Revenge Travel: A silver lining for the Indian Hospitality Sector

Being confined to work and household pressure amidst the pandemic has urged people to explore places and visit family and friends like never before. This new trend surfacing among Indian travellers is being called as ‘Revenge Travel’. People feel they have been deprived of travelling for so long. This has led to a surge in trips and splurging by Indian travellers more than pre-COVID times. Revenge Travel – the concept is nothing but a rare combination of belief, motivation and priorities people have. Where people believe travelling is the best use of holidays, they are also motivated to relax and revive themselves time to time. Though priorities change, yet adding destinations to the bucket list to spend quality time with family remains constant.

One of the worst hit sectors during the pandemic is the Indian hospitality and travel sector. Due to initially imposed travel restrictions, the tourism, hospitality and travel sectors are witnessing an exceptionally slow recovery currently. This, fortunately, is leading to Revenge Travel. Travellers are preferring drive-to places over highlighted vacation spots. Hence, budget chains like OYO, Treebo etc. are witnessing higher bookings as compared to the grand ones like the Taj.

Unlike before, corporate travels for meetings, conferences and seminars have reduced drastically. This, in turn, is expected to be replaced by the domestic revenge travellers. As the Indian hospitality sector gets prepared for a slow recovery, it may take more time to get back in shape. However, this growth is also subject to timely availability of COVID vaccination. People who await the vaccination now, would also contribute later in a fast-paced recovery of the sector. With due precautionary measures and rules being followed, mid-range hotels and resorts have been able to attract a large number of revenge travellers. If efficiently managed, ‘Revenge Travel’ is a blessing for the Indian hospitality, tourism and travel sectors.

In an attempt to distance themselves from crowd, Indian travellers are looking up to lesser talked about destinations. This new development among revenge travellers is already starting to benefit the low and mid ranged hotels and resorts. Travel agencies and tour operators are expected to be highly benefiting owing to the rise in trips.However, addressing this increasing demand has led the owners to re-plan and re-strategize. Automating all business processes to maintain a customer centric focus is one solution to carefully manage increased bookings. An efficient CRM adoption strategy at place would ensure to attract and engage more travellers. With more consciousness regarding sanitization and social distancing norms, revenge travelers expect high hygiene from the hotels they book. This has induced an undeniable need for hoteliers to build an unique brand image aligned to hygiene and safety. McKinsey, in one of its reports has uniquely pointed out some of its observations. The report says once the pandemic subsides, the first thing people would want to do is eat out, and the second thing being travelling.

The wave of Revenge Travel is here to stay. The entire Indian hospitality industry needs to re-design itself. Being one of the worst hit sectors, it would take its own time and effort to re-establish itself. However, the question remains as to will the travelers continue to revenge travel? Well, as things get back to normal, Indian travellers are expected to continue revenge travel owing to the uncertainty in future. People would no longer wish to delay their travel plans. Ardent travellers would continue their trend of exploring places time to time. The government now cautiously plans to lift travel restrictions, ensuring advanced level of hygiene and contactless services. This would result in absolutely new figures in the number of revenge travellers in India. With majority of the population being youth who await a good escape, Revenge travel is expected to generate more revenue for the recovering hospitality and tourism sectors.