Travelling post lockdown: Most Indians willing to travel by year end, fear of crowd remains top concern, reveals survey

By: |
May 19, 2020 1:33 PM

The international flight operations will take longer as several nations have imposed travel restrictions and banned the entry of expatriates and foreign nationals.

Travelling, lockdown, travel industry and coronavirus, covid19, travel restrictions, Jumpin Heights, Bungy People, Journey Weavers, Niharika Nigam, Shalini RajThe Taj Mahal at Agra, Uttar Pradesh. (Image: Tarun Bhardwaj/FE Online)

Since being first identified in late-2019 in the Wuhan region of China, COVID-19 has spread to almost all the countries around the world. All sectors are reeling but it is the tourism and hospitality industry that has been hit the most given all the border closures, travel restrictions and lockdowns. Airlines, cruise operators and hotels are seeing instant effects of the pandemic. The fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19 infections is scheduled to end on May 31. It is expected that the government can start to ease coronavirus travel restrictions and enable tourism to begin again in the coming few weeks. In such a scenario, a survey was conducted by the collaborated efforts of Jumpin Heights- the Bungy People and Journey Weavers to analyze the travel priorities of Indians post-lockdown.

While many are willing to stay put for the next few months until the condition improves, 70.08 per cent of the people have shown a strong sentiment towards travelling, once the lockdown gets over. The survey was conducted between May 1-12 among respondents from the age group of 20 to 50 years. However, about 48% of the respondents said that they would plan to travel only by the end of 2020 considering lockdown is lifted sometime soon. The main concern expressed by a majority of respondents was the fear of crowds they will encounter in transit and at the destinations. Therefore, 43.9% people prefer to stay indoors and take precautions as much as possible, whereas the other 36.7% of respondents want to work to make up for salary crunch. However, the remaining 19.4% are willing to travel in order to make up for quarantine. About 29.6% respondents said they’ll only be comfortable travelling next year onwards.

The lockdown 4.0 has started with some guidelines, the Director-General of Civil Aviation has hinted to begin the operation of domestic passenger flights in a graded manner. The international flight operations will take longer as several nations have imposed travel restrictions and banned the entry of expatriates and foreign nationals. In such a scenario, the survey indicates that 82.5% of respondents are ready to travel domestic and only 17.5% are inclined towards international travel as it’s a daunting task due to worldwide spread of the coronavirus.

With travel resuming back on track, Indian Railways recently announced to restart the passenger train services with special trains beginning operation from New Delhi connecting various cities. Acknowledging the same, the survey also tracked the reservation patterns of the travellers where 26.5% of respondents are ready to make a reservation now if there is no deposit or no cancellation fees. Also, 55.1% of enrollees are not ready for the same.

When it comes to adrenaline-pumping activities, adventure junkies surely can’t resist it. The study shows that there is considerable demand for adventure activities. It also reveals that 45.9% of respondents are planning to indulge in heart-pounding adventure activities post-lockdown.

Speaking about the results of the study, Ms Niharika Nigam, Director-Business Development of Jumpin Heights said “Our survey has revealed how a post lockdown world will look. In such uncertain times, we are closely gauging customer sentiment to better understand what travel would look like once restrictions or limitations ease.”

Speaking about the results of the study, Shalini Raj, Founder, Journey Weavers, said, “While travel will take some time to normalize, our study helps us understand specific customer needs and concerns. People in lockdown are waiting eagerly to be outdoors. They want to witness wide-open skies, an expanse of ocean, acres of lush green forest, snow-capped mountains, and a long route journey to get rid of stress and anxiety. No doubt, tourism and travel will be in an extremely different phase after the quarantine. Customers are more likely than ever to select those destinations and hotels that practise responsible tourism and utmost safety standards.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought travel and other industries to a standstill. Everyone is in hope to get out of it, and things will bounce back to normal soon. The time is challenging, and hence the fundamental need for people to travel hasn’t disappeared. The moment these restrictions are eased or lifted, you will see that the necessary travel will come back. Customers will make choices based on which product or service is able to meet their needs at an affordable price point.

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