Home Sustainability How the travel wagon rolled on in 2021

How the travel wagon rolled on in 2021

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This year saw all kinds of tourists, from the revenge traveller to the one on a shoestring budget, from the backpacker to the eco-conscious one. And the industry, which has been trying to find a footing after pandemic-induced losses, accommodated all of them. Here’s a look at the trends of 2021, and how they caught on and whether they will they stay on course next year, too

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IS CATCHING UP

According to Shivya Nath, a travel writer and sustainable tourism consultant, eco-conscious tourism initiatives across all budgets have been on the rise in India. “Some big players are introducing sustainability badges to make it easier for travellers to identify environmentally and socially impactful options. Though it’s still a niche segment, the major chunk of travellers is expected to turn to sustainable practices,” says Shivya and adds that the off-shoots of this, like slow travel, carbon-neutral travel and vegan travel, are expected to get bigger in 2022.

Now, people are staying back up to three to four weeks in Kashmir. Offbeat places, like Bangus and Wardwan valleys, offer a lot for slow travel.

— Bilal Chapri, director of Discovery Journeys that focuses on
immersive travel across Kashmir, Ladakh and Zanskar region

  • 83%: global travellers say sustainable travel is essential
  • 61%: say the pandemic has made them want to travel sustainably in the future
  • 49%: feel there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available in 2021
  • Three out of four — accommodation providers say that they have implemented some level of sustainable practices at their properties
    — A report by Booking.com released in June 2021 (it includes respondents from different countries, including India)
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CARAVAN/CAMPING IS GAINING STEAM

Tiger Ramesh, CEO of Bangalore-based LuxeCamper, says, “There is a growing interest in caravan vacations. The development of caravan parks and camping sites is what is expected to happen in the coming years.” Neha Soman, director of Wacation on Wheels, from Nagpur, says, “In 2020, it flourished when all other transport systems were shut. Now, the demand has come down marginally. With many states adopting caravan-friendly policies this year, it will further give it a boost.” Some states that have adopted policies this year, giving a boost to caravan tourism include Uttarakhand, Kerala, and Maharashtra, to name a few. While Kerala announced a comprehensive caravan tourism policy, the Uttarakhand state government launched its first caravan a couple of months ago. Earlier this year, the Maharashtra government cleared the caravan tourism policy.

In 2022, we hope to see many people — majorly couples and young adventure travellers — booking trips to unheard-of leisure spots in India. There has been an increase in interest to discover hidden gems

— Vipul Prakash, Chief Operating Officer at MakeMyTrip

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HOMESTAYS WITH WORKING FARMS DRAW TRAVELLERS

“We’ve been sold out fully in the last three months. The primary idea is farming. The farmhouse is only an add-on. Staying in a working farm lets people experience farm life and rural atmosphere,” says Kiruba Shankar of Vaksana Farms in Tindivanam, which is about 120km from Chennai. “In 2021, I only chose places accessible by car, and for accommodation, only homestays or Airbnb places. I preferred places which catered to only one guest at a time, because that meant greater safety during the pandemic,” says Raji, globetrotter and an architect, who chose to explore Indian hinterlands during the pandemic.

Year Maldives Dubai
2019 1,69,360 15,88,000

2020 60,556 12,36,200
2021 2,59,765 6,67,000
  • Maldives has grown 1.5x from the peak period
  • Dubai is slowly starting to get traction back
    — Stats provided by Pickyourtrail

85% of Indian travellers say a vacay planned has a positive impact on emotional well-being

— Booking.com’s Travel Predictions Research

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Amalfi Coast, Italy: While Italy witnessed a huge wave of COVID cases in 2020, restrictions began easing in Europe this year. If Maldives was the Indian celebrity adda, Italy turned out to be a Hollywood hotspot with Gabrielle Union, Kendall Jenner and Molly Sims jetting off to the scenic country.

Maldives: It has been a hit among celebs throughout the pandemic, including Rakul Preet Singh, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Alia Bhatt,

Kareena Kapoor Khan and Pooja Hegde.

Pics: iStock






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