DestinationsClue: It’s about how quickly countries unlock their borders, and how slow they are to ditch quarantine measures.

Which countries are the most (and least) ready for tourism revival?

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Fiji is in a strong position to revive its tourism sector from the pandemic, according to Asia travel-ready index 2022 by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
Fiji is in a strong position to revive its tourism sector from the pandemic, according to Asia travel-ready index 2022 by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Photo Credit: Gettyimages/chameleonseye

The Economist Intelligence Unit has taken a deep dive into the state of travel in Asia and has found, quite clearly, that nothing is very clear at all.

China’s lockdown of its citizens and the war in Ukraine are having an impact across many parts of the region – but the impact on individual destinations varies, depending on how quickly countries unlock their borders, and how slow they are to ditch quarantine measures.

One thing is clear though, according to The Economist: Travellers care more about restriction measures than vaccination. Why? Restrictions require significant time and costs from travellers, and complicate travel plans.

Not surprising, of course, countries have taken the hint and many – among them Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia - have throttled back on their restrictions.

Border measures have been rendered less meaningful by the infectious Omicron variant, which has accelerated convergence of Covid-19 transmission profiles across the world. 

Even Hong Kong now says it will allow international visitors from May 1 with mandatory hotel quarantine reduced from 21 days to seven days.

The standout destination, according to The Economist, has been the Maldives, where tourism during the latter half of 2021 recovered to its 2019 level with public health indicators no worse than other countries.

China’s continued ban on its citizens leaving the country will keep a lid on global tourism growth for some time yet, but The Economist points to a couple of factors that will mitigate the loss of Chinese tourists.

In the short-term, India is poised to replace China as a major source of inbound visitors for the Maldives and Sri Lanka; and the revival of European outbound tourism will support recovery in popular long-haul destinations like Indonesia and Thailand.

Below is The Economist Intelligence Unit's Asia travel-ready index 2022.

Which countries are the most (and least) ready for tourism revival?

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