes without saying.
Make sure not to travel if you have a temperature, keep yourself quarantined and take necessary measures. Ensuring to carry own bottles of water and consuming self-prepared food during travel are some of the other precautionary measure from a traveller’s perspective.
Travel is sure to witness drastic changes once the floodgates open up. Hopefully, the safety measures, new travel trends and an act of being responsible would ensure that the industry would be back to normal as soon as possible, and we act more responsibly as travellers.