Tourism plays an important role in the development of local and regional economies everywhere in the world. It has a direct positive impact on the livelihood of those employed in the sector. It boosts the revenue of host countries or regions. creates jobs, develops the needed infrastructure, and creates a sense of cultural awareness and exchange among tourists and locals.
The COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years has almost halted the industry giving a devastating blow to various economies around the globe. And, of course, Halal tourism, being its sub-sector, is no different.
According to a report compiled by the Asian Development Bank, there are four groups of economies in terms of tourism dependence in the Asia Pacific region. The following table may help some of our readers determine where they stand in terms of Halal tourism and what they could do to help revive the tourism sector in their respective countries
Four Groups of Economies in terms of Tourism Dependence
|Highly tourism-dependent economies|
(more than 10% of the GDP)
Hong Kong, China
(5% to 10% of GDP)
Federated States of Micronesia
|Economies with major tourism|
(2.5% to 5% of GDP)
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
|Economies with minor tourism|
(less than 2.5% of GDP)
Papua New Guinea
People’s Republic of China
Republic of Korea
The report has divided countries in Asia on the basis of the relative economic contribution the tourism sector makes in these countries. However, the overall revenue in dollar terms is different for all these countries.
For example, Japan, being the third-largest country (after the US and China) in terms of tourism-related income earned US$359 in 2019.
The report by the Asian Development Bank further suggests strategies to revive the tourism sector. These policies provide a possible blueprint for countries to recover the sector. However, these could be implemented by governments only.
Possible Strategies For Tourism Recovery
The tourism market is expected to grow again in the post-COVID world. However, the economic impact of the rebound may be different for all countries. The recent Ukraine war has negatively affected the tourism industry.
Sri Lanka had heavily depended on a large number of Russian and Ukrainian tourists. It also used to export home-grown coffee to these countries in large quantities. But, now it is facing serious challenges to its economy as the tourism revenue are already dried up, the Oil price has increased at record levels and they do not have enough money to meet their financial obligation to foreign governments and institutions.
Before countries start investing to promote inbound tourism they may want to focus on domestic tourism initiatives. Once domestic tourism rebounds in these economies they will get ready to attract foreign tourists.
- Promote domestic tourism
- Establish bilateral travel bubbles
- Establish subregional travel bubbles
Although the following strategies are not a part of the policy options given by the Bank, we would suggest governments fully vaccinate their citizens so that they could start traveling without facing any travel-related bans.