As COVID-19 interrupted travel plans of several Indian travellers, it also has given them a chance to reflect and understand the impact of their travel activities on the environment and local communities. With the talk of sustainable tourism going around, Booking.com in its ‘Future Of Travel Research’, found that 70% of Indian travellers want to travel more sustainably in the future. It also found that 78% of Indian travellers expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable travel options to meet their goals of sustainable travel in the future.
Indian travellers planning to travel in 2021 have expressed a wish to avoid other tourists, with a spike in interest towards exploring lesser-known destinations this year. Based on the research, 76% of Indian travellers will stay away from crowded tourist attractions, indicating that destinations will need to adopt new, smart crowd management measures to appease travellers.
The report further states that 54% of Indian travellers will visit alternative destinations in a bid to avoid travelling during peak season and 49% of Indian travellers will prefer alternative destinations to avoid overcrowding.
As the pandemic has amplified people’s awareness about their impact on the environment and local communities, travellers are now more aware of their impact than ever before, which will pave the way for more sustainable and regenerative travel in the future. 75% of Indian travellers indicated that they want their travel choices to also support the destination’s recovery efforts, and 73% of Indian travellers want to see how their spendings go back into supporting the local community.
The impact of Covid-19 has inspired 55% of Indian travellers to consider reducing waste and recycle their plastic when travelling once travel restrictions are lifted, showing that people are not just committed to protecting themselves, but also the places they visit.
Commenting on the Future of Travel study, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives at Booking.com said, “At Booking.com we believe sustainable travel will ensure future travellers can continue to encounter a world full of destinations still worth exploring. For the past couple of years, we have worked alongside industry stakeholders to design and implement initiatives and products that support communities, reduce over-tourism, preserve the culture and protect the environment. In doing so, we are fostering a long-term future where the whole industry works hand in hand to further transform the global travel experience into a powerful force for good.”