Travel and tourism after COVID-19

Covid-19 is a global pandemic, as its impact has reached to almost every country of the world and in almost every sector too. Sectors like MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector, automobile sector, real estate sector, education, tourism and hospitality sector etc. are mostly affected by COVID-19.

Tourism and hospitality sector are one of the main sectors of India as it leads to the growth of the country in terms of GDP and other aspects too. It is one of the largest and fastest growing industries globally; it is expected to play a significant role in regaining the socio-economic stability after COVID pandemic. But due to COVID-19 it has faced the great loss in a year only; as many restrictions and lockdown were imposed by the government in every parts of corona affected countries. National governments and local authorities are acting to discourage and prevent domestic tourism and people visiting second homes.  Destinations have closed to visitors and tourists the lockdowns have significantly reduced even local travel.

The tourism industry is an umbrella industry networked with many other sectors in the economy including hotel, community level operations, education, financial, agriculture, medical, travel and transportation, construction, real estate, retail, and vice versa. Due to the heavy toll of tourism in the country economy, it is important to study how the reliance of the industry might shape the recovery of its main sub sectors once the pandemic reduces. The indirect impact in this context on travel and tourism industry cannot measure easily and definitely there is a significant loss in short term as well as long term.

Tourism is a reason for most of the human mobility in the modern world. According to the World Tourism Organization (2020), the international tourism has indicated continues growth for the tenth consecutive year reporting 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals in 2019 and estimated 1.8 billion of international tourist arrivals by 2030) people are forecasted to be (UN News, 2017).

It is not yet clear when the pandemic will be over, however many governments are already trying to restore health to national economies. This means deciding which industries should go back to normal operations, and redefining what “normal” means for each industry, including tourism.
Post COVID-19, countries need to strike a balance between public safety and economic recovery. Many countries are trying to achieve this balance by restricting international tourism, setting their sights instead on domestic tourists.

The 4 key factors in the overall travel scenario that will drive all of the above trends will be:

1. Safety: both perception and reality will matter

2. Health: government may introduce mandatory checks

3. Hygiene: There will be no compromise on this

4. Brands: Those that will stand for quality will win 

Health tourism: As people will become more health-oriented, many are expected to seek wellness, and healing vacations. Yoga retreats, spa treatments, and other pro-health activities should be particularly appealing for tourists.

Heritage and culture tourism: When limited to nearby locations, heritage and cultural experiences can gain the spotlight. This means an increase in interest of museums, restaurants, history tours, and other local sites.

With quarantines easing and flight schedules reforming, tourism is showing signs of returning. But for the industry to return as a force for good for both the economy and the environment, we cannot return to business as usual.

Although the present may seem challenging for tourism, most experts expect the industry to recover in 2021. While this recovery may look different from the industry pre-COVID, people’s desire to travel is unlikely to disappear. In particular, experts foresee an increase in leisure travel and visits to friends and family as citizens seek to unwind and reconnect socially after prolonged periods of isolation. 

However, to enable this recovery, the industry and destinations need to take steps to safeguard travelers and workers. Companies will have to operate with tight budgets but be willing to invest in new processes and technologies, and to be flexible to changing needs and requirements. Assuming they are able to do so, they should be equipped to effectively adapt to the post-COVID-19 world and its “new normal.”  

FUTURE OF TOURISM AND TRAVELLING IN INDIA: According to tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel, India will again become one of the best tourism destinations in the world and the people will be ready to explore India after this pandemic. But initially the tourism will be limited to the domestic boundaries of the country because the people of India who were planning to explore foreign destinations earlier will only visit to the domestic destinations as this sector will take some years to regrow and become like it was before the pandemic. Even after this pandemic it’s important for the people to prioritize social distancing for some time. There will be the great increase in the religious tourism as the restrictions which were imposed by the government on religious destinations [Amritsar, Tirupati Balaji, Vaishno Devi and Shirdi temples Puri, Ajmer, Coimbatore, Govardhan, Hospet, Kartarpur Saheb] will be released or will be very limited after this pandemic likewise there will be the increase in the tourism for business and historical destinations[Taj Mahal, red fort, India Gate etc.] too. There will be the increase in the destination weddings. Tourism industry currently accounts only 10 percent of GDP which will surely be increased after covid-19. So, many things are expected to be recovered in India after covid-19.

FUTURE OF TOURISM IN RAJASTHAN: Its expected that there will be the increase in the travel and tourism in Rajasthan after COVID-19 when the situation will be under controlled. Cultural events and programs will be rescheduled and there will be the increase in the visits to “THE LAND OF KINGS” Historical and other tourists destinations like monuments and buildings in Rajasthan [Amir fort, Nahargarh fort etc.] will be sanitized initially for few days only and the tourists will be instructed to maintain social distancing and hygiene so as to avoid any of the risks. So, as estimated; there will be the great increase in the tourism in Rajasthan.

So, till the pandemic continues there will be lots of restrictions by the government and this will largely affect the travelling and tourism department. Hence; everyone is hoping for the better conditions as it was before this pandemic, in coming future. So, tourism and hospitality sector will get stable but it will take some time as initially there will be some rules and regulations to avoid the risks even after COVID-19.

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