The diversity of tourism is addressed by activated policies from countries to countries. The recovery strategy accordingly differentiates a dynamic tourism economy. The following countries have timely proved how to react the tourism pending. LET’S START FOR A FAR BETTER !

Cambodia will require a US$3000 coronavirus deposit from travellers.

Cambodia is imposing a condition that has raised eyebrows, as it requires visitors to pay a $3000 (£2400) deposit by cash or credit card for “COVID-19 service charges” at the airport upon arrival, and have $50,000 (£40,000) of travel insurance cover.

Upon arrival at the airport, travellers will have to pay a $5 (£4) charge for transport to a testing centre, followed by $100 (£80) for a COVID-19 test. An overnight stay at a stipulated hotel or “waiting centre” while waiting for results costs $30 (£24), and it’s a further $30 (£24) per day for three meals. The remainder of the deposit will be returned provided the passenger, and the rest of the people on their flight, have a negative test result. Even so, they must self-isolate for 14 days after arrival in their chosen accommodation.

However, if the traveller tests positive for COVID-19, they will have to pay $3150 (£2500) for treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh and will be required to take up to four tests at another $100 (£80) each. If they succumb to the illness, the cremation service charge is $1500 (£1200). If any passenger on their flight tests positive for COVID-19, everyone on the flight will have to undergo a two-week quarantine period in approved accommodation, at a cost of $1176 (£939), and must undertake a second test at a cost of $100 (£80).

The government is preparing a tourism recovery strategy after the sector was severely impacted by the emergency measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister’s undersecretary, Ridwan Djamaluddin, said the government would soon establish a team to coordinate efforts to revive tourism alongside private companies and stakeholders.

“We are currently formulating a strategy and raising funds to revive tourism. The ministry has proposed establishing a joint team to coordinate our efforts, as the government and private sector cannot work separately

According to the latest data issued by Statistic Indonesia (BPS), foreign tourist arrivals fell 64.1 percent year-on-year (yoy) in March to 470,898 visitors, a level unseen since February 2009.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, however, believes tourism will rebound in 2021 with the government to prioritize it in its economic agenda, according to the Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko.

“The President projected that there would be a tourism boom next year and the industry should be ready for it,” he said during the discussion.

As part of the recovery program, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry will launch online marketing campaigns and improve hygiene and safety standards in major tourist destinations to attract foreign tourists.

“As part of the rebound strategy, we will deliver a message to the market that the safety and hygiene of our tourist destinations are in accordance with international standards. By doing so, we can spur confidence and maintain our credibility among potential visitors,”said the ministry’s deputy head of resources and institutional affairs, Frans Teguh.

In addition, Frans said the ministry also provided online training for tourism workers who wished to improve their skills and prepare themselves for shifts in consumer behavior.

Local administrations are also preparing various strategies, with health, safety and hygiene protocols a priority.

Bali’s deputy governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana said the province planned to establish “tourism clusters”, which would be exclusive tourist zones in which high-level health protocols would be implemented, so that tourists could be welcomed back without the risk of spreading COVID-19 to locals.

“We don’t want to have a second wave of infections when we reopen. Therefore, we are currently discussing setting up tourism clusters around the island,” he said.

Meanwhile, Belitung deputy regent Isyak Meirobie proposed offering tourism packages that would include a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for visitors who visited the island.

“The tourists would have to take a swab test on their arrival to the island, which would be part of the tour package. If they’re found negative, they could roam freely on the island,” he said.

In response to criticisms the government said it would suspend the open recruitment for business contractors and would revise the budget from the ground up to ensure unnecessary expenses are removed. The tourism recovery campaign was expected to launch in July, but to the disappointment of struggling local businesses a new start date has yet to be determined.

The campaign has also attracted confusion on social media, with misinformation and rumors leading overseas travelers to believe the Japanese government would cover 50 percent of inbound travel costs to Japan.

But some economic relief could be on its way. Local media are reporting that the first phase of easing entry bans — currently in place for 111 countries — could start in July under a travel bubble including Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Thailand. All four countries have strong business and tourism links with Japan. A travel bubble approach, which is also being implemented among Baltic countries, would open the border to countries based on low coronavirus cases and similar coronavirus prevention and testing measures. Japan will allow entry to 250 foreigners daily with a priority on business passengers followed by students and tourists as well as experts from China, South Korea, Australia, and the United States. The government is also considering setting up PCR testing stations for departing passengers with some countries allowing entry to travelers showing negative tests.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Disneyland reopens after five-month coronavirus break.

Hong Kong’s loss-making Disneyland theme park reopened on Thursday 18 June, to a limited number of local visitors and with enhanced health measures after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to close in late January.

In contrast to major outbreaks seen in other big cities around the world, Hong Kong has reported a relatively small number of infections, recording 1,121 cases and four deaths. The border remains virtually shut but life is slowly returning to normal.

Malaysia’s tourism industry braces for long road to recovery despite the resumption of interstate travel.

Although the Malaysian government has allowed domestic tourism to resume, industry players are expecting a slow pace of recovery as people remain wary of travelling due to COVID-19.

According to a Tourism Malaysia survey published in April, 50.9 percent of 13,797 respondents felt that travelling within the country would be safer after the Malaysia’s movement control order. In addition, 71.3 per cent of those surveyed said they would opt for domestic trips rather than holidays abroad.

Malaysia is currently in the recovery phase of the MCO, which is scheduled to last until Aug 31.

Socio-Economic Research Centre’s (SERC) executive director Lee Heng Guie noted that COVID-19 has severely affected the tourism industry. Take hotels for example, the occupancy rate is only at 20 per cent. Although the association of hotels is projecting occupancy to go up slowly between June and December, it will not be more than 30 per cent. Most importantly, the confidence to travel is going to take some time. If you want a stronger support catalyst, that has to come from international tourism and that as we know is going to take some time.

“The tourism industry in the “new normal” condition will re-operate step by step in accordance with the ministry’s roadmap and in cooperation with related tourism organizations.”

A strategic recovery plan for Myanmar tourism industry in the post-period of Covid-19 has been at the drafting stage since April.

The final draft released this week and forwarded to the travel trade by the Myanmar Tourism Federation includes three phases.

Survival. In the Survival phase taxes will be relaxed, license fees will be reduced, rental fees will be postponed, and loans will be provided for the hotels and tourism businesses.  There will be more online training for tourism professionals and staff, discussing travel destinations and tourism market assessments organize by Ministry of Hotels & Tourism.

Reopen. In the reopening phase two, tourism short term measures focusing on health and hygiene as well as domestic tourism will be implemented in June, July and August. Standard operating procedure (SOP) will be required for the health and safety of travellers and staff.  Promoting domestic travel will focus on opening travel to destinations starting this month. Pagodas, museums and parks will also be reopened in accordance with the national guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Relaunch. The third phase focuses on sustained relaunching of travel content over six months to a year, and this will include a new marketing campaign and a long-term plan that will reimagine Myanmar tourism. The government plans to create “travel bubbles” through bilateral agreements with Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam during this phase.

The government introduced an extension of temporary entry restrictions for travellers from all countries until 15 June.  However, Yangon International airport terminal remains operational for all domestic flights and special relief or repatriation flights.

“Myanmar Tourism Marketing is planning to launch domestic tourism campaign together with Ministry of Hotels & Tourism and other travel associations,” said Myanmar Tourism Marketing chairperson May Myat Mon Win, “We need to start with domestic tourism then we will open up to regional countries and follow by the long haul markets after the Covid-19 pandemic eases.”

Taiwan is planning to gradually reopen transportation and tourism in three stages, the last of which will allow foreign tourists to visit the country in October, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).

Stage 1: Relaxation of food ban and ticking restrictions
During the first stage, which will run between May 27 to July 31, passengers on trains will be allowed to eat food during their journey. However, they will still be required to wear face masks before and after eating.

In addition, starting with the Dragon Boat Festival holiday in Taiwan (June 25 to June 28), Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) trains will once again be allowed to sell standing tickets and Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) trains will be allowed to sell non-reserved seats.

Step 2: Tourism subsidies and end of face mask requirement
The second stage, which will take place between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, will include NT$2 billion (US$33 million) in subsidies for group tours, accommodations for independent travelers, amusement park tickets, tour and double-decker bus fares, and other discounts. Depending on the progress containing the outbreak and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) instructions, face masks, body temperature measurements, and social distance requirements may be discontinued.

Step 3: Opening Taiwan to international tourism
Due to the severity of the ongoing pandemic in much of the world, Lin said that opening the country to foreign tourists will be the last phase. The timeline currently planned for this is Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.

During this phase, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau will coordinate with the CECC and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on evaluating and stabilizing the epidemic situation. These agencies will work together to achieve recovery and secure growth opportunities for international tourism in Taiwan.

At the same time, government agencies will cooperate with the CECC on gradually relaxing various border control measures, including the restrictions on connecting flights, arrivals taking mass transportation, and international cruise ships. This will include the resumption of direct air and sea travel via the “mini-three-links” between the offshore islands of Kinmen and Matsu and China.

Taiwan’s control of the outbreak is the best form of international marketing. The minister expressed confidence that the country “will see the fastest recovery of tourism in Asia and even the world.”

Thailand approved a plan worth 22.4 billion baht ($720 million) to boost domestic tourism as the nation’s borders remain closed to foreign tourists because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Under the plan, visitors will pay 60% of hotel accommodation bills and the government covers the rest, up to 3,000 baht per night and for no more than five nights, a statement released after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday showed.

Other benefits include discounts for air tickets and concessionary travel packages for 1.2 million health workers and volunteers. The program will run from July 1 to October 31 and will cover a maximum of 5 million room nights and 2 million air tickets.

Thailand is suffering because it relies on foreign tourism receipts and exports, both of which have been hurt by the virus pandemic. Gross domestic product may shrink as much as 6% this year, and millions of jobs are in danger. The nation received no foreign tourists or related spending in April.

Source: Collection

Hanni TranDirector of Asia, Global Tourism Forum

Leave a Reply