A virus set us back in many ways, one of which is economically where the biggest hit has been taken by the entire travel industry including airlines, hotels, vehicle service providers and homestays. This industry runs into millions for every economy and is bread and butter for every single person attached to the industry.
So, will this industry revive? If yes, then when?
I have two perspectives on this one:
- The next two months till July 2020 will be critical for India. If there is a huge spike in cases, then domestic travel will resume only in the summer of 2021. If we are able to contain the rise and the lockdown is lifted by then, travel is sure to resume post Diwali considering ardent travellers will take the risk and prefer to travel than be holed up in their house. Also, places like Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Ladakh, Spiti Valley, Uttarakhand, Kerala which showed low to zero coronavirus cases will beckon the travellers. This will also be a good opportunity for domestic tourism to blossom to its full potential.
- Another perspective I have on this is there is a possibility that international travel will start earlier than domestic travel. The reason being, many countries like Bhutan, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Maldives, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia etc not only showed very low number of cases but also are keen to open tourism for the world. Also, not to forget, that considering the financial hit individuals have faced due to this global crisis, they are surely going to opt for budget travel destinations.
In both the above scenarios though, travel will change in a major way. Safety will be the topmost priority. Travelers will check and recheck the location, accommodation, sights in terms of sanitation and hygiene. The human race is so resilient that time and again it has bounced back. Travelling will gain its speed back. It is always a pause, never a full stop.