It's been a while. Let us talk about our last 2 years: Part 1
January 2020, the news of the COVID pandemic was sounding, however, it was not a pandemic back then of course and the concerns were not exactly raging.
Razdan Holidays was having its busy period as the winter months tend to get a lot of travelers to India from around the world (Oh how we miss those busy periods now)
Our guests were spread across different of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka.
By February, the virus came to Europe, and some of the concerns started coming out, especially, in parts of Italy & Spain.
In India, however, things remained optimistic. There were zero cases here and we and other industry stakeholders had the mirage that things are looking good for us.
In fact, this was seemingly looking like an opportunity considering we wanted to tell the world how safe it is to travel in India. I still remember putting up this post on our social media:
With resounding optimism, we also went forward with preparations for biggest travel event of the year, ITB Berlin. Our stall, collaterals, tickets and all were booked.
By February end, the virus started ravaging across Europe, and the WHO sounded out its warning.
This was the time it became inevitable, the virus would be landing on Indian shores at any moment.
Countries across the world were planning to shut their borders now.
Our office became busier than busy as the objective now was to have our guests back in safety and people feel safest at the place called ‘Home’.
The office was running overtime for the next 2 weeks to arrange our clients' tickets for back home to their countries. A huge struggle that was as flights became full quickly.
Thankfully, with the good relations with our partners and with the help of our local offices, everyone was arranged to fly back safe to their families and homes.
We still remember our final departure being on March 14th, 2020.
In the meantime, the first COVID cases were detected and we were dumbfounded, like everyone else, about what is going to happen.
The primary concern became the safety of our families and the livelihood of our employees.
On the eve of 24th March 2020, the Government of India announced a nationwide lockdown, one of the strictest in the world.
As days passed, industry stakeholders were imagining what post-pandemic travel would look like.
Locked inside our houses, all we could offer ourselves was hope and support to people dependent on us.
Days turned to months, and India’s journey in the first wave did not turn out as worse as was thought out by epidemiologists.
In the meantime, vaccination developments were going at a steady pace around the world.
This was good news and appeals to unlock India again to international travelers began.
Domestic travel had picked up steadily, in fact, the demand from domestic travelers surprised many for majorly two reasons:
A pent up demand for travel
Domestic travelers did not have the option to go international, hence, exploration of our own country began
This was a good base to draw support to bring back International travel in India.
We also extended our network with our membership invite to the Indian Convention Promotion Bureau.
This made us sit and curate experiences for our travel stakeholders with the objective of educating them about destinations and interacting with local communities, an absolutely non-commercial initiative just for the betterment of the industry.
To be continued in Part 2 ....