Can anything digital replace the experience of travel? -Naveen Kundu, EbixCash
This is temporary disruption and let us not get desperate and take measures which will hurt writes Naveen Kundu MD, EbixCash, Travel & Holidays Business.
Have we lost faith in ourselves, have we lost faith in our ability, have we lost trust in ourselves that we will not be able to bring travel back & preserve the industry for which we all have given so much of our life?
These questions kept harping in my mind as I started attending various webinars and meetings online for the survival and revival of industry. Too many people are talking too many things and a lot of options are being discussed whether the industry will ever bounce back? What will be the new normal? Will it be domestic or will it be outbound? Do we really need to stay in this industry or do we change the line/profession? Will everything shift online? Will every meeting and every event happen virtually?
Too many questions and too many opinions and too many debates. Someone even told me to invest in a total virtual reality set up---”people will sit inside homes and wear a cardboard kit and watch VR videos and feel as if they are in Paris.”
Really, I say to myself, can anything replace an experience of travel, the excitement and exuberance, the effervescence it creates, the joy and smiles it brings to visit those breathtaking locations; those streets and cafes, savoir those local cuisines and delicacies, the misty mountains, those blue seas and white sand beaches, the forests and wildlife.
Can anything digital replace it? The very excitement begins when we just start discussing with family and friends about our next travel plan or that excitement when the next contest gets rolled out in corporates for that upcoming Rewards and recognition trip. The feeling is aspiring, no virtual reality can replace reality itself.
Ever since COVID hit the world, I have been of firm belief that this is temporary disruption and let us not get desperate and take measures which will hurt. Let us stay determined and dedicated to our mission of reviving TRAVEL, which is a driver of happiness and pleasure. Our business may be a bit fragile but we as travel professionals and travelers are not fragile. We have bounced back on several occasions in the past whilst hoping we shall do it again.
This compelled me to pen down a few lines and narrate them. A motivation to bring travel back to the community and imbibe that confidence that we will bounce back again and bounce back strongly.
The normal remains normal there is going to be no new normal. Only normal is joy, happiness and the experiences we will witness again.
We will cherish those moments again
We will travel again
A Traveler am I and a traveler are you!
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