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Workation – From private villa at the beach to a pool with a view, affluent Indians are finding unique new settings for ‘work from home’

Workation – From private villa at the beach to a pool with a view, affluent Indians are finding unique new settings for ‘work from home’
  • Despite the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, there seems to be an uptick in travel in the country.
  • As work from home continues, there’s a new trend emerging – workation.
  • Indians are looking for newer and exciting avenues as they WFH; and they don’t mind splurging a bit.
What was once a dream could now be turning into a reality for many. At some point during our vacations, we sighed and wondered – about the possibility of moving to the mountains or renting out a shack at the beach – and working from these remote locations. Well, thanks to the ‘work from home’ situation currently, Indians are now doing exactly that.

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed even the most rigid companies to offer ‘work from home’ options to their employees. And the WFH fatigue is catching up now. After spending over seven months in lockdown, Indians are moving to tourist spots or their favourite drive-to destinations near their city and are working from there. They are also moving back to their hometown as many companies have issued work from home until next year.

Travel restrictions have also been done away with it. Popular tourist spots like Goa have opened up completely, and many states don’t even need a COVID-19 negative certificate for entry. While residents at these tourist destinations are questioning this move, there is no stopping the travellers, who are seizing this window of opportunity.

And the first proof of it comes with the booking of Ola ‘outstation’ cabs. Ola said it has seen an increase in booking requests for one-way travel from major cities of India.

Top cities and their outstation bookings at Ola

Bangalore

Mysore, Tumkur, Coorg, Hubli-Dharwad, Davangere

Delhi

Meerut, Agra, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Mathura

Mumbai

Pune, Nashik, Lonavla, Alibag, Badlapur


Work from the hills or the beach

The rising trend is that of a ‘workation’ – work and vacation combined. During a recent call with reporters, Rajesh Magow, MakeMyTrip’s CEO had mentioned that they have seen a rising number of hotel bookings from drive-to destinations. This ‘aas paas’ tourism is a philosophy that the hospitality industry is counting on to revive sales.

And while doing so, Indians aren’t hesitant to splurge a bit. Luxury and private vacation homes startup SaffronStays said it has seen a 115% jump in the number of new users when compared to last year around the same time. The luxurious villas and pools are being booked not just for a weekend but a longer duration as long as it comes with a stable WiFi connection.

“Travel is no longer limited to peak season and weekends. For best offers and in order to switch one’s office background, people are opting for weekday stays at a private vacation home. This should explain the rise of our website traffic by 98.47% than last year during the same time,” said Tejas Parulekar, founder, SaffronStays.

Luxury hotel chain Marriott group has also doled out ‘staycation offers’ to cash in on the trend.

But there are other alternatives too. Popular hostel startup Zostel has booked over 5,000 room nights in July and August alone and has seen rising requests for long-term stays. “As we see continued relaxations, the desire to travel remains at an all-time high, and people are willing to venture into offbeat destinations away from cities and closer to nature, while being mindful of safety, comfort and, internet connectivity, striking a balance between their work and leisure,” Aviral Gupta, Chief Strategy Head, Zostel told Business Insider.

The popular destinations for Zostel bookings have been Gokarna, Coorg, Panchgani, Bir, Zostel Homes Mashobra, Zostel Homes Theog among others.

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