Nobody had imagined that the pandemic would change the way we think and function so dramatically. But the change has happened, especially in the travel sector. While travelling was restricted for the longest time last year, now people have slowly started moving around once again. But, the way people explore places has now changed, if the latest research done by digital travel company Booking.com is anything to go by.
It has been found that a majority of Indians have become more aware of the wider impact of their trips, with 70 per cent of travellers wanting to travel more sustainably in the future, the Future of Travel research findings reveal. The survey also reveals that 78 per cent of travellers expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable travel options to meet their goals of sustainable travel in the future.
Unfollowing the crowd
Indian travellers planning to travel in 2021 have expressed a wish to avoid other tourists, with a spike in interest towards exploring lesser-known destinations this year. Based on the research, 76 per cent will stay away from crowded tourist attractions, indicating that destinations will need to adopt new, smart crowd management measures to appease travellers.
The report further states 54 per cent will visit alternative destinations in a bid to avoid travelling during peak season, and 49 per cent will prefer alternative destinations to avoid overcrowding.
Supporting local communities
The pandemic has amplified people’s awareness about their impact on the environment and local communities. As such, travellers are now considering more sustainable and regenerative travel. The research finds 75 per cent have indicated they want their travel choices to also support the destination’s recovery efforts, and 73 per cent want to see how their spending supports the local community.
Recycle and upcycle
The impact of coronavirus has inspired 55 per cent of Indian travellers to consider reducing waste and recycle plastic when travelling, once travel restrictions are lifted. This shows that people are not just committed to protecting themselves, but also the places they visit.
Commenting on the Future of Travel study, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com said: “We believe sustainable travel will ensure future travellers can continue to encounter a world full of destinations still worth exploring. For the past couple of years, we have worked alongside industry stakeholders to design and implement initiatives and products that support communities, reduce over-tourism, preserve culture and protect the environment. In doing so, we are fostering a long-term future where the whole industry works hand-in-hand to further transform the global travel experience into a powerful force for good.