The new wave of COVID-19 has started to surge the new number of cases throughout the world. In India, the expectations of the travel industry to return to normalcy seem to be disappearing. The hotels, taxi operators, and tour agencies have suffered significantly due to the lockdown restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The tourism industry is known to be one of the biggest job creation sectors in India. It also distributes a large amount of wealth is distributed to the people.
With the international flights grounded, the hope for recovery of the tourism-related businesses seems to be bleak. However, the domestic tourist has been operation in India for the last 3 months. Also, many special international flights have already been approved to carry passengers from the US, UK, Germany, France, and Russia.
The questions come to mind about the future of traveling and how one should prepare oneself before traveling to any place without compromising your safety and health.
One thing is obvious, after the release of the vaccines, people will start to plan their travels. After being locked down in homes and living with the restrictions for almost a year, people are expected to travel.
This trend can be observed with the growing number of domestic tourists visiting places like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Goa. In the past few months, there has been a surge in the flow of tourists traveling within India. The hotels and tour operators have also been reporting the resumption of their businesses.
So, it is highly likely that International flights will eventually begin carrying international tourists to India. There are various factors one should consider if he/she wishes to travel in a Post-COVID world.
During the lockdown, many people got enough time to ask themselves how they can responsibly travel Post-CORONA. There have been many discussions about sustainable tourism activities that can help the environment as well as the communities. There have been many blogs discussing various creative ways on how to travel post-COVID.
A very important trend that was seen in the discussions throughout the travel communities on the internet is that of ‘Sustainable Tourism’. It seems people have been asking for a healthy way to travel not just in terms of health and safety but also in terms of environmental sustainability and community-based travel solutions that helps the local communities instead of big companies. Hotels and tour operators can expect to cater to these needs of the international tourists.
10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Visiting India Post-Covid
1. Hotel Tariffs:
The major stakeholders in the tourism industry including many hotel associations came together to revive the businesses in their states. One of the common strategies that many hotels and tour operators adopted is to slash the prices of their facilities and packages.
States like Uttarakhand slashed the price of their hotel bookings to nearly 50% and also gave away discount coupons to encourage people to travel to their state. This trend has been seen throughout many states along with their aggressive campaigns to promote their respective tourist destinations.
Travel options that currently popular among domestic tourists traveling within India range from Road Trips to Caravan Camping. Many such travel packages have gain popularity among the small groups and families who wish to travel together in small groups.
There are various travel packages for individuals and couples alike. There are plenty of travel destinations that do not have many visitors. Due to this, there are destinations such as Darjeeling where tourists can enjoy the solitude of nature. There are many community-based tour packages as well where tourists can book accommodation close to the local community.
Suggested Read: 50 Must Visit Places in India
3. Luxury Tour Options
To kick start their businesses, many hotel owners opened their luxury 5-star facilities at an affordable price.
The state of Kerala is aggressively promoting its tourist destinations at a significantly affordable budget. The luxury houseboats on the backwaters offered their luxury facilities to the tourists at discounted prices.
4. Budget Travel
For international tourists, there are many destinations that India has to offer. To travel the whole of India would be a pricey affair. However, post-COVID traveling throughout India is possible during these times.
India is well connected to the most popular tourist attractions via road, air, and water transport systems. A well-planned trip to India with multiple tour package options is worth considering.
Suggested Read: Things to Do in India
5. Back to Normalcy
After a long and stressful lockdown period, people throughout the world went through trying times. Most people around the world were locked away inside their homes. Even after the relaxation of the restrictions, people were confined to their towns and cities.
The new relaxations to travel have made people sending inquiries to the travel destinations. Hotels and travel agencies have reported an increase in the number of queries being sent. After the gloomy lockdown, people are traveling again and will travel for the sense of normalcy returning to their lives.
6. Community based travel
After many travel businesses failed during the lockdown period, the local village communities have started inviting travelers to visit their community. Such Himachal tour packages give direct access to the local culture, art, and traditions that one can experience.
There are plenty of local community-based tour packages that running on the grassroots level providing experiences within a local community. Many such homestay options can be seen in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The local people in many villages of Himachal have been opening up their facilities for accommodation food options are also available in these homestays. These packages are in plenty and are very affordable.
Also Read: Top 10 Budget Trip Destinations
7. Better Tourism Infrastructure
During the lockdown period, the Ministry of Tourism in India completed many infrastructure projects. These projects are designed to boost tourism and facilitate traveling within India.
One of the primary examples is the Rohtang Tunnel that was completed recently. The tunnel greatly reduces the travel time for the tourists. The government has allocated significant funds for the development of various tourist attractions based on several themes. One such theme was Spiritual Tourism under which several religious and spiritual sites were promoted. The infrastructure of the many tourist sites and monuments has been improved.
Along with the development of the infrastructure and facilities, the government has implemented health and safety guidelines for all hotel facilities, tour operators, and site officials.
8. Rich Culture
India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions. This is the reason it is one of the most popular international travel destinations. From the Taj Mahal to the backwaters of Kerala, India has plentiful attractions to make a vacation memorable.
The festivals, art, and handicrafts created by communities throughout India show how diverse the culture of every state and community is. From clothing to food, landscapes to the forests India is a huge travel opportunity with a multitude of travel options meant for every taste.
Suggested Read: Secret Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh
9. Health & Wellness
Going through the lockdown phase where freedom to move was hindered, many people have been going through various forms of stress. Considering that, the campaigns for health and wellness are being run.
Yoga in India has been one of the major reasons why foreign tourists travel to India. Yoga and Ayurveda-based retreat centers are open for various types of healing retreats.
There are meditation and other retreats where travelers seeking solitude can avail the facilities. Some of the best-known meditation retreats such as Vipassana are the most popular among international tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism has been aggressively promoting many newly developed tourist attractions. These include wildlife sanctuaries, dolphin observatory, Ayodhya temple, and many other attractions which are available to be explored.
Cultural events and festivals are also part of the promotional campaigns. To help the ailing tourism sector of India, a significant number of projects have been announced where various travel packages are created with different themes.
The most popular packages that are being promoted are Yoga tourism, Buddhist trail, Ayodhya tourism trail, Religious tourism, Adventure tourism, Health & Wellness tourism.
India is a diverse nation with travel opportunities that can be created as you travel. Many backpacker travelers generally use public transport to reach distant villages. There are many small pockets of land which are not really promoted for tourism. Such destinations often provide the unpredictable flavors of food and culture that are unique.
If you wish to travel to India, it is best to plan ahead. Researching all the different destinations in different states and cities can be overwhelming. Usually, the best way to decide where to travel in India is to categorize your choices into Weather, Landscape, Activities, and Budget.
There are significant differences in the states of India. North India and its culture is very different from that of South India. Also, East India is different from the West. There will be places that are the best during certain seasons and there are places that are open all available all year round.
For international travelers, it is usually a best practice to research India’s traditions and customs before planning a vacation. Throughout India, there are many festivals that are celebrated by different communities and people of a different faith. Some of these festivals are celebrated on a grand scale such as Shivratri, Diwali, Holi, and Dusshera. Some places host a huge event in which the culture and the folklore can be understood and experienced.
Suggested Read: Things to Know about Goa
How to travel after COVID?
The pandemic situation is constantly changing in India and there is no clear decision on when the International flights will fly again. Domestic tourism is already in full swing in India and the popular destinations are currently experiencing a large influx of incoming tourists every day.
There are few considerations before you travel to India. Following are some of the points that will help in staying safe.
Wearing Masks: Mask-wearing was ridiculed by various political figures as well as the general public in the initial lockdown days. However, international health experts proved that mask is one of the most important tools in keeping oneself safe from contracting COVID-19.
It is crucial to understand that the mask will prevent any particulates suspended in the air. It will also safeguard against the transmission through cough from the infected person.
So before traveling, a good number of masks should be carried along. Also, at most of the places at the airport as well as hotels and other tourist spots, masks will be mandatory and tourists will be asked to cover their faces.
Social Distancing: COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we travel. Social distancing measures have been introduced to add another layer of safety from infection. Tourists will be expected to avoid huge gatherings during their visit to the monuments and other tourist attractions.
One can expect to see many places where social distancing is not followed. However, it is best to avoid crowds to ensure your safety.
Carrying Sanitizer: It goes without saying but the touching of the surfaces, doorknobs, tables, etc. increases the chances of contracting the virus. It is very important to carry more than a bottle of sanitizer with you. Although you can easily buy it from any shop in your destination country to carrying one on the go is the best practice. This is because of the reason that during the journey there are more chances of infection because of the large number of people traveling through the airport facilities.
Research: After booking the flights, the first thing to consider is to do some research on the hotels. It’s a good practice to book your hotel stay in facilities which take adequate measures to ensure the safety of all its guests.
Another thing one should consider researching the situation of their destination city or state. It is quite possible that some states in India would be riskier to stay compared to other states which have the lowest chance of contracting the infection.
Being prepared before your journey will greatly help in reducing the risks of COVID-19 infection.
This article is originally published in Travelanders