Countries study how to leverage tourism amid the restrictions on movement imposed by the coronavirus
The tourism sector is one of the most affected by the restrictions imposed due to the global health crisis. In October, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) published a note stating that there was a 70% drop in international travel between January and August 2020 compared to the previous year. The numbers mean about 700 million fewer tourists traveling around the world – a loss of US$ 730 billion. In Brazil, Fundação Getúlio Vargas estimates that there will be a loss of R$ 116.7 billion over three years – an estimated period for the sector's recovery.
Entrepreneurs and governments are still studying how to leverage tourism amid the restrictions on movement and social isolation imposed by the new virus. Even with more doubts than concrete answers – Europe, for example, predicted a reopening that was stopped due to the second wave of the disease.
To expedite the industry's recovery, support measures are being created around the world, including ticket subsidies and security seals. Check out some of the most attractive and unusual.
One of the European destinations most sought after by Brazilians, Italy embarked on the search for solutions to the crisis. In Venice, the entrance fee that was due to take effect in July this year was postponed to January 2022. The measure was aimed precisely at reducing the flow of tourists in the city, to control the number of visitors. The fee will be applied to any tourist who does not stay overnight in the historic center, ranging from 3 to 8 euros (R$19.30 to R$ 51.40 at the current rate).
Sicily, on the other hand, plans to invest in tourism by subsidizing the stay for those who visit the island. on your website, the voucher program See Sicily explains that the details are still being finalized and registration will be open soon. The local government, however, has already announced that it will cover a third of the costs of hosting visitors, as well as admission to some of the tourist attractions.
While tourists still feel insecure about traveling in foreign lands, many of the Italian attractions can be visited online – the case of the Vatican itself.
Portugal, another of the destinations most sought after by Brazilians in Europe, is focusing on the resumption of its domestic tourism, as the European Union continues with restrictions for tourists who are not part of the bloc, including Brazilians.
The country created the “Clean & Safe” seal, intended for hotels, restaurants and agencies that follow hygiene and cleanliness requirements to avoid contamination by coronavirus. With a loss of 64.5% in the sector's revenue, Portugal sees other tourism and entertainment options gaining space for revenue — the case of online casinos, legalized since 2016. According to the Turismo de Portugal Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service (SRIJ ), licensed casinos nearly doubled their revenues in the first half of 2020 compared to the previous year. New casinos like Casinos.pt also had licenses granted in this period, as a result of the increased demand for the service.
Other countries, like Switzerland, are betting on luxury tourism as an answer. Its strategy is to publicize its tourist destinations and luxury hotels, targeting an audience that seeks comfort without worrying about values. It is estimated that this will be one of the first niche markets to resume travel.
While the entry of foreigners is still restricted, the country is also betting on its own citizens to rescue the sector. The government must provide 200 francs per resident for the Swiss themselves to spend on tourism.
Come to Cancun 2×1 is the program launched by the Caribbean paradise to attract tourists. For every two paid nights, visitors receive two free nights. The same goes for car rentals. Part of the plane tickets, in the case of more than one visitor, must also be refunded.
It has always been said that in the midst of crises, the greatest opportunities arise. This has never been more true than in 2020. People, companies and government are reinventing themselves and breaking paradigms. Whether the planet will be the same after all this, we cannot say. But who knows it will be even better?
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