Tourism has been among the hardest hit of all sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. The travel and tourism sector, which is slowly opening up now, had come to a sudden halt due to pandemic-forced lockdown.
September 27, which is celebrated as the World Tourism Day, represents an opportunity to rethink the future of the tourism sector, including how it contributes to the sustainable development goals, through its social, cultural, political, and economic value, said the United Nations.
The 2020 edition of World Tourism Day comes at a critical moment, as countries around the world look to tourism to drive recovery, including in rural communities where the sector is a leading employer and economic pillar providing jobs and opportunity, most notably for women and youth, the UN added.
Tourism is a lifeline, offering young people a chance to earn a living without having to migrate either within their home countries or abroad, noted the UN.
Meanwhile, here are 4 safe places to visit amid COVID-19 pandemic:
1. New Zealand
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday said the country was edging towards eliminating COVID-19. She announced New Zealand would from move down to virus level one in its four-tier alert system, except for Auckland, where the country's most recent outbreak emerged. The decision means that mass gatherings, such as the first Bledisloe Cup rugby Test between the All Blacks and Australia in Wellington on October 11, can proceed without restrictions. The country has reported only 25 deaths in a population of five million.
An archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles, reported just 143 COVID-19 cases ever since the pandemic broke, with no deaths. The country has reopened for tourists. However, tourists from only a few countries including Austria, Malaysia, Cambodia, Mauritius, Canada, etc. are permitted to travel.
Citizens from "high risk" countries like United States, India, Bangladesh, South Africa etc. must show a negative result of coronavirus test, not older than 72 hours, or go through 10 -days mandatory quarantine before entering Austria. However, people from Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom etc. are allowed to enter Austria without restrictions.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva in June said that the Balkan nation is one of the safest tourist destinations to travel to amid the current coronavirus pandemic situation. In a statement, the Health Ministry allowed tourists from Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, Moldova, Israel and Kuwait to visit its resorts if they have negative COVID-19 tests, reported Reuters.