The Indian hospitality industry is desperate for the revenge travel phenomenon to enter India.

The sinister sounding term “Revenge Travel” gained momentum after people in China started travelling within the country to satiate their wanderlusting instincts amid the coronavirus travel bans.

The Indian hospitality industry has been desperately awaiting for this phenomenon to happen in India and it remains to be seen, if or when it happens here.

Here’s what experts have to say:

This pandemic has seriously crippled the Indian hospitality industry. Due to the spread of the virus, travel plans of Indians have come to a halt. But a slow recovery is on the cards for the travel and tourism industry.

According to a Mckinsey report, “The end of lockdown would mean the first thing people would want to do is eat out, and the second thing is travel.”

US-based HVS Global Hospitality Services and Indian real estate research firm ANAROCK said in a report, “While corporate travel and travel for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions will reduce, domestic travel could take off soon. ‘Revenge travel’ witnessed in China could foster among Indians too.”

RateGain in its Global Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Hospitality said, “In a survey of 15 countries and over 2.5 lakh hotels, India is the worst hit country in hotel recovery. But the future looks promising as India ranks third in the list of future bookings during November to December.”

However, it seems like the tourism and hospitality industry would take years before it can get back to pre-COVID levels.

At a Tourism Conclave hosted by Hindustan Times, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, “I’ve been associated with tourism for a long time. Globally, World Tourism Organisation tracked 217 destinations, out of which 72 percent had closed borders to international tourists during the pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted the tourism industry, which is a big job creator.

“We must follow proper precautions, promote domestic tourism and become an adventure tourist. We need to discover hills and mountains and seek fresh air. This time is an opportunity to make India the safest place for travellers, particularly women. It is time to build good protocols and guidelines, sensitise the local community, create world-class infrastructure and make the community a part of tourism’s growth process.”

With the festive season coming up and holidays ahead, there could be some green shoots for the travel and tourism industry, but keeping safety protocols intact and creating trust among travellers would be an uphill task.

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Shivangi Pandey