The future of travel: Slow, meaningful and closer to home
As tourism gradually reopens, people are planning holidays again but will travel be the same? According to travel influencers, it will be slow, less, but meaningful.
“I think Covid-19 has made everyone realise that everything around us is unpredictable. This will encourage more people to take the plunge and travel to places that they have always dreamt of, ticking off their bucket list,” says Savi Munjal of a popular travel blog.
Munjal’s partner, Vidit Taneja, echoes the view and says, “Individuals will approach travel in a more responsible and sustainable way than before.”
Another travel influencer, Shivya Nath, feels we’ll stop impulsively jet-setting around the world and opt for more meaningful travel. She says, “Both in tourism policy and as individual travellers, we are likely to become more inclined towards slow, meaningful, low impact, sustainable travel that supports local communities and minimises our impact on the environment.”
Nath also points out that we must learn to live with Covid-19, and the only kind of travelling that’ll make sense is slow travel. “Getting safely from one destination to another and keeping up with testing /quarantine rules will only be worth it if we plan to spend several months in a place,” she says.
Europe is good example as it opened up pretty fast, and Italy and Spain, the hardest hit countries to the pandemic, were the first to reopen for tourists. So travel cannot be as safe as it used to be earlier, feels travel writer Siddhartha Joshi. But, he says, “If all the precautions are taken, people will start thinking it’s safe to travel now.” He foresees some changes. “Flying will be less common, people may prefer driving to destinations. The trips will be closer to home, and more oriented towards with family or a known group,” he says.
Travel blogger Shubham Mansingka anticipates that travellers may choose smaller homestays to staying at hotels. He says, “The reason could be people wanting the entire place to themselves rather than being in close proximity to other guests, and at homestays sometimes you’re the only guests!” Mansingka adds that, “When I start travelling next, I’d most likely visit a place where I have been earlier as I would know locals beforehand and it can assure me about the safety of the place.”
And there are new travel trends emerging, such as drivecations, workations. Munjal says, “We believe the future of such ‘-ations’ is very bright because it targets specific niches. Such strategies are immensely successful and reflective of the future of travel where travellers will not be lumped under homogenous stereotypes. Instead their unique individual needs will be prioritised by tourism boards, destinations, and hotels.”
Vana, a wellness retreat in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, has been training the staff to adapt to the new circumstances. Prasoon Pandey, general manager at Vana also anticipates, “We see a surge in domestic travellers who are in pursuit of wellness. We believe that more Indians will now search out wellness offerings. More people are looking for places where one can dwell in nature and solitude.”
“But if travelling involves a constant fear of public spaces and staying away from locals, is it even travelling at all?”, questions Nath.
Interact with author/ Sanchita_kalra.