Will Tourism Bubbles Work?
Some countries depend mainly on tourism. A huge chunk of their economy relies on tourists. Therefore, this pandemic has brought despair to many of these countries. Some of them are itching to reopen their borders. They would love to have the tourists back and hope that things will soon get back to normal.
The problem is that once tourists come back, a potential outbreak is on the horizon. It’s even worse for small island countries. If the virus can spread in huge nations, imagine how terrible it would be for islands. Besides, if we are to look at other countries that managed to contain the virus and had another outbreak due to its reemergence, it’s terrible.
As such, some countries are now proposing a travel bubble. It’s a bilateral or multilateral agreement involving different nations, specifically the ones that already contained the spread of the virus. Allowing tourists from these places would no longer require a 14-day quarantine, but the places that could be visited are limited. The details depend on the countries involved, but it’s now an idea that’s getting a lot of attention. It’s also said to pave the way for the revival of the tourism industry. The question is, will it work?
Not ideal, but it could work
The reason behind tourism bubble is to gradually encourage people to travel again for leisure purposes. The targets are mainly wealthy people who are already tired of staying at home. The host county also requires a lot from the travelers. It includes travel insurance, swab tests before and after the flight, and bank statement. These requirements make it easier are a huge burden, but they’re the only way to prevent the potential spread of the virus. They also guarantee that foreigners who tested positive can afford the treatment. If movements are controlled and flights are limited, this idea could work. Besides, it targets a very specific group of people who will at least keep the economy going.
Not a good precedent
If travel bubbles become the norm, they’re not a good precedent for the future of travel. It means that only those who can afford to pay for expensive insurance premiums and show a bank statement worth a huge sum of money can travel. Airlines have made tourism more accessible to a lot of people by drastically reducing the price, and this new policy changes everything. Traveling becomes more difficult than ever. Besides, if only a handful of people can travel, it might not be enough to revive the tourism industry.
As terrible as it seems, travel bubbles might be the only feasible option right now. For people who are financially capable of traveling and are willing to take risks, it’s an option. For countries that are now in crisis due to the lack of tourists, it’s also a good way to somehow revive the economy. Hopefully, it will just be a temporary idea that won’t be the standard in the long run. Tourism has to be where it was before the pandemic, and everyone should find it easy to go on a trip.
1st and featured image from https://imagevars.gulfnews.com/2020/01/30/Ao-Nang–Thailand_16ff5bfb5b3_large.jpg
2nd image from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/tourism-coronavirus-travel-bubble-lockdown/