After the Subcontinent’s long, COVID induced hibernation, regular international travel began again on 27 March: so no more “bubble” flights, brighter skies for everyone, and cheery smiles all round (although you’ll still have to wear a mask on board). The sheer exhilaration of being able to travel freely again is positively life affirming, especially for those travellers coming to India for the first time. Just imagine the heart stopping moment of seeing the Taj Mahal for the first time, or exploring the majestic splendours of Varanasi, Amer Fort, or the Holy City of Jaisalmer: all of them world class attractions, more or less closed to the West (and the rest of the East) for two long years. For resident Indians, of course, they’ve been available a little longer…
But that same two year lockdown is still working something of its malign effect on air travel.
The surge in post pandemic vacations has caused chaos at a number of international airports, with empty departure halls suddenly becoming full again: full to bursting in fact. Late last month hundreds of flights were cancelled as airlines struggled to catch up with increased levels of demand, and travellers were stranded, often being told at the last minute that their passport to a dream vacation had been summarily cancelled.
Small wonder then that 64% of travellers now agree technology is more important than ever in helping plan for and enjoy their vacations to the full: with the right app you can see those delays coming or, better still, be sure they won’t be coming at all. And emerging technologies can also help travellers deal more confidently with the lingering legacy of COVID: knowing where, and where not to travel, knowing what the relevant restrictions are, and (most important of all) knowing it all in good time to plan with confidence…
Because it all matters: a vacation is so much more than just getting away for a few weeks.
In a survey commissioned last year by Booking.com (www.news.booking.com/en-in), 84% of Indian’s felt that stress free travel was of vital importance to their mental health and emotional wellbeing: far more important, in fact, than any species of domestic rest and relaxation (including yoga…and even, that tried and trusted remedy, taking time away from the children and the television). 65% of Indians admitted to not realising just how important a holiday was for their wellbeing (until it was no longer an option).
And, of course, sustainability and social engagement are important too: 78% of Indians believe it is important their trip should be beneficial to the community at their destination, and (technology again) 75% would welcome some form of app to help them identify hospitality destinations that are actively working with and supporting their local businesses and communities.
All of which means modern resorts will have to work harder to create and nurture the individual guest experience: adopting modern technology to deliver a fully personalised vacation that begins at the beginning…at the airport, with an app: because a stress free holiday is still the best experience of all.
Since it was founded, more than a decade ago, Eco Hotels (www.ecohotelsglobal.com), has placed wellbeing, nature, and local communities at the very heart of its business model: fostering energy efficiency, technology and sustainability from the ground up: sourcing supplies to support local communities, and managing operations with a clarity of vision that makes every vacation a trip worth taking.