[World Tourism Day] With travel restrictions easing, these influencers are raring to explore again

On World Tourism Day, HerStory speaks to three travel influencers to find out their ‘mojo’ as restrictions ease and countries open up for tourists.
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The pandemic put a stop to the “have feet, will travel” aspirations of many, bringing the tourism and hospitality industry to a standstill for more than one-and-a-half years. Travel and tourism in India, which accounts for nearly 2.5 percent of its GDP, saw the loss of 14.5 million jobs in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

However, the second half of 2021 saw restrictions easing and many countries opening up once again. According to many news reports, amid a decline in Covid cases in the country, India may soon reopen its doors for foreign tourists for the first time in one-and-a-half years, officials said.

Domestic tourism too is on the rise. For example, to promote tourism, the Ladakh government has decided to end the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system for Indians and local residents wanting to explore protected regions of Ladakh.

This year, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) declared that World Tourism Day should focus on “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”.

It urges member states, non-members, sister UN agencies, businesses, and individuals to look beyond tourism statistics and celebrate its unique ability to ensure that nobody is left behind as the world begins to open up again and look to the future.

We speak to three travel influencers — Kritika Goel, Radhika Sharma, and Rashmee — to find out if their wanderlust is back as the world limps back to normal. These three influencers are also photographers and part of Canon’s EOS Ambassador Program.

Kritika Goel

Kritika Goel

A full-time YouTuber and content creator, Kritika Goel documents her travels and adventures, taking her viewers along with her vicariously through her photos and videos. She has been featured on Lonely Planet, Times of India, and Outlook Traveller.

An Economics graduate, Kritika worked in finance and marketing before leaving the 9 to 5 life to follow her passion for travelling and content creation. She’s built an engaged community online and worked with tourism boards like Czech Republic Tourism, Discover Hong Kong and Visit Kazakhstan.

During the pandemic, Kritika had to switch to 80 percent lifestyle content and 20 percent travel, which was mostly from the backlog of the trips she has done before lockdown.

“It was quite challenging but I enjoyed learning to create different types of content and be a bit more experimental again, and I think a large part of my audience enjoyed these lifestyle vlogs too,” she adds.

Now that things are looking up and she is fully vaccinated, Kritika is hoping to go on a few international trips over the next few months.

I’m hoping to plan a trip to Europe before the year ends and get back to creating more travel vlogs. I also want to experience living in a new country for a while, even if it’s just for 2-3 months, so I’m hoping to make that happen sometime next year,” she says.

Rashmee

Rashmee

Rashmee is one-half of Anant & Rashmee, travel photographers and videographers since 2017 working with hotels and resorts in India and South East Asia. Their photos and videos have been regularly featured on photography pages on Instagram like Colours of India, Photographers of India and Tripoto.

Rashmee started her own agency at the age of 23 called ‘Weird Communications’ which she still runs with her business partner. Currently, she juggles between her travel career as a vlogger and as a creative director for Weird.

During the pandemic, having a ton of footage and photographs from her previous travels helped her keep the “content” going. She also shared a lot of BTS videos and tutorials on how to shoot and edit better. She shot a lot of content at home, talking about her daily life in quarantine.

Not very comfortable with flying, Rashmee went on a road trip from Mumbai to Dehradun with stops in Udaipur and Gurugram along the way. She will be exploring Uttarakhand for the next few weeks.

Radhika Nomllers (Sharma)

Radhika Sharma

Radhika Nomllers is a full-time traveller, a YouTuber and a blogger who documents her travel journeys and creates content around the ”HOW” – how to travel solo, how to travel on a budget, etc.

“The first four-five months of the pandemic were very difficult but my YouTube channel really picked up pace as I had a lot more time on my plate to edit my old videos and focus. In August 2020, I had 30,000 followers but as soon as I shifted to Manali and spoke about the COVID-19 protocols of travelling, my subscribers went up to 100,000,” she says.

For future vlogs, Radhika plans to focus more on treks, adventure sports like roller skating, paragliding and cave diving in the North East. She is also looking forward to a trip to the Maldives.

Her revenue stream comes from Instagram and YouTube through advertisements and brand collaborations. She claims to earn thrice the amount of her corporate job.


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Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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