The entire nation got driven into flabbergast mode when the covid pandemic hit the nation in 2020. It was a major setback to every sector, especially tourism. The nation was under the lockdown period for months with no traveling facilities. Airports, railways, and other communications were at a halt till the next announcement.It shattered all the revenue models of tourism companies.
It would be wrong to say that India has regained its normal. A triple-layered surgery mask and hand sanitizer with 90 percent alcohol content is now a part of life. When it comes to tourism, state, and central governments are updating their tourism rules every quarter. Even services like Mytransfers came to a halt. Now they are back with new normal rules.
What is the new normal? When will it come to end?
The impact of the pandemic can be easily seen on the balance sheets of local tourism agencies/companies. From a shutdown stage, they are getting back to normal with COVID 19 safety guidelines. Now, the word "New Normal" has become common and popular. People have started loving to recite it at social gatherings. But what does that exactly mean? When will it come to an end?
The World Health Organization (WHO), in 2020, announced several guidelines to fight the novel coronavirus. It took a long time to accept life with a bottle of alcohol, hand rub and surgical mask placed everywhere around you. Disinfection, sanitization, PPE kits and face shields that make you look like an astronaut is hard to digest.
But accepting them with time became normal that was termed as the “New Normal”. Now, one cannot imagine a house without sanitizer and disinfectant spray. When traveling/tourism is concerned, it is hard to imagine a trip without following the Covid-19 guidelines. The wait for the new normal to go extinct is awaited. Here are some new normal effects in the tourism sector:
Strict travel restrictions:
Travelers are instructed to wear a PPE kit provided by the airlines and maintain a social distance on airports and flights. In trains, pantry cars were shut and bedding sets were not provided. The luggage has to undergo a deep sanitization procedure. Moreover, for tourism, the availability of hotels was a big issue. They were not allowed to operate. Planning a trip like the pre-covid era was not that easy.
Tourism to a halt:
The tourism industry suffered losses of $460 billion globally in the first half of 2020. In India, 3.8 crore people lost their jobs in the tourism industry. However, it is bound to pick up gradually. Thanks to the vaccination drive going on in several countries. This has opened the gates for tourists and allowed the economy to recover from the ill effects of the Covid19 lockdown.
RTPCR reports/vaccination certificate:
The international flights resumed much later. For domestic travel, the respective state government needed an RTPCR negative report of the traveler. Without a negative report, the traveler is not allowed to travel via airline. Now, a vaccination certificate is mandatory for international and overseas traveling. Passengers have to strictly follow the guidelines on the airport and inside the airplane to stay safe from covid 19 infections.
Enjoy, but follow the strict guidelines:
Imposing restrictions was necessary to stop the widespread of the covid 19 virus attacks. The tourism sector is gradually gaining momentum and tourists have started enjoying the beautiful locations. Every state has its own set of guidelines for tourists. Use of sanitizers, facemask, limited entry to tourist spots, new hotel stay rules, etc. is now the "New Normal"
It's the time when the tourism sector should reinvent itself for a meaningful transformation. Such a norm should be widely accepted by the tourists for a safe tourism experience. If you are the one planning for a domestic tour; remember to follow every protocol issued by the state. Health security measures would be a significant transformation.
Jyothi Mayal, The President of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) says:“In the new situation, the validity of tickets and tour packages could be longer than before. Airlines will start looking at fares which are valid for a longer time, so that the ease of business remains. For this, online and offline travel agents have to cooperate rather than compete.”
Safe travel and sustainability is the new normal
To ensure the safety of passengers, instant health checks on the airports and stations can be seen for passengers. Safe travel will be the motto. Moreover, sustainable tourism will not be a part of a niche audience. Traveling will have a meaningful experience for the traveler throughout their journey along with enjoyment. Long travel would be difficult without vaccination certificates.
Domestic/state tourism will grow:
There will be tremendous growth in domestic tourism. Travel agencies will offer more customized packages to travelers that promote domestic travel within the country. Travelers have to be ready to receive bulk emails having affordable travel packages to click and delve into the details. Eco-tourism will gain importance.
Meaningful action plans on international traveling:
If you have a plan for an international tour, the travelers will draft a complete action plan from beginning to end. Not only the tourism, but the plan will also cover all safety regulations right from the airport to the destination. Safe transfers to airports via services like Mytransfers will be a part of the travel packages. Safety kits having a sanitizer mask, and face shield will be mandatory.
Is it difficult to navigate to a new normal?
No! The new normal is to keep you safe and secure from a health perspective. Traveling is a never-ending activity and tourism is a part of our economy contributing to financial and economic growth. It is a mandatory and moral responsibility for travelers to adopt the new normal. Moreover, contactless travel with social distance is easier and comfortable to adopt for safety.
Adapting to a new normal is easier. It is a shift from a totally free state of travel to precautionary traveling. When it comes to safety, do not ignore the instructions. Update yourself with the current news and condition of the city/state/country where you have planned your vacation or business tour. Stay Safe.