Updates: The world is beginning to open up again!Posted on 06/07/2021 by Hayley Clark
In March last year, countries around the world slammed their borders shut. It was a shocking move, and one that largely stopped international tourism in its tracks.
Yet in an incredible collective effort, it has taken little over a year to create and roll out a vaccine, and that has meant many countries are once again looking to open their borders and welcome international tourists back in.
Here’s a little more about what’s happening around the world!
The G20 Rome Guidelines for the Future of Tourism
In early May, the G20 Tourism Ministers set out a series of guidelines for the future of tourism, which has been widely praised by industry bodies, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
These guidelines essentially outline the changes that have occurred over the past 18 months, then discuss how this global ‘pause’ can be used for future improvements in the industry. From safety and security as a major focus, to ensuring consumer confidence, and prioritising a ‘sustainable development agenda’, these governments have essentially agreed to work to improve the industry as a whole.
This set of guidelines doesn’t just look ahead to an exciting future of tourism and travel, but also seeks ways to improve the experience for everyone involved.
Borders opening to vaccinated travellers
Vaccine passports are still in the works, but that’s not stopping some countries opening up to certain fully vaccinated travellers.
France opened its doors to vaccinated travellers who can provide a negative PCR test on arrival (unvaccinated travellers must quarantine on arrival), as of early June. Greece, Israel, Ireland, The Seychelles, Poland, Spain, Germany, and numerous other countries have also announced that travellers with two doses of the vaccine (and often a recent negative test) can enter without quarantine.
It is expected that more countries will announce similar rules soon. There are some restrictions, such as for countries like India and Brazil where the virus is still out of hand, but it is overall very exciting news for the tourism industry.
What about New Zealand?
New Zealand is in a unique position in the world where we have remained largely virus-free throughout the pandemic, which means our approach to opening up will likely look a little different to the rest of the world.
For now, the focus is on vaccinating as much of the population as possible. This will help to give Kiwis protection once the borders do open up – which is why it is likely that government will wait until the majority are vaccinated before considering opening.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that right now, “where vaccine rollout in New Zealand is incomplete, the number of countries we can safely open up to is limited.”
She would not yet comment on whether it will be a case of opening once the vaccine rollout is complete, or working with some kind of vaccine passport. The government has indicated that modelling around these scenarios is in the works, so we may be able to expect potential plans in the coming months.
For now, we in New Zealand’s tourism industry are excitedly watching as the world reopens, and as New Zealand determines its own path for a safe reopening, knowing that it all leads to travel and tourism once again booming.
If you’d like to be part of this exciting industry as it booms once again, now’s the time to earn a qualification that will open doors here in New Zealand and around the world. Get in touch with Study From Home to see what our courses in travel, tourism, and aviation can offer you.
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