India    14.02.2022    Amrit Singh

Published: TTG -  14 Feb 2020 - entitled:

As a leading Asia specialist TransIndus is naturally delighted with the news of India’s borders opening for double vaccinated travellers and we have breathed a huge sigh of relief! While it came late in the season, India's recent decision to repon to fully vaccinated travellers gives hard-pressed companies and specilaists  - like Transindus - a chance to rescue a few weeks of the windeter season, and avoid  further cancelltions and postmonements.

Booked clients have equally as excited as we are as they can now fulfil long-awaited journeys rather than rearrange diaries once again, to slide dates further forward!

The greatest joy, however, has been expressed by the legions of drivers, guides, sherpa and support workers who play a large and significant part in the overall success of any holiday but, who have been among the worst impacted through the pandemic.

As an important and influential force in the region, India’s neighbours too are watching with keen interest and we believe its decision is likely to reverberate through South and South-East Asia, encouraging other countries with well-vaccinated populations to follow suit, adding significantly to stabilising the region and travel overall.                                                                                                                           

And what awaits international travellers visiting India in 2022?

Far from resigning to fate, the usual default position of India’s largely Hindu population, the tourism industry followed each other's lead in preparing for the opening. They used the downtime to double vaccinate and train their teams at every touchpoint and ensure everyone is ready to operate under new health and safety protocols. 

In a strategic move to keep the wheels of the industry oiled and generate some much-needed revenue, the 'Bharat Deko' (See India) campaign was launched to invite and encourage high-end domestic travellers to explore their own backyard! Locals have loved the experience and are rebooking, adding significantly to the industry’s strength and future stability. 

While we have been in hibernation, some spectacular new properties with truly sustainable credentials have opened in India including, the luxurious Raffles, just outside Udaipur and the Six Senses, Fort Barwa. These add new highs to rural, cultural experiences in Rajasthan and lift the luxury status of a holiday experience in India even higher. A host of excellent new walking trails, safari experiences and river cruises are also being promoted in some beautiful and rarely visited parts of the country including remote Himalayan village passes in Ladakh beyond the Kashmir Valley and, the far North-Eastern states of India bordering Myanmar, Tibet and China all of which are now readily accessible. We anticipate these will be among the growth area for the country as travellers seek to connect with nature, away from city hubs.

As TransIndus prepares to leave the most challenging phase of its 32-year history behind, we are proud to have come through the pandemic whole and are ready for the inevitable long and slow recovery! From the experience of other destinations that opened a few months earlier, we see travellers are leaning much more towards longer, slower, deeper, more immersive experiences and seeking to connect with local cultural experiences and even give something back to the host community. As a socially responsible company, TransIndus both welcomes and encourages this and will facilitate any clients willing to give an hour or two of their valuable time to engage in simple local initiatives such as speaking to a classroom of young children about their lives or holding a first aid class in a village.

Amazingly, this is the kind of holiday Transindus started with all those years ago, with travellers enjoying more leisurely and meaningful escapes over 3 or 4-weeks. If the pandemic has brought us back full circle to TransIndus’s central ethos of a more considered way of travel, perhaps we can take some solace in the hardships we have all had to endure over the last two years!

An opinion piece by Amrit Singh, Founder and Manging Director, TransIndus