It may sound a bit ironic to celebrate World Tourism Day in the year 2020 because 'touring' is the last thing one was able to this year, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. But travellers are a resilient group driven by two words – memories and plans.
A traveller is always looking forward to their next trip and if not, they can be found reminiscing about an old one.
Sitting in a resort in Vagamon, surrounded by mist, travel vlogger Sujith Bhakthan of 'Tech Travel Eat' talks about his experience in Morocco where he got stuck during a COVID-induced lockdown.
"The airport was suddenly shut down, around a week after I reached there. I ended up spending 93 days in Morocco," he recalls. Although Sujith could not visit the tomb of explorer Ibn Battuta as he had wished, he was able to explore the African nation due to their relatively lenient lockdown rules.
But even as our country is slowly opening up the tourism sector, vloggers like Sujith understand that it may not be possible to go out exploring the world again anytime soon. But that does not mean we cannot enjoy short trips and promote domestic travel, especially within Kerala.
"I have been able to travel only within Kerala in the last two months. This is the time when Kerala Tourism has to be widely promoted within the state and across India," says Sujith.
And he is not the only one who thinks so. Popular vlogger Ebbin Jose also wants to start exploring interiors of Kerala until the pandemic is under control. "Our last trip was a short one to Munnar. I have plans to explore the interiors of Kerala. We want to explore the local cuisines and the local cultures as well," says Ebbin.
While these two are off exploring Kerala, vlogger Unnimaya has very different travel aspirations since the pandemic hit the country. She needs a 'stay-cation!'
"For the time being, I don't want to go on a trip where I have to mingle with a lot of people. You can always do that after the pandemic. For now, I wish to visit someplace where I can relax," she says. She believes the mental stress due to the pandemic can be chased away with a laid back trip.
But whatever their plans are, all of them cannot emphasize enough on the importance of social distancing protocols. Travellers need to adapt to the new normal, and being safe is the only way to go about it.
The positive outlook of these travellers reminds us that tourism is about widening your perspective. Pandemic or not, there will always be reasons to celebrate World Tourism Day because if there is one thing travel teaches everyone is to adapt.