Travel blogging as a profession is a fairly new one. It has probably only been 2 decades since people began relying on the internet for suggestions and tips for travelling. There was a significant amount of increase in the number of people who began documenting their travel for others around the world to watch. For many, watching these blogs is also a source of refreshment and a gateway to break-free from the monotony of life and learn more about the beauty of the places they might possibly never have a chance to visit. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the travel industry hard and the future of business seems to be in danger. With almost all means of transport being ceased and lockdowns being implemented worldwide, people are not going to be in a state to leave their homes and explore new destinations for a while. This has also hugely affected the lives of people who depend on daily income that comes from tourists. Take Goa for example, a coastal state in India that attracts large numbers of crowds from all around the world, seems to now have come to a standstill. The little businesses of boatmen, para-sailing instructors, beach restaurants, and souvenir shop owners do not seem to be making any profits this year. A recent study suggests that around 75 million people across the globe will lose jobs from the travel and tourism industry alone. Other than airlines and the hospitality sector, a huge community of travel bloggers, who make their living out of traveling and documenting exciting content for the audiences, will also have to look for other means of survival. Traveling in itself is not only a primary source of income for these bloggers but also their passion. Getting their passports stamped and relishing cuisines from across the world is what a travel blogger’s life revolves around. For a few it may have been a secondary source of income but a majority of people have quit their 9-5 jobs just to make a living out of traveling. What will this community rely on when they cannot feed their passion and are restricted entry to a majority of favorite holiday destinations across the world?
Established travel bloggers who have managed to break the clutter and stand out from the crowd enjoy a huge audience base and have millions of followers on their YouTube and Instagram channels. It is essential that these individuals keep posting content on their channels and websites in order to not lose touch with their audience. Many bloggers are now trying their hands on different genres of content such as fitness, food and lifestyle from the past few months since they have been on house arrest. Although these may not be their forte, they cannot risk abandoning their audiences and hope that their channels will again be profitable once the dark days of the business are over. If subscribers do not have engaging content to watch from time to time they may lose interest in the channel and turn to other means of entertainment. Once subscribers are lost, it becomes extremely difficult to win them back and with a lesser number of people watching the videos, it also becomes difficult to crack endorsement deals which otherwise are extremely profitable for these bloggers. But for the upcoming stars, who did not get a chance to attract a significant amount of traffic towards their pages before this global pandemic, it isn’t going to be easy. Some of these small travel bloggers might even completely shift their professions and as a result the amount of content being produced will be on a decline.
However, some travel bloggers are now suggesting that as a result of COVID-19, domestic tourism will flourish more than ever. Since travelling across borders does not seem like an option, bloggers will stick to exploring the culture and heritage of their own country. The lockdown in India that started on 25th of March 2020 has witnessed a lot of extensions and might go on for an unprecedented amount of time if there is no decrease in the number of coronavirus cases. Till then travel bloggers will have to stay at home and try to tactfully attract future deals and plan their domestic travel. Even after the lockdown is lifted, it won’t be completely safe to travel since all industries will take their time to recover from the losses and create a better environment for tourists. India is a land filled with great potential travel destinations from hills to beaches and places filled with architectural marvels. Now, more than ever, people will want to travel to different parts of the country and as a result will learn more about our country’s history. Travel bloggers across the globe have said the first country they will visit after the lockdown will be their own. Traveling by roads will become the next most adventurous thing since long-distance flights don’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. More number of people would want to solo travel and explore the trails of the Himalayas on bikes. We will not see bloggers jumping from one destination to the other but they will in fact take their time and explore all that a destination has to offer.
The future thus comes with a lot of options for travel bloggers who still want to keep earning profits out of their channels but there will be a significant change in the nature of content that is being published. It might take a lot of time for these avid travelers to get back to what keeps their adrenaline pumping and till then there will be a shift in what we have been seeing on the internet so far.
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