At the tourism conference Phuket Last month, the Prime Minister of Thailand looked at the audience and asked questions with predictable answers.
“Are you ready?” Prayut Chan-ocha began to dramatically remove his mask and hope that the country’s economy would recover after more than two years. Coronavirus-driven restrictions. When the mob shouted the answer – yes, according to local media – it could be speaking for the whole epidemic-ridden world.
But a full recovery can take as long as an outbreak, according to estimates and Interviews By the Associated Press in 11 countries in June. They suggest that the expected rebound is less like a definite bounce – and like a flood path coming out of a deep and dark cave.
Some locations, such as the French Riviera and the American Midwest, are contributing more to the climb than others – such as the shuttered, “Zero-COVID” China, which previously Epidemic Tourists and their expenses were the world’s major source.
The human drive to bust out and explore is helping to fuel climbing, packing flights and museums despite the growing coronavirus infection and inflation. But economic urgency is the real driver for an industry worth $ 3.5 trillion in 2019, which the United Nations estimates has lost a lot during the epidemic. According to some estimates, Tourism Provides work to one in 10 people on Earth.
Many places, especially those with delayed safety requirements, are watching to see what happens to the sun’s optimistic and adventurous go-go summer.
“They’re saying it’s the summer of revenge,” said Theresa Strata, 52, a Pittsburgh resident, looking at the crowd in a canal in Amsterdam in the Dutch capital. “Everything around the world looks so bad, so it’s nice to see some things coming back.”
“The road to full recovery is a long way off, but at least we are back in it,” said Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Road Business Association. Bangkok.
Despite the roar of passengers, challenges and uncertainty overshadowed the post-epidemic landscape. Full recoveries are not generally expected until at least 2024. Concerns revolve around a long list of issues, including inflation, supply chain problems, and so on. Infection Rate and labor shortage.
Before that ended, anarchy came to define travel in the summer of 2022. Airports And airlines cut to the depths of the epidemic struggled to meet demand, resulting in flights being canceled, luggage lost and others, various nightmares. Frightened tourists booked trips at short notice, making it difficult for hotels, tour operators and others to plan, industry insiders said.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine also added to the risk of uneven recovery and contributed to inflation – a factor that could be a major obstacle to alleviating the suffering of other epidemics.
“This is indeed the autumn season, which is a matter of concern,” said Sandra Carvao, head of market intelligence and competition at the United Nations World Tourism Organization. If inflation continues to rise, especially interest rates, “Families Your costs will have to be reconsidered. “
For all lifted viruses Stop travelingIt is unlikely to decrease as a security concern.
“The most important thing for people is when they decide to go on vacation Health And security. It has always been, “said Simon Hudson, a professor of tourism at the University of South Carolina, who is writing a book on epidemic recovery.” It will take some time.
Starting with bright spots, the United Nations reported that in the first quarter of 2022, international arrivals nearly tripled compared to the same quarter last year. March this year produced the healthiest results since the onset of the epidemic, with arrivals climbing nearly 50% of the 2019 level. This could increase to 70% of 2019 arrivals by the end of this year, UNWTO said in revised estimates in May.
It ranges from Israel to the United States, Italy, Mexico And France. Reset like in Thailand is all anger. Big plans for 2023 are closed in the United States, such as a cruise featuring some of Broadway’s biggest stars.
Those launches are playing on the ground, usually in places where aggressive and agile restrictions were initially in place and were adapted by raising more defenses as vaccines increased. omicron Proved to be less deadly than other variants.
Foreign tourists are flocking to places like the French Riviera, where supply-chain problems are making everything expensive – including champagne, a restaurant said.
“It’s been hot since spring, every single one Night“Since April, the bistro has been full of visitors from Scandinavia and the Netherlands, but especially from the United Kingdom and the United States,” said Eli Dagar, manager of La Villa Massenet in Nice.
In Branson, Missouri, known for its country music shows and outdoor attractions, no rebound is required. It hosted a record 10 million visitors last year and appears to be at the top of that pace, said Lynn Berry, a spokeswoman for the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Jeff Johnson, co-owner of Shepherd of the The mountains Adventure Park, credited with a short shutdown in 2020, has a loyal customer base drawn from nearby states and cities such as St. Louis and Kansas City. “When we reopened,” he said, “it never slowed down.”
In Italy, Tourists – especially from the United States – returned in large numbers this year. The run-up to Easter was particularly noteworthy RomeReflects the paint-up demand to visit perennial all-star sites such as the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum.
“There’s a great urge to travel here, like popping (cancer) from a bottle,” said Bernabeu Boca, president of the National Hotel Association Federberg. The moment Italy delayed security measures in April, “the tsunami of bookings arrived United States At a speed never seen before. “
Expectations are also high for Thailand, following its announcement last month that the country was abandoning all requirements other than proof of vaccination, or in its absence, negative coronavirus testing.
Already back Tourists It has brought new life in local tourism. Bangkok’s famous backpacker street, Khao San Road, almost deserted last year, is attracting 5,000,000 visitors per day – a promising number but far from the 30,000 daily visitors before the epidemic, according to Ruangwattankul, president of the business association.
Thailand is an instructive form in the struggle for recovery, with China A major factor. By 2019, a quarter of all foreign tourists visiting Thailand were Chinese, but there is no sign of that returning.
The appropriate nature of post-epidemic climbing can be seen from Israel to India.
“I think we are moving in the right direction,” said Vaibhav Khulbe, a restaurant operator in Dharamsala, India, where 4 million visitors are expected to visit the country this year, up from 11 million in 2019.
As elsewhere in the world, Israel is struggling to match its 2019 record-setting tourism, when 4.5 million people visited. Even if all restrictions are lifted, Israel About 2 million visitors are expected this year – less than half, according to tourism ministry officials. Adding to other concerns, political strife is an issue following a wave of deadly Palestinian violence inside Israel in the spring with the fall of the government last month.
Still, the ministry is reporting steady, gradual, climbs. An unusual convergence of spring religious holidays for Jews, Christians and Muslims helped boost visitors in April. As of May, the number of Visitors It had increased by 57 percent in the same month two years ago.
But the recovery has been uneven for many, especially in the occupied West Bank.
“We expected at least a lot of people to come this month, May, June, but it’s still too late,” said Wissam Salsa, manager of The World of Hotels in Bethlehem, the old town below where President Joe Biden is expected. Visit during a visit to Israel in July and Saudi Arabia
Designed and painted by London-based artist Banksy, the hotel is locally operated and famous – but struggling. Expanded Physically At the time of the epidemic, however, 32 out of 50 people have been forced to whitewash their employees. In June, its occupancy rate was about 30%.
“Tourism here,” Salsa said, “is very weak.”
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