According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the travel and tourism sector accounts for approximately 10 percent of total jobs and almost 10% GDP globally. That’s an estimated 8.8 trillion U.S. dollars annually.
On April 3, WTTC said in a release that 75 million travel tourism jobs are at risk globally due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The common takeaway within the Indian travel fraternity right now is to focus single-mindedly on promoting domestic tourism immediately. It is imperative that governments and tourism bodies put their focus exclusively on regenerating Domestic Tourism and Aviation, as it is one of the first levers of recovery for the local economy: restaurants, hotels, attractions, etc, they all depend on local travel until foreign travelers return.
After months of isolation and self-induced coma, as cities end their lock downs, people will be allowed to start roaming the streets again.
They will become more interested than ever in discovering their own city as well as the local/ domestic area.
And as when planes start flying again, most travellers will essentially be looking for travelling within the country and taking short ‘ feel good ’ trips rather than going on long haul international trips.
Most travellers would be vary of taking and exploring cities with walking tours, with a group of strangers in a foreign country, due to some restrictions that might still be in place. For instance, traveling abroad might be limited due to safety issues.
As such, local/domestic travel will remain the only viable option for travel, with most travelers interested in quick getaway trips, with a focus on wellness and sustainable tourism.
When travel starts to recover, it will begin with flights and accommodation at the forefront, so naturally the expectation of the people will be to become more interested in budget tours, price-sensitive activities and better value for money and budget-friendly activities post-crisis.
The focal point will be specifically on short vacations, boutique or quieter hotels with fewer rooms and smaller groups or individual solo trips.
India’s strength has been its diversity of tourism potential with mountains, hills, beaches, backwaters, jungles, forests, flora, heritage, spirituality, pilgrimage, wellness, sheer relaxation, arts and crafts, cuisines, and cultures.
However, what we need to understand is that the old world order no longer exists. It’s kaput.
We need to have a new vision board for the future. Minimalistic design with a deep rooted but conscious approach keeping hygiene as the top priority will be the new bespoke for hotels, restaurants and airlines.
Curated, custom and tailor made vacation with mindful travelling along with an affordable cost will be the new norm.