2021 witnessed a revival in the initial few months but the summers turned into a nightmare for the travel industry as India witnessed one of the biggest spikes in terms of COVID-19 numbers.
Now, with the pace of vaccination against COVID increasing in India and the country recovering from the second wave of the pandemic, tourism has been slowly picking up.
In the COVID era, instant getaways like homestays have been in demand.
“We’re seeing an upward trend, people take the Himalayas as a safe zone. In times like these, people are not wanting to go abroad where there are restrictions, they are opting for domestic travel. People are not choosing to stay in the city either, they want to rent cottages for a long time”, says Anita Khullar, owner of ‘Our Place Himalayas’.
Speaking on COVID protocols, Mrs. Khullar added: “Earlier, there was intense sanitization, protocols have flattened now. We’re asking all for a vaccination certification. Post the second wave, visitors are relieved, initially, there was paranoia, I see more tourists coming in”.
Travel agents urge Centre to consider ‘homestay model’ for all states to boost tourism sector
The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has urged the central government to consider the ‘homestay’ model adopted by the Uttarakhand government for other states as well, and said the initiative may help in kick-starting the economy besides boosting the tourism business. The Uttarakhand government aims to boost the economy and the state’s tourism sector through homestays, which are on their way to being prepared in the villages also. Around 3,600 homestays are registered so far providing employment to about 8,000 people, TAAI said in a statement.
“This homestay plan will not only provide bread to the locals but also boost tourism from travellers who like to enjoy local and comfortable places rather than luxury hotels, TAAI’s Honorary Secretary-General Bettaiah Lokesh said.
The importance of RT-PCR tests
In 2022, the tourism industry is focusing on travel practices with appropriate COVID protocols in place.