It is natural for people to feel a bit apprehensive about venturing out right now, especially in order to take a trip somewhere. Planning a trip comes with the excess task of reading about the rules in the destination city/country, presenting a negative COVID-19 test report (if necessary), ensuring both your comfort as well as hygiene, and making sure you interact responsibly with the local population.
But now after almost a year of dealing with the pandemic and understanding the nature of the virus, Indian travellers are ready to rediscover the world again. A new survey by digital travel company Booking.com has revealed that while 86 per cent of Indian travellers are planning to take more health and safety-related precautions when traveling in the future, 71 per cent are opting to avoid certain destinations altogether due to safety concerns. Interestingly, when compared with the global travel trend for avoiding destinations because of safety concerns, India ranked second globally, after Thailand.
Road trip ready
With a shift in destination preferences, transportation preferences have also changed. About 68 per cent of Indians are likely to give public transportation a miss to avoid travelling with a large number of people due to the fear of contracting infection. This is higher than the global average of 46 per cent. Instead, travellers will choose to rent or drive their own car to and around their destination – making 2021 the year of road trips.
The ‘new normal’ will also see travellers prioritise and adhere to increased health and safety measures, as 78 per cent Indians are happy to travel to destinations where health spot checks on arrival are standard. Also, 81 per cent don’t mind travelling to a destination where it’s mandatory to wear a face mask in public. Unsurprisingly, travellers will look to the travel industry for reassurance with 75 per cent Indians expecting travel providers to clearly outline the safety precautions they’re taking and 48 per cent agreeing that a clear display of cleaning and hygiene policies is now a must-have.
Keeping safety while travelling a priority, 77 per cent of Indian travellers will only book an accommodation if it has clear health and hygiene policies in place, with 79 per cent favouring those that have antibacterial and sanitizing products. The ‘new normal’ will also see travellers prioritise and adhere to increased health and safety measures. Quarantine measures will remain less popular with only 51 per cent of Indian travellers willing to accept these in order to travel to a particular destination.
“Health and safety are top priority for travellers wanting to travel once again. Travellers are looking forward to new health and safety measures to avoid COVID-19. In response to a rise in demand from travellers, Booking.com now enables properties to be able to easily display safety measures such as hygiene, sanitisation, social distancing on their property listings, so travellers can have peace of mind when booking their next trip,” said Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com.
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