Holiday Hurdles – Today’s Top 20 Destinations
The past year has highlighted the importance of a good holiday.
I know I am desperate for an escape. Yearning to re-experience nature, wilderness, stretching horizons, sandy beaches, lazy-day sunshine, experimental cuisine, colourful cultures, faraway civilisations, intriguing experiences, adventure, activity, and the tough decision on what sundowner to choose. With or without the family.
I am equally aware, having spoken to so many of our clients, that while all our happiness-counters have us craving for a much-needed holiday, there are still several hurdles to negotiate before we can get away.
As a travel organiser, who has arranged no more than a handful of holidays over the past year, I am conscious that patience, backed up with considerable communication, continues to be the way. The world’s holiday destinations wait with bated breath and well dusted-down welcome mats, and we have a huge responsibility in communicating how all our destination and service providers are returning to a post-COVID travel world.
To a drum beat of vaccinations, testing, virus variables, and quarantine restrictions the three-way equation of whether we can depart our homelands, board appropriate transportation, and travel freely within our chosen destination, remains uncertain.
With such a fervent mood for ‘revenge-travel’, matching individual traveller’s aspirations with genuinely operational holiday services is critical. In addition, as one plans where to enjoy fresh seafood, a favourite wine, crashing surf or an adrenaline activity, the financial security of a holiday has never been more important.
The signs are positive. Particularly with the efficiency of the UK’s vaccine roll out. Every day further global destinations and transportation providers are announcing that the default mode entry requirement will be ‘have vaccine, have entry’.
Across the wider travel and tourism industry the stakes are high. Millions of stakeholders, globally, throughout all development levels, historically reliant on a resilient and flourishing tourism sector, await a return to tourist activity with high hopes.
The importance of travel as a driving force in protecting nature, culture and the environment for future generations remains vital. This has been highlighted with the recent fall in wildlife management across Africa, indigenous culture protection in Latin America and floundering tourism infrastructure developments in Asia. Equally COVID’s impact on deserted cultural sites, precarious eco-systems and remote communities has been disastrous.
Economically, a return to travel and tourism cannot come quickly enough.
The floundering global economy needs tourism’s return to its 10.3% of global GDP contribution (US$8.9 trillion). With 7.1 billion people (91% of global population) having lived with pandemic-related travel constraints, 1 in 10 worldwide jobs, which rely on tourism, urgently need us all to hurdle COVID’s red tape and embark on a much-needed holiday.
So, get that jab in, atlas out and suitcase down. Holiday happiness beckons.
To get you focused here are my ‘Top 20 Holiday Destinations’, that presently do not have travel restrictions or quarantines for negative-tested COVID travellers;