The pandemic has put an end to the âget feet, travelâ aspirations of many, crippling the tourism and hospitality industry for more than a year and a half. Travel and tourism in India, which accounts for nearly 2.5% of its GDP, saw the loss of 14.5 million jobs in the first quarter of 2020 alone.
However, the second half of 2021 saw restrictions ease and many countries reopen. Amid a drop in Covid cases in the country, India may soon reopen its doors to foreign tourists for the first time in a year and a half, officials said.
Domestic tourism is also on the rise. For example, to promote tourism, the government of Ladakh decided to end the Domestic Line Permit System (ILP) for Indians and local residents wishing to explore the protected areas of Ladakh.
This year, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said World Tourism Day should focus on “Tourism for inclusive growth”.
It urges member states, non-members, sister United Nations agencies, businesses and individuals to look beyond tourism statistics and celebrate its unique ability to ensure that no one is left behind as the world begins to open up again and look to the future.
We talk to three travel influencers – Kritika Goel, Radhika Sharma and Rashmee – to find out if their urge to travel is back as the world returns to normal. These three influencers are also photographers and are part of Canon’s EOS Ambassador program.
Full time YouTuber and Content Creator, Kritika Goel documents her travels and adventures, taking her viewers with her vicariously through her photos and videos. It was featured on Lonely Planet, the time of India, and Outlook traveler.
With a degree in economics, Kritika worked in finance and marketing before leaving life at 9-5 to follow her passion for travel and content creation. She has built an engaged online community and has worked with tourist boards like Czech Republic Tourism, Discover Hong Kong, and Visit Kazakhstan.
During the pandemic, Kritika had to switch to 80% lifestyle content and 20% travel, which came mainly from the backlog of trips she took before the lockdown.
âIt was quite difficult, but I enjoyed learning how to create different types of content and being a little more experimental again, and I think a lot of my audience enjoyed these lifestyle vlogs as well,â adds she does.
Now that things are improving and that she is fully vaccinated, Kritika hopes to make some international trips over the next few months.
“I hope to plan a trip to Europe before the end of the year and start creating more travel vlogs again. I also want to live in a new country for a while, even if it’s only for 2-3 months, so hopefully that will happen next year, âshe said.
Rashmee is half of Anant & Rashmee, travel photographers and videographers since 2017 working with hotels and resorts in India and South East Asia. Their photos and videos have been featured regularly on photography pages on Instagram such as Colors of India, Photographers of India and Tripoto.
Rashmee started her own agency at the age of 23, called “Weird Communications”, which she still runs with her business partner. Currently, she is juggling her travel career as a vlogger and as Creative Director for Weird.
During the pandemic, having a ton of footage and photographs from her previous trips helped her maintain “content.” She has also shared many BTS videos and tutorials on how to better shoot and edit. She shot a lot of content at home, talking about her daily life in quarantine.
Not very comfortable with the plane, Rashmee took a road trip from Mumbai to Dehradun with stops in Udaipur and Gurugram en route. She will explore Uttarakhand over the next few weeks.
Radhika Nomllers (Sharma)
Radhika Nomllers is a full-time traveler, YouTuber and blogger who documents her travels and creates content around âHOWâ – how to travel solo, how to travel on a budget, and more.
âThe first four-five months of the pandemic were very difficult, but my YouTube channel really sped up because I had a lot more time on my plate to edit my old videos and concentrate. As of August 2020, I had 30,000 subscribers but as soon as I moved to Manali and talked about COVID-19 travel protocols, my subscribers jumped to 100,000, âshe says.
For future vlogs, Radhika plans to focus more on hiking, adventure sports like rollerblading, paragliding and cave diving in the northeast. She is also looking forward to a trip to the Maldives.
Its revenue stream comes from Instagram and YouTube via ads and brand collaborations. She claims to earn three times the amount of her work in a company.
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