It’s been a slow year in just about every economic sector, and the tourism industry is no exception. According to the Mobility Market Outlook on COVID-19, the tourism industry’s global revenue for 2020 will be an estimated 447.4 billion U.S. dollars, marking a sharp decrease of around 34.7 percent from 2019. But at long last, a number of countries around the world have started to reopen their borders for tourism. Since the beginning of the worldwide quarantine measures in March, would-be travelers have been counting down the days until they can return to their jet-setting ways.
So which countries are re-opening their borders to tourists soon?
Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport has been back open since August 15, but tourists will only be allowed to return starting October 1. All visitors and returning citizens must present a negative COVID-19 test before boarding the flight or be tested for the virus upon arrival.
There’s a catch, though: all visitors can only stay at a hotel or resort that has received the Belize Tourism Gold Standard of Recognition. The requirements for this designation include an on-property restaurant, private transportation both to and from the airport, and stringent cleanliness measures.
Before you go, make sure you get a certified negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours or leaving and have your approved housing all booked and sorted. Be sure to wear face masks at the airport in addition to practicing social distancing. You can also download the Belize Health App to receive any updates regarding social distancing measures in Belize.
This populous Muslim country has been hit pretty hard by the coronavirus, with a death toll surpassing 6000. The government even took some unprecedented measures to stem the outbreak, like canceling the annual hajj pilgrimage. Nevertheless, the Indonesian government is taking incremental steps toward reopening for tourism.
Bali, one of the most popular island tourist destinations in Indonesia, has had success in stemming their coronavirus outbreak and may even reopen to tourists starting in October. Seeing as Bali’s economy largely depends on tourism, this is a welcome reprieve from the economic downturn they’ve experienced this year.
Even though international travel is still largely banned in Indonesia, the economy is in the process of fully re-opening, and is expected to continue gearing its tourism sector back up through the end of the year.
This Southeast Asian country is fully reopening its borders to tourists starting October 1. The Phuket area in particular will be heavily hit with this refreshing influx of tourists, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand has taken steps to help mitigate any risks of new outbreaks:
Phuket will only be open to a handful of countries, which have yet to announced.
Visitors will also have to have health insurance that covers COVID-19 in order to enter the country, fill out a health declaration form upon arrival, must wear a mask at all times while in Thailand, wash their hands frequently, maintain a distance of one meter from others while in public, wear GPS tracking systems during the 14-day quarantine that will track their location, and take temperature checks both when they arrive in and leave Thailand.
If you are considering traveling during the pandemic, it is essential that you review and comply with your destination’s COVID-19 restrictions and precautions. Checking with your destination’s tourism board is the new normal in 2020.