National Tourism Day couldn’t have been more sombre. The hotel and airlines industries in India – as with the rest of the world – suffered from the lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Hotel occupancy was at an all-time low. Consultancy firm ANAROCK puts the estimate of losses at Rs. 90,000 crore. So, how will the travel industry limp back to mobility?
National Tourism Day 2021 trends
Some of the new travel trends we are witnessing on National Tourism Day 2021 are contactless check-in, luxurious homestays, workcations and workstation destinations, sanitised stays and adaptive dining. After being home-bound for so long, people are shaking off the lethargy for some fun in the sun. Then, there are the honeymooning couples. The year 2020 saw a huge number of nuptials, which opened up the market for honeymoon packages. Travel restrictions are easing and the vaccination drives have begun. So, all is not lost for tourism in India. The hotel industry embarks on a new chapter.
Homestays over hotel rooms
Rather than checking into a hotel room, discerning Indian travellers are opting for homestays and individuals villas. In the distant past, homestays did not feature in the Indian family vacation itinerary. However, having been apart for so long, families want to bond more than ever before. This has pushed up the demand for homestays.
Travellers have social distancing and hygiene in mind so they will come in the least contact with strangers. After prolonged staying in, they don’t want the hustle and bustle of hotels either. Travel sites have risen up to the challenge with more options for private villas for different sets of people, from friends to couples to large families. They check off the parameters for Covid protocol. An independent homestay with a private kitchen is preferred over a central kitchen for safety.
Workcations and workstation destinations
Working from the same home for so many months has bored many white collar workers no end. They are looking for a change of scenery while continuing with their daily office duties and conference calls. Enter workcations and workstation destinations. While some executives are working remotely out of guest houses in Goa and Lonavala (workstation destinations), others are checking in to a luxurious and sanitised hotel room in the city (workcation) and unwinding by the pool area in the evening. WFH has brought with it a new kind of traveller – an upwardly mobile one, nonetheless – who takes full advantage of remote working by vacationing while working. This set makes the best of both worlds. Why not surround yourself with nature when all you need to work is your trusty laptop and a WiFi connection? Why not squeeze a spa session between conference calls to take the stress out?