December 18, 2020
A shout-out to a few travellers who are helping revive the travel industry after the pandemic!
COVID-19 devastated the world, but no business was hit worse than travel. With borders closed, flights cancelled, and people stuck at home, the global travel industry came to a standstill.
In May, Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, wrote that they had to make the tough call of letting over 25% of the company’s workforce go. They couldn’t survive otherwise.
He also cautioned, “We don’t know exactly when travel will return. When travel does return, it will look different.”
6 months later, Airbnb is worth more than $100 Billion.
How did that happen? Airbnb opened its shares to the public, and the people clamoured to get a chunk of it.
Why? Because travel can never die. People will always have itchy feet, especially after being cooped up for so long.
That said, Airbnb is a COVID-unicorn. The rest of the travel industry, supporting billions of workers, is still struggling. So, we dug deep and looked for travel content creators who are helping recover the industry slowly but steadily.
Where to follow her:
Shenaz Treasury was one of the first creators to step out and travel again. Her first pitstop was Goa – the state that crucially depends on tourism. She cautioned that most hotels and restaurants were still closed (at the time of her visit), but that’s a blessing in disguise. It meant fewer people on the streets, so less chance of exposure.
Recently, she’s been touring parts of Himachal and showing her 788k followers the beauty we have in our own backyards.
Travellers, if you’re going to be feeding your wanderlust soon, take a cue from Shenaz. Partner with local firms and stays. Promote them on your socials. Tell your followers about them and help revive the travel industry.
Where to follow him:
Shubham Bamola is proof that you don’t need to travel the whole world to be a creator. His choice of destination has always been Uttarakhand, and with just one state, he has amassed over 12k followers.
In November, he used the power of his influence to promote the hot air balloon festival organised by UTDB in collaboration with Times of India that’s held in Mussoorie.
All his latest content is around his Rudranath Trek – Toughest Kedar. The travel content creator trekked 48 km.
We think that’s the perfect kind of travel during COVID-19. You’re close to nature, away from people and yet supporting the industry.
Where to follow her:
Zoha, a law school dropout, restarted travel after the pandemic in Kashmir. She not only covered the usual suspects – Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Srinagar but also took the off beaten path. She explored Uri, Baramulla, Kamalkoth and more.
After Kashmir, she hopped to Goa, and if her content is any indication, she’s on a big project there. It’s her first visit to the pint-sized state, and she discovered a new facet of it – beyond the beaches and the parties.
Both the states Zoha picked to revive travel have economies that depend on travel. Like her, if you’re thinking of booking your tickets, make a conscious choice of where you go. And like Zoha, wear a mask!
Where to follow her:
Apoorva, the model whose heart always belonged to travel journalism, dipped her toes with a staycation at Sheraton Hyderabad. Something we see a lot of people trying.
Who says you have to travel beyond the confines of your city to get a vacay? Pick a hotel and splurge – you get a mini-break, and the hospitality industry gets a boost.
The travel content creator is now exploring Pondicherry. Since the backbone of the union territory is tourism, we applaud her choice.
Besides travelling to other cities, Apoorva has been very vocal about hotels close by to her hometown. From Wilderness Retreat Hyderabad to ITC Kohenur, she’s visited a whole slew of nearby places.
Where to follow them:
Not travellers per se, Stand with Travel is a community initiative built to help local travel businesses survive the havoc of COVID.
With the community, you pick any region in India to travel and then make a contribution. The contribution can be as small as INR 500, and the travel can be on any date in the future.
Whatever amount you donate goes to a small business in the region you selected. So, for example, you decide to #Standwith The North East, and you pay INR 1000 to the community.
That money will go to Kipepeo India – a socially responsible travel company offering unique experiences to North East India and Bhutan. When you do decide to travel to the North East, whenever that might be, you can redeem the INR 1000 with the travel company.
It’s a win-win. You get to travel when it is safe, and the travel industry gets the influx of capital it needs desperately right now!
What can you do to revive the travel industry?
To say the pandemic affected travel would be a gross understatement. It decimated it.
So, while travel content creators are doing their part to help the sector, here’s what you can do.
- If you can work from anywhere, try a bleisure trip. That’s business + leisure. From Kodaikanal to Ranikhet, choose any city you like and book a long-term stay. Such travel limits the spread and exposure of the virus and helps the industry.
- Pick destinations that provide natural social distancing like Bir. The unexplored cities and towns are a great way to travel during this time. You can even prioritise a place that allows you to get outdoors.
- Instead of public transport, take a road trip. It is the safest form of travel right now.
We leave you with one caveat. If you do decide to pack your bags and get to travelling, please take all precautions and safety measures.
As important as it is to revive the travel industry after the pandemic, it is equally essential to curb the spread of the virus.
Masks up! And carry a few extra bottles of sanitisers.