For nearly two years, countries around the world struggled with a complete halt in tourism-related revenues. But, now most of them are calling foreign tourists back. Several countries are reopening their borders now to welcome international travelers. They are pushing for tourism’s restart while curbing flare-ups in COVID-19. Airlines are increasing the number of flights in anticipation of the tourism boom.
Potential travelers and tourism operators alike are cautiously optimistic about the reopening of countries to foreign visitors. There is no doubt that full recovery to pre-COVID level tourism numbers will take some time. But, the demand for international travel is already getting stronger.
Australia reopened itself for foreign tourists on February 21. On Feb 1, Thailand restarted its “Test & Go”, a quarantine-free tourism initiative recently. Indonesia had opened its doors to foreign travelers in late 2021. Malaysia has announced its plans to reopen its borders for all vaccinated tourists from March 2021 with no quarantine restrictions. Turkey has already rolled its welcome mat to foreign travelers with some restrictions. They saw a 151% surge in tourism numbers in January 2022. Japan also announced a limited reopening plan for inbound tourism on February 22.
Challenges to the Tourism Industry
The current tourism picture is not all that rosy. A lot of countries are still facing a spike in Omicron-related cases. The tourism sector could be caught in the Russia-Ukraine crossfire too. Based on the data available, we see the global tourism sector facing the following long-term challenges which will impact its ability to revive and thrive in the post-pandemic era.
- Environmental degradation due to increased tourism-related activities
- A possible return of deadly COVID as a result of increased mobility
- Possibility of another deadly pandemic breakout
What is Your Take on the Halal Tourism Rebound?
Halal tourism had been growing globally before the pandemic started. We hope to see its revival in 2022 and beyond. But, a few people may have a different opinion on this issue. Please let us know in the comments below about what the future holds for the Halal tourism sector in the coming months. We know a lot of Halal tourism operators are hoping for the revival of the industry in the coming weeks.