How travel startups can resume after two years of Covid-induced lockdown
The pandemic has challenged travel around the world. India was no exception. Travel and tourism accounted for more than $9 billion, or 10.4% of global GDP in 2019. A year later, that figure fell to 5.5% of global GDP at $4,671 billion. However, we have seen an optimistic recovery pattern across the industry this year.
COVID has made us travellers, aware and responsible for our environment. Above all, it made us grateful for our lives. We have become aware of what we eat, where we go, what we do, etc. There is a certain sense of place in every traveler that is reflected in the things they do, the type of tours they choose.
The drop in travel amid the peak of COVID-19 has given the tourism industry a rare chance to restart operations and consider how to make tourism more sustainable. Amid the full shutdown, travel brands have begun to focus on innovation by reassessing the customer experience, gaining consumer trust and diversifying their businesses.
Some of the key changes to note by startups to accelerate their post-recession recovery are –
- Change of mentality
As travel companies, we are optimistic about the shift in mindset that the coronavirus has brought about, such as exploring less traveled destinations and focusing on local travel or sustainable tourism. Previously, conventional touring would have done the trick. But the post-COVID traveler is hungry for information, they want to explore exclusive tours with fewer people. It is now the responsibility of travel agencies to be on their feet at all times and to continue to offer new experiences to meet the needs of the traveler of the new era. Countryside tours are the most popular, truffle hunting in Sicily and wine and cheese tasting tours on the Riviera are the most famous.
- New era of travel
As social media began to evolve during the lockdown, travel vlogs gained momentum. Today’s “conscious” travelers are reorienting their travel choices to meaningfully connect with communities and culture. Solo wilderness adventures and minimalist long-range travel are today’s favorites.
New Age Travelers have a unique perspective on “ethical” travel by challenging traditional systems, putting locals first, and voicing pressing environmental issues. The aim is to have as little impact as possible on the environment and natural habitats, while still being able to enjoy the world’s top tourist attractions and embrace the beauty of cultures and places.
Research studies continue to show that travelers prefer operators who incorporate environmentally friendly practices into their operations, just as they expect basic amenities like Wi-Fi and electricity.
These two years have changed the way people, especially millennials, perceive travel and its relationship to their work. They now combine business and travel thanks to “workations” (working holidays), thanks to the growing adoption of telework.
So the changes are real and are already affecting the industry in a very serious way. Attending to changing customer interests and behavior helps build your brand equity and build a loyal user base. Shift the focus entirely from thinking about what happened to what is the future and how we could improve it.
- Putting health and well-being first
Health and wellness practices will no longer be wellness in a post-COVID-19 world. Travelers are more focused on getting a safe and rewarding experience than on “cheapest” options.
Due to the emergence of new variants and the rise of travel restrictions such as quarantine and border restrictions, people are now looking for “contactless” options. As travel agents, we need to ensure that we organize a safe experience for our customers and that we always proactively review changing entry and exit requirements by country to provide a hassle-free experience. It’s something that will make or break, which will decide whether your travelers will stay with you or seek a new company.
The best way forward
Rebuilding the right way could mean both a seamless experience for travelers and a sustainable future for the travel industry that supports them.
In this new era of tourism, many things have been changed to adapt to the needs of travelers, but the most important thing is that travel businesses – which have suffered a devastating blow – can bounce back stronger and better by increasing satisfaction. customers and embracing nature and community values. , and social responsibility.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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