Even though the threat due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rises in India, at least 58 per cent of citizens plan to travel during December to March, a survey by social engagement platform found. The survey received more than 19,500 responses from citizens residing in 320 districts. The survey by LocalCircles indicated that while such a large number of people have travel plans, only 18 per cent of citizens have made their bookings so far.
Besides, the survey showed that of those who plan to travel in the next 90 days, the highest number, 49 per cent are likely to visit family, friends and also undertake other miscellaneous travel while 21 per cent have plans to travel to a holiday destination.
Further, a comparative analysis of the latest survey with the one conducted in March 2021 showed that the enthusiasm level of citizens to travel despite the Omicron threat is higher than what it was before Delta and the second wave.
“While 18 per cent have already made bookings, the government must ensure that as the risk rises in different parts of the country, travel restrictions are put in place and airlines and hotels advised to permit rescheduling without penalties,” said Sachin Taparia, Founder of LocalCircles.
“If travel is to continue, it is an absolute must that Central and State Governments and various authorities enforce the mask and social distancing compliance on the ground. With Omicron found to be ‘3-5X’ more transmissible than the Delta variant, things can get out of hand very quickly if the restrictions and enforcement is not paid attention to.”
India’s travel and tourism industry was impacted between April and June as many families cancelled their summer travel plans amid the drastic surge of cases led by the Delta variant during the second Covid wave.
Then as the country entered into unlocking the economy after the outbreak, an exercise conducted by LocalCircles found out that 28 per cent of citizens had made plans to travel during August and September.
Similarly, October-November also saw busy airports, flights and trains with a lot of people travelling during the festive season.
(With inputs from IANS)