As lockdowns continue around the world, more and more businesses suffer. Travel industry that supports millions of jobs around the world, directly and indirectly, has gone through a great loss and even after it will be lifted, the market will be the last to revive itself.
The World Travel and Tourism Council is has predicted that up to 50 million jobs will be lost in the tourism industry worldwide due to the effects and after-effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Travel industry in India, that supports millions of jobs and families has suffered a great loss.
Travel industry not only supports the travel agents, its employees, hotels and taxi drivers but also artisans, handicraft makers, maintenance staff at heritage sites and even travel writers like me.
It feels like the market won’t revive itself before 2021 so the situation is not good for those who had limited resources and were dependent on the market to meet their livelihood.
But there are certain ways to support the individuals who rely on the performance of this market. Without travelling, we can support the jobs that were dependent on travel industry.
Ways to support travel industry without travelling in 2020
Shop local online
Many artisans have an online presence these days which makes them easy for them to reach a wider market and stay connected to the customers who once purchased products from their shops while travelling. If online delivery is available in your city, or if you can book a product by paying in advance then do it. It will motivate the artist and they’ll continue creating without worrying about selling the old stock first.
Buy gift cards to use later
Gift cards are perfect for shopping in future. Many Indian hostels, hotels and cafes are launching their gift cards that will be valid for multiple years. So after travel season is back, the card can be redeemed on your stay or food. It will help the staff and management of that said entity to keep the establishment running.
Continue reading your favourite blogs and websites
Many travel writers and photographers like me rely on travel industry. If the readers continue coming then we are motivated to write more and show more. In the time of pandemic, people often stop planning for trips and hence stop visiting blogs and other social media profiles of their favourite writers. If the number goes down, then their motivation and chances of getting work in future will go down too. So make sure that you occasionally visit the blogs and leave nice comments that will motivate us to continue writing.
Buy ebooks and guidebooks
Many travel writers release their ebooks and guidebooks to manage expenses for their travels. If you know of any travel writer who has released their ebook or a guidebook then try to buy it so that they are able to continue with their life in the lockdown when they may not be earning much.
Donate to the organizations that support community based initiatives
Responsible tourism is responsible for emergence of many entities that support community based initiatives. In India, there are a number of travel companies that promote responsible tourism and give back to the community. If you know of such entities that require donations to support the community that they work with, then please share some funds so that they can help those in need.
Here are a few organizations where you can donate –
Waste Warriors – Support of Waste Workers in Himalayas
Goonj – Support of daily wage workers
Donkey Sanctuary Leh – Help a donkey rescue centre operation in Leh
Dharamshala Animal Rescue – Help an animal rescue centre continue their work in treatment of abandoned animals
Attend online seminars/webinars/discussions
There are individuals who are organizing online workshops on baking, wiring, blogging, gardening, etc in order to reach more people. If someone you know is organizing a workshop for a fee (or free) then try to spare some time and be an audience. This will motivate them and help a bunch of creators and earn something when the market is shutdown.
This is a time when everyone needs mental and emotional support in order to get through. With your small attempts, someone will find help to get through this phase and come out strong and motivated.