'Contact-less' services the new mantra as travellers step out for short trips

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New Delhi: After a long stretch of staying-at-home, consumers are showing a willingness to go out and travel again, albeit within driving distance and with all necessary precautions.

According to a new research study from Oracle and Skift, just over 51 percent of people surveyed in both North and Latin America plan to book trips in the next six months, while 38 percent of those in Asia-Pacific and Europe are planning getaways. People, however,  47 percent are opting to stay closer to home with driving distance and 44 percent of people are preferring domestic trips.

The global study also explored hotel executives' attitudes and outlook on travel and found that more than 30 percent of executives surveyed said they expected to see a few more or significantly more domestic travelers, and over 60 percent were expecting fewer or significantly fewer international travelers.

Closer home, Bengaluru-based Vidhi Mehra found working from home for over three months was cramping her productivity and patience, and found time for a workation.

"While browsing through CRED, I fell in love with the images of Ayatana in Coorg, and booked a stay immediately as it was a limited offer. Working while overlooking the mountains during the day and enjoying chef-crafted meals without cleaning or chores has restored well-being. 

Unlike Bengaluru, staying in a resort allows me to enjoy the outdoors and get some sun in a safe and rejuvenating environment. The kids can also safely run around with staff to watch over them, while I take conference calls. Looking forward to taking my next workation very soon," he said.

Although long-form travel has hit a pause, everyone right now desires to get away from the monotony that has set in with almost half a year at home. "Hence, we decided to partner with responsible, hygienic and safe luxury properties as they were opening up, to offer our members a chance to refresh and recharge with short workations and staycations," said a spokesperson from CRED.

With so much uncertainty facing us, the study found that 76 percent of the consumers are also demanding flexible cancellation and refund policies and 65 percent of people are more open to considering hotels offering discounted rates.

Consumers' willingness to travel also comes with heavy caveats for hotels in terms of advancements in cleaning and technology. In response, 70 percent of hotels already are or are planning to adopt contact-less technology for check-in, food ordering, concierge services and more. Ninety percent have or are planning to also increase cleaning and disinfecting frequency and training for staff on these procedures and safer guest interactions.

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