The economy has indeed been hit so hard as a result of this pandemic, especially tourism. Destinations are all looking into when they can re-open their markets to receive travelers. Many are calling to open Airports and Borders to attract tourism. That’s needed for sure, yet what’s more important is to know what measures Governments will take with respect to the Covid-19 tests and quarantine. If no rapid PCR tests will be available at air, sea and land borders and the quarantine condition of 14 days is not canceled at least with countries on a similar level of cases and cure rates, there will be no tourism for sure.
Some destinations are so anxious to have the tourism wheel rolling again. Destinations that were used to receive millions of travelers and tourists, contributing hugely to their economies, are opening up very fast, ruling out restrictions to almost all nationalities. In my opinion, this may have a negative impact on the control of the pandemic.
Covid-19 is still there, the threat is still among us, and we should not forget the hard times we all suffered from, seeing loved ones dying while we could do little for them, witnessing the medical systems in most countries collapsing due to the widespread of the infection. The lockdown, the isolation. But let’s think of it, it was for our own sake as well.
Destinations that are opening quickly have to evaluate the situation more scientifically. I might be wrong, but today we are witnessing an increase in the number of infections worldwide, it might be related to the opening of the society. Is it the 2nd wave?
The other set of destinations are those who took the scientific approach when deciding whom to target. They classified their target markets. (A, B&C). The least infected and highest cure rate, the infected but in a recovery mode and the countries which are still witnessing high number of cases.
These destinations have started studying their options early on. They began by creating bilateral agreements, safe bubbles, and corridors. They decided to ease restrictions for travelers of the A group (the least infected and highest cure rate) by waving the 14 days quarantine and no tests upon arrival.
For B group (infected markets but in a recovery mode) they require that travelers will undergo rapid tests upon arrival to make sure they are Covid-19 free and some may be asked to bring a certificate of being free when traveling not older than 72 hours from the date of arrival to the destination.
C group (markets still witnessing a high number of cases) are not allowed to enter until further notice.
I believe that this model is the ideal one to start with, provided by tests when needed should be rapid and convenient for the travelers and will give the destination a peace of mind and will contribute in attracting more tourists and travelers.
The last model is destinations who are hesitant to open up for many reasons; their Health capabilities, their medical situation, etc., even though they are also suffering economically. These destinations will eventually open up but will have a minimal share of the market if any.
The overall observation is that the demand and the level of people traveling will be at its minimum. People are still hesitant to travel according to many studies conducted in the past few months and weeks. Some destinations will be able to attract some travelers while others, mainly those who have an excellent domestic tourism flow, will depend on that until things get better.
As I always say, people will still travel, but in times of uncertainty, many of us will pause, think about priorities, and what is more important. Tourism is about enjoying your time with your loved ones or even alone, maybe to switch off and relax.
The question is, Can you now?
I wish all travelers safety and enjoyable trips whenever they choose to do so.
”Adel M. AminTravel & Tourism Expert // Former Deputy Managing Director - Jordan Tourism Board