TOURISM OUTLOOK IN THE PANDEMIC
A positive note from a country
Despite the rising number of infected COVID-19 cases globally, the city of Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE) still opens its door to welcome tourists from all over the world.
Except for the indispensable face masks and the rule of social distancing, life in the city where the economy relies heavily on tourism still goes on relatively normally. From restaurants and hotels to department stores, staffs keep welcoming guests and business activities continue.
The city of Dubai still welcomes tourists. Source: CNBC
The city of Abu Dhabi, a city of UAE less dependent on tourism, also welcomes tourists. However, unlike Dubai, this city proceeds with caution, asking incoming visitors to impose self-isolation quarantine when coming to this country. Tourists are required to wear face masks even when walking on small streets, keep the minimum safety distance with one another and always use hand sanitizer.
Dubai Airport tightens measures to control and prevent the pandemic. Source: Internet
The common story across the world
Despite the above silver lining, the gloomy atmosphere still cast on the world’s smokeless industry in 2020, and continue to drag on to the doorsteps of 2021. No country could escape the ban on moving people from country to country, the border closures at most countries or the suspension of entry of certain travelers.
Turkey: The COVID-19 pandemic had slashed two-third of this country’ revenues in tourism in year 2020. This heavy toll was the result of global travel restrictions, stay–home orders during the pandemic, and the closure of hotels and restaurants due to lack of customers just in the summer of last year.
Citizens and tourists in Turkey. Source: Internet
Singapore: Tourism in Singapore had endured what is called “the toughest year on record”. Just in the past year, visitor arrivals to this country fell by 85.7 percent from 19.1 million of the previous year, to reach 2.7 million visitors (nearly all from the first 2 months of 2020). Experts predicted that even when international movement restrictions and border closures are lifted after the pandemic, it would take more than a year for Singapore tourism to recover to how it was before COVID-19.
Singapore residents during the pandemic. Source: AP
Indonesia: Indonesia recorded 4.02 million foreign tourist visits during 2020, a sharp drop of 75.03 percent compared to 16.11 million arrivals in the previous year. The sharp drop occurred due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, which hurt the tourism sector and its supporting factors. Among nearly 165,000 foreign visitors arrived in Indonesia in the month of December, 89 percent was not for travels, but businesses, assignments, or work visits to international institutions.
Body temperature check at Indonesia airport. Source: TTXVN
THE BOOMING OF SAFE TRAVEL TRENDS DURING COVID-19
The “near-home” tours
According to a recent poll, 82 percent of 1000 people surveyed in the U.S. responded that they had changed their travel plans; 22 percent of which had cancelled flights to switch to road trips. The distance from their home to their booked hotels or accommodation facilities also shortened down to around 100 miles (approximately 160 km).
In Vietnam, tourist destinations that are considered “near-home” must not take long to get there. A ride for 3-4 hours is considered too much for most travelers seeking the “near-home” experience. In addition, the destination must be a total sum of various experiences: culinary, relaxation, sightseeing – taking photos and last but not least: shopping for memorable souvenirs
The trend of “isolated”, close–to–nature destinations
Due to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, the destinations that have the potentials to attract large groups of tourists are not a choice for cautious travelers at the moment. Places that are not well-known but possess magnificent view of mountainous areas and the ocean, become the most-searched key words for travelers looking for a getaway. These places easily become the top choices because of the low possibility of large gatherings compared to big cities.
Destinations that are not well-known are preferred this season. Source: Internet
For tourists with the love for long voyages, destinations and transport methods of choice are far more unique, leaning towards the “lone travelers” spectrum, with ideal choices being islands that are isolated and with absolute solitude. Due to their remote and distanced location, the islands prove to be unaffected by the epidemic. And because of that, these places have also become the safe havens for travelers who are afraid of COVID-19.
Travelling to a remote island seems to be a safe choice. Source: Shutterstock
And the trend of “at-home” travelling
With the news of increasing number of COVID cases across the world, people do not need warning signs like global movement restrictions or stay-home orders to cancel all their plans for those long-awaited trips. However, for many people, a short tour to popular destinations in their area seems to be an alternative for the far trip. This tour often consists of famous sight-seeing tourist destinations or those famous new bistros that everybody has checked in.
A trip to an eatery. Source: Nguyễn Việt Travel
This new type of tour usually takes a few hours. Not only does it attract local tourists, this tour also proves to be a big hit among tourists who want to experience the culture, the culinary and get to know the local people. Tourists’ experience will get even more special if they book a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, the place where different Southern Vietnam cultures and identities come together. A afternoon ride on a symbolic scooter of old Sai Gon around famous sites and eateries will leave tourists the memory like no other.
The diverse culinary experience in Ho Chi Minh City. Source: Nguyễn Việt Travel
MAKE YOUR HEALTH SAFETY THE FIRST PRIORITY
Whether you are going on trip or have opted to stay home, please remember the these 5 pieces of advice that Vietnam’s Ministry of Health had issued:
- Face mask: Always wear a face mask in public places, in places that have large gatherings; also wear face masks ate medical facilities and isolation quarantine camps.
- Disinfection: Wash and disinfect your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitizer. Clean thoroughly frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, cellphones, tablets, tables, chairs, etc…). Keep your hygiene, clean and leave your area ventilated.
- Distance: Keep your distance in public areas during social distancing.
- No gatherings: Do not organize any gatherings.
- Health declaration form: submit your health declaration form to the health authority at your area, download suggested mobile apps to keep trace of COVID infections around you and prevent possible contraction.
The above advice not only are useful when you are in the middle of a trip at a far-away place, but even at home, they also are helpful to ensure your own safety against COVID-19. Strictly follow these advice, and you have helped keep yourselves safe and everyone around you safe as well, while the whole world is battling COVID-19 together.
Given the increasingly complex and unpredictable COVID situation, it is advised that you do not have any travel plans unless it is for business purpose or an emergency. But if you have to plan an urgent trip, you can learn more about immigration requirements as well as health checks and monitoring at some countries in the articles that we have posted.
Let's safely overcome the pandemic, so you can join us on new journeys that await you!