New Delhi: Undoubtedly, there has been a massive change in the way Indians travel now in the post Covid era. From a quick weekend getaways, staycations to road trips, many people are resorting to “revenge travel” in a bid to escape from the monotonous life that the deadly second wave of the coronavirus lockdown brought forth.Also Read - Good News! Saudi Arabia to Welcome Fully Vaccinated Travellers From Today
What is a revenge travel?
Revenge travel basically refers to the phenomenon wherein people wish to break free from the monotonous routine that has caused the “new normal” to develop in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this phenomenon also stems from a circumstance that has been described as “lockdown fatigue” or exhaustion that escalates on account of monotony. Also Read - Covid Symptoms in Fully Vaccinated People That Show They Are Infected | All You Need to Know
Simply put, people are basically exhausted of following the same mundane routine every day, working from home, unable to step out in the fear of contracting the infection. This has led to a sort of fatigue that makes people want to escape to the hills or other tourist destinations. Also Read - THIS Nation Becomes First to Offer Third Covid Vaccine Shot to Older People Above 60
In view of this, Indian travellers are thronging to popular travel hotspots. Recently, data from a latest Airbnb and YouGov survey on anticipated trends for 2021 showed travellers from India are looking for more local experiences and nature travel as a way of fostering personal connections.
Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the way people make travel-related decisions in more ways than one.
Enhanced transparency around health and safety top the list
According to a survey by Booking.com on the future of travel in the post Covid era, 77 per cent of Indians mentioned they would only book accommodations if it was clear what health and hygiene policies a destination had in place, with 71 per cent saying they would avoid certain destinations altogether due to safety concerns. This concern, for sure, is here to stay for a long time!
Meanwhile it’s too early to predict international travel trends as it is subject to various factors like air bubbles in place between India and other countries, vaccination drives, and long-term policies on international travel among others. However, there are certain predictions on trends for domestic travel.
Recent surveys have pointed that Indian travellers are increasingly looking for experiences that will enable them to reconnect with friends and family. India Today quoted Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s general manager for India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, “People are keen to explore short getaways that are a drive away from their homes, and there is an increasing interest in travel experiences that are off-the-beaten-track and offer affordability and adventure while benefitting local communities.”
Leisure and immersive travel options are the “new normal”
Vipul Prakash, Chief Operating Officer, MakeMyTrip told India Today, “Be it a workcation, staycation or a weekend getaway, travellers are gravitating towards fuller and richer immersive experiences that allow them to connect, explore and unwind. More and more people therefore, will prefer travel that balances their itinerary with a languid pace affording them the time to explore more while eliminating the stress of rushing around many places to tick the boxes.”
Going by the trend, many people are now resorting to solo trips. Ritu Mehrotra, regional manager for South Asia at Booking.com, told the news site, “Our data pre-pandemic saw only 18 per cent of Indian travellers planning a trip on their own while 54 per cent of travellers now say that they will be planning a solo trip in the future.”
Two main important factors, that are driving people for luxury in travel – safety and hygiene! MMT COO Prakash told the news site, “Post-Covid, travellers are looking for more control over their journeys. This is leading many to opt for higher category hotels, premium home stays, independent villas and non-hotels that promise the comfort of a vacation while meeting additional requirements.”
Meanwhile, speaking about travellers looking for meaningful experiences, Bajaj added, “they would like to stay in unique accommodations when they travel and explore formats such as heritage homes, havelis and villas. With the line between living and travel blurring, people want to experience longer stays in some of these accommodation formats.”
No-contact travel trend
In the post Covid times, the travel and hospitality industry are leaving no stones unturned to instill faith and confidence among travellers by making travel-related services contactless as much as possible. From contactless check-in at airports and hotels to ordering food and beverages and concierge services at hotels online, contactless offerings are becoming the norm more than an exception. “In parallel, travellers are also warming up to the idea of using contactless services and building appreciation for tech-rich experiences that promise travel safety, upfront,” said Prakash.
Sustainable travel choices
Recent data suggests that about 94 per cent respondents who took the Airbnb and YouGov survey said that they would look at sustainable travel options in 2021. According to Bajaj, “Sustainable travel choices that are closer to remote communities and nature not only provide a boost to these communities, but are accessible and affordable and are a transformative choice contributing to unique and individual travel experiences.”
The research by Booking.com indicates that this trend has accelerated over the past year and they expect to see a more sustainable approach to travel in 2021.
It is true that Covid numbers have declined in the past few months in the country, but it is still our responsibility to follow Covid-related protocols till the time the situation completely gets back to normalcy. Our safety is in our hands!