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Quiz Society SRCC

The future of travel

The next time you set off for your vacation, you might mistake the airport for a set of a futuristic sci-fi movie. Touchless elevators, softwares that detect crowds, robots and handling baggage will be a part of the standard operating procedures. Not just the airports but also the hotels, spas, cinema halls, resorts, wellness centres, vacation homes, all are ready to cater to the pent up demand for travel or one may call it ‘revenge travel’ - a term that gained popularity when people in China started travelling months after coronavirus induced lockdowns. People just wanted to get out of their houses and the only option was to travel domestically. It is believed that a similar kind of recovery in the Indian travel industry is also going to come soon and the stakeholders of the industry need to be ready to offer premium services to the travel thirsty masses.

As per a report by McKinsey & Co., the first thing people want to do after the pandemic ends is to eat out and the second is to travel. The CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, narrated an incident in an interview with CNBC - “People are saying they want to get out of their house. But they want to be safe, they don’t want to get on airplanes, they don’t want to travel for business, they don’t want to go to cities, they don’t want to cross borders. What they are going to do is get in a car, drive a couple of hundred miles to a small community, where they are going to stay in a house, and because of that though our business has not recovered only be very clear but something remarkable happened, which was in the end of May 2020, in early June 2020, we have the same volume of bookings in the US as a year before without any marketing, zero efforts whatsoever!”

Five stars for self-driving and homestays

An increased focus on hygiene and safety is leading to an inclination towards personalized and customized travel. Self-drive holidays, car rentals and homestays instead of hotels, have become popular among travellers. As the world is unlocking, professionals scout for safe properties to get some time off from their busy home office routines. Homestay owners, especially around the metropolitans are seeing a stable recovery in business. People have started looking for properties that are like a home away from home. Cab bookings went up by 80% month-on-month in September 2020 and Intercity cab travel had touched about 35% of pre-covid traffic in October 2020. Tier I cities saw faster recovery.

Work from home abroad

WFH doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to be in their own house. Workations is also another new way of escaping the mundane routine of everyday work from home. Barbados, Bermuda and the likes allow foreign citizens to visit their country through remote worker visas. However, the visas remain subject to approval from the concerned authorities and availability of flights.

The impending third wave

With the second wave of the pandemic wrecking havoc across the country, people had been locked up in their houses. While some were suffering from the deadly coronavirus itself, there were others who were facing extreme mental illnesses and work stress. Albeit, the vaccination drive is trying to catch up to the pace of the virus, there’s still going to be a long wait for crores of Indians to get vaccinated. India has started to see the onset of ‘a wave of revenge travel’, however, the looming threat of a third wave puts everything on a precarious balance.

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