revenge travel

Why revenge travel may not be a wise choice right now?

While the desire to travel is understandable, there are concerns that revenge travel may pave way for the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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If there is one thing we have learned during our prolonged stay at home, it’s our love for travelling. For months, we longed for a vacation—beaches, sun, mountains, even a short road trip would have sufficed. Now, with the restrictions on travelling easing across the world, people are flocking to different countries or cities to travel once again. Worldwide vaccination drives have further fuelled the desire of people to pack up their bags and book tickets to their favourite destinations. This urge to travel after being cooped within the four walls of our home can be called revenge travelling.

The term ‘revenge travel’ comes from the 1980s concept of revenge spending in China. Consumer spending boomed in the country following the cultural revolution. The same pattern repeated when lockdowns ended in China. People prioritised eating out and splurged money rather mindlessly. According to a report, a luxury brand store in Guangzhou racked up 2.7 million dollars in sales in one day.

This is exactly what is happening in the travel industry. A Back to Travel research, conducted by Booking.com revealed that 70 percent of travellers are planning to travel in the near future. It’s not like the pandemic has ended and the threat to our lives has gone. People are still falling sick and losing their lives. But with moderate to no restrictions at all, travelling has become a gateway for people to escape their monotonous lives. A Mckinsey and Company survey found that confidence in domestic travel rose by around 60 percent in China after much of the country reopened.

Growing disregard for the safety measures

Similar trends can be seen in India as well with demand for domestic getaways and local staycations increasing significantly. According to an India Today report, more than five lakh tourists travelled to Himachal Pradesh after the Covid-19 norms in the state were relaxed. One can clearly see the growing disregard for the Covid-19 safety protocols in the videos and pictures circulating on social media and news websites. Many were spotted flouting the social distancing rules as they roamed around in tourist destinations.

Going by the numbers, it seems unlikely that the phenomenon of revenge travel will end anytime soon. The upside to this trend is the increasing demand for the tourism and hospitality sector, which was severely affected by the pandemic. Having spent time indoors, people are yearning to connect with their loved ones and travel more than ever before. Travelling open minds, broaden perspectives and fuels inspiration. Moreover, the physical and spiritual experience one gets from travelling has no substitute.

Possibility of the third wave

While the desire to travel is understandable, there are concerns that revenge travel may pave the way for the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Imperial College London. “Such travel is particularly worrying when it involves destinations such as Himalayan mountain towns, which have previously imposed restrictions effectively controlling transmission, and would now see a substantial increase in population density with the influx of tourists,” the report says.

The pandemic is far from over, and despite the vaccination drives, not everyone has been vaccinated yet. And even if you are, the concern of infection is still there. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Covid-19 vaccines are not 100 percent effective against preventing infections. Moreover, studies claim that you can even transmit the breakthrough infection to others around you if you fail to follow safety protocols.

While precautionary measures such as wearing masks, sanitising regularly and following social distancing norms are helpful, it is a good idea for travellers to follow the safety guidelines of the destinations they choose to visit. It may also come down to the choice of their destinations. At a time like this, visiting places that attract a large number of tourists may not be a wise choice. Rather, pick offbeat destinations where the risk of contracting the disease is low. Doing so, will not only keep you safe but you’ll also be able to make most of your much-awaited trip.

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