The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the travel and tourism sectors, and travel bloggers have been hit too. We spoke to some to see how they would deal with a world where travel is limited.
Now that travel has faded into the background, bloggers are taking advantage of this time to dig into newer aspects of travel. From revising their content strategy to acquiring new skills, they have gradually adapted to the changing times. While some are panning and creating food content, some are redesigning their websites. Most either switch careers or look for new products in the travel industry.
Leading travel blogger Lakshmi Sharath attended online courses and webinars during the lockdown. She also developed a new SEO strategy for her blog, cleaned up stranded articles, and wrote about her travels from last year. Sharath says the pandemic has given her the opportunity to do many things that she previously had no time to do. “I’ve also taken a lot of online courses. I did a short course on prehistoric art, I’m doing another one on Roman art and archeology, ”she tells us.
The blogger had gone to review a Madurai property in January but the lockdown came before she could plan her trips for the year. “I planned a trip to Russia with some friends, but I didn’t make any bookings, so I don’t regret it,” she says. Sharath also runs an online travel writing course, some workshops and lectures on various online platforms. She also plans to restart her YouTube channel and do a podcast.
The pandemic has had an impact on her finances as blogging is her only source of income and she has been out of business for a while. “We are all financially affected, but hopefully things will slowly change and we will get opportunities,” says Sharath. She believes bloggers need to work on themselves and look at new things that they can do with their skills. “I use the time to improve my skills, look for opportunities online, clean up my LinkedIn profile, and network online.”
Sharath talks about her blog’s content strategy in a post-COVID world, and says she will focus on writing about people in the travel industry and about people she has met on her travels. “I introduce one person every month. Last week I wrote about a banker who is now a conservationist. “
She is optimistic about the future of the travel industry. “It’s only a matter of time. After the lockdown, people want to get out and travel to open areas like mountains, beaches, valleys and stay in small boutique hotels, ”Sharath says. However, she does not plan to travel anytime soon. “It will be a waiting game for me. The main need right now is to be safe, ”she says.