Personalised travel to be the core of post-COVID tourism


Tour operators should focus on hygiene and healthcare to address travel concerns, say speakers at KTM seminar

Tour operators should focus on hygiene and healthcare to address travel concerns, say speakers at KTM seminar

Ethical tourism is all set to define post-COVID travel, necessitating stakeholders to provide customised visitor services that sustain nature and support local communities, speakers at a seminar held at the 11 th edition of the ongoing Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) said here on Friday.

Tour operators are on the path to revival, but they need to focus more on hygiene and healthcare to address post-pandemic travel concerns of tourists. Long-haul travel will not be the norm in the next three years, when most tourists will be keen on domestic trips in an unprecedented scale, they said, at a session on ‘Changing Trends in Travel’.

Additional Chief Secretary V. Venu, who was till recently Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism), called upon travel operators to equip themselves to address the “anxious traveller”, who needed reassurance, as life was limping back to normalcy after the worldwide spread of the pandemic. “Trips will become increasingly personalised, and people will travel in small groups to relatively smaller destinations. So, the information provided to them should be authentic. Responsible Tourism, which strives for sustainable nature and stronger role of local communities, will gain vitality,” he said.

Tourism should no longer be measured by gross revenues, but by its impact on the local community, said Berlin-based social anthropologist Rika Jean Francois. “We must stop cultural erosion. Destination management is far more important than destination marketing. Administrations should adopt a no-tolerance policy that guarantees ethical tourism,” she said.

Delhi-based tourism entrepreneur Amit Sharma said the travel industry was moving from being part of the service economy to experiential economy. “We have to curate experiences and cater for customised services in the changed travel equations after COVID-19,” he said.

Families have suddenly realised the necessity to keep a healthy work-life balance and the need to be connected with near and dear ones. There is an increasing tendency to take quick and short breaks, said hotelier Sameer M.C..

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