Our world is, at the present moment, filled with red raw hands, washed incessantly at the request of the government. News channels are dominated by reports of ever-rising death tolls and the shutdown of life as we knew it.
Our society is on the verge of crumbling into dystopic ruin, and you’ve yet to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef or to experience the nightlife of downtown Berlin. There’s so much travel you simply haven’t gotten around to, and now the opportunity has vanished.
Fortunately for you, however, I may have been slightly overdramatizing our present situation. In fact, things are looking up for the future of travel.
While worldwide reopening of all borders is not likely to viably happen within the near future, reports are beginning to emerge noting that a number of countries are looking towards the slow reignition of their tourism sector.
Moving forward with trepidation, many European countries are looking to reconstruct the tourism industry within Europe. European countries who are healing rapidly after their respective outbreaks are considering opening their borders to neighboring countries who are also faring well. This is a move we are likely to see within the next month or two.
However, the reopening of borders is not the only step in re-establishing tourism. An open border is simply one of the means to the revitalizing end.
The bottom line is that, for tourism industries to rekindle, we need to see a safe environment for large gatherings. People will not want to travel if beaches, sports stadiums, and nightclubs are closed. At this stage, most hotels have even closed their doors to travelers.
Europe is undeniably making progressive movements, though. Austria is allowing hotels to open once again on May 29, which is a massive step forward. It hopes to allow guests from neighboring countries rooms to rent, as well as even visitors from countries where infection rates are dwindling.
This would create some sort of tourism bubble within Europe, ultimately creating a space where tourism can rebuild safely. Following this theme of small-scale tourism, governments of countries where cases are decreasing hope to rescue their own tourism sector intrinsically.
With summer fast approaching in the Northern hemisphere, so does the season of tourism. Northern Europeans who typically spend the summer relaxing on the golden sands of Spain’s beaches, or splashing in the calm turquoise seas of Greece may not be able to do so this year. The solution to this – local tourism. Undeniably this is the best first step countries can take to support their tourism industries.
Not all cases limit local tourism to a single country, however. Close neighbors Australia and New Zealand have begun consideration to resume tourism between the two countries. It’s an arrangement that makes sense, with both reporting very few new cases each day.
This news does arrive as winter approaches for the two, creating less than ideal travel conditions as it is. Perhaps we will see the two wait until popular Asian destinations such as Bali or Thailand start to open their borders once again.
Speaking on Asia, the pandemic shows few signs of relent, costing the tourism infrastructure there up to $115 billion. Of these, Muslim countries particularly are affected. The 23 April – 23 May is the month of this year’s Ramadan, of which is capped off by the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
It’s tradition for workers who live and work far from home to return and see their families. Millions of domestic plane tickets are sold and it is a very profitable time of year.
Social distancing laws and restricted flights will restrict this. Indonesia, for example, has been forced to prohibit this ‘Mudik’ tradition. The incredibly social and collaborative cultures that reside within most of Asia have perhaps been hit the hardest by Covid-19.
South American Sightseeing?
South America too is not a likely travel destination within the near future. Tourism from other continents has obviously evaporated, yet for South America, this may be a more difficult industry to rebuild.
The wake of the Coronavirus pandemic has seen many Southern American economies smashed. Economies throughout South America are reliant on foreign investment. Resources such as oil, copper, and zinc have been this continent’s claim to fame in economic prosperity.
Yet, as their main investors – the United States, China and Europe have all had their economies hit by the virus, so is their ability to invest. These foreign investors have been forced into changing where their money goes, pulling out from their South American investments.
As the world economy pauses, the demand for many commodities does too. Thus, many jobs within the region are being lost, and people are losing money. If your citizens have no money, they cannot travel.
This is a problem for South America, as it seriously debilitates their ability to create a prosperous local tourism industry while waiting for the time to reopen borders. It may be a while before South America recoups from this crisis, leaving it an unlikely tourist hotspot any time soon.
Finally, the United States of America also shows little promise of approaching touristic capabilities once again. And the negligent attitude of most citizens isn’t helping, which is worrying considering summer is just around the corner.
If traditional summer activities continue this year, the crisis will only be exacerbated, ruling out tourism there for an even longer period of time. In fact, the American tourism industry is predicted to see a loss of at least $24 billion.
While in some parts of the world things are looking up, other parts have been unfortunately hit much harder. Tourism is a fragile industry, which has been almost entirely uprooted by this current pandemic.
For most, travel is a far away concept, with all there being left to do is keep washing your hands, and making sure you stay inside. It’s a fate that will only make traveling all the more enjoyable, once you finally are able to board that plane once again.
Check out my video below about “Finding Super Cheap Flights with the Google Flights Tool”