Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been the biggest victims of the Covid-19 pandemic and the following lockdowns. The small businesses in India have suffered a lot since March 17 and with no clarity about when everything will get back to normal their livelihood is going to be affected for a long time.
Travel industry supports a lot of jobs and small businesses. With travel industry going down, a great number of folks are sitting at home jobless, totally dependent on agencies for food and other necessary items.
As a responsible traveller, you can come forward to help small businesses. Even as a regular traveller, we stay at family owned guest houses, buy from artisans, and have our meals at small eateries, helping the small businesses in process. Many of these entities add value to our travel experiences. They are going through a hard time due to lockdown.
Here are a few suggestions to help small businesses during this difficult time – even when you cannot leave home.
Buy a gift card to redeem later
Right now a few travel entities in India have introduced the concept of gift card. You can purchase this gift card right now and redeem it later. As a budget traveller, there must be a destination that you frequently visit. You can purchase gift cards of hostels, cafes, bakeries and gift shops to support them during these hard times.
Explore your own city post lockdown
Every city has some tourist spots that are a source of income for many. If you live in a city like Delhi or Mumbai, then there will be a visible gap left because of the international tourists. Less tourists means that the number of security staff will be cut down, the ticketing windows will be limited and the street food vendors will earn less.
Once the lockdown is over, try to spend some time exploring your city. Popular tourist attractions will be emptier post lockdown and it will give you a chance to enjoy the beauty of these wonders in ways that you had never imagined.
Travel industry supports a number of jobs. Drivers, janitors, gardeners, cruise staff, kitchen staff, etc are just a few of the individuals whose livelihood is dependent on how travel industry functions.
If you are one of those individuals who made a travel plan which is now on hold then it is a better idea to postpone it instead of cancelling it altogether. Since many businesses are offering credit option which gives flexibility to the travellers to book that trip later, it proves to be a better idea than cancelling and getting a full refund.
Please leave a review
People will start travelling eventually and the first thing they do before planning a travel is to check for reviews on tripadvisor and other platform. Make sure that you keep leaving nice reviews of your favourite travel spots. It will help the small businesses to continue operating once this threat is gone.
Promote your favourite small businesses on social media
Word of mouth helps small businesses as they don’t have funds for marketing and promotions. This is the right time to show off your souvenirs or food photos from the favourite outlets so that your friends learn about them. Spreading the word through social media will help many aspiring travellers to add the place in their wishlist when the restart travelling.
Also make sure that you regularly like and share their posts for a higher engagement.
Do your gift shopping now
Small business owners find support with help of travel industry. If the world has stopped travelling, their products will go stale and outdated. As a solution, you can plan gift shopping right now instead of planning it during a holiday. This will help them retain a source of income and continue creating as their lives will be more economically stable.
Buy guidebooks and subscribe to blogs
Travel writers have also ended up sitting at home and thus losing their source of earning. If you know someone who has written a guidebook or has a blog then subscribe to their platforms, follow their YouTube channel or buy their ebook. It will be a great way to keep them motivated to keep doing better.
Many of us have been feeling demotivated and losing interest in our surroundings. By supporting local businesses dependent on travel, you’ll assure that they’ll be ready to serve you once the pandemic is over and we start travelling again.