Over the past few months, China has witnessed a drop in the tourism sector. That’s all thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since the first case of COVID-19 in China, the virus has led to thousands of deaths.
With that in mind, international travel has been restricted and puts the focus on domestic tourism. That will help stimulate economic growth as we crawl back to a more stable economy.
Spurring up Domestic Travel
Without a doubt, domestic travel is becoming one of the emerging trends, especially in countries that are successful in avoiding the outbreak of Corona Virus. Most of these countries rely on tourism when it comes to the country’s GDP.
One of the countries that have been strong in avoiding COVID-19 is Thailand. That’s with more than half of the infected patients recovering from the dreaded virus. Last year alone, Thailand had over 40 million tourists making it the most visited country in the region. The country is also making efforts to boost its domestic tourism by July.
Thailand is planning to borrow $31 billion, and invest the more substantial part of this money in stimulating the growth of this industry. On the other hand, the Philippines, with a GDP of 12.7% in 2018 alone, has given specific guidelines and sanitation procedures necessary for domestic tourists. That will generally help improve the economy and also promote local tourism among the citizens.
Another country that’s surprising most people is; Vietnam. In fact, as of 30th May 2020, Vietnam has zero COVID-19 related deaths. With that in mind, Vietnamese people are encouraged to travel within the country to boost the economy.
How significant will the consequences be?
As much as domestic tourism will offer some sort of cushioning effect to the emerging economies during this lockdown period, it’s unlikely that it will fully cover the losses incurred from restrictions in international travel. According to the IMF, the global economy will likely drop by 3% this year or even more.
What’s more, further job losses across the globe is resulting in pressure in the household finances. That leaves most people unwilling or unable to spend money on travel. Meaning, as much as we’d love to push domestic tourists to travel in the local destinations, the pressure in their households is making it difficult for them to do so.
Thailand tourism accounts for 18% of its GDP, with about 6% of domestic tourists. The question here is, would the domestic tourism be the outcome for Thai Hotels?
So, what next?
As much as we are now shifting all our focus to domestic tourism, sooner or later, we’ll have to allow selective international travel. More importantly, some countries have considered opening their borders and allowing restricted movement to countries that are successful at battling COVID-19.
That will help kickstart the economy back. For instance, Vietnam is planning on creating a travel bubble with countries such as New Zealand and Australia since these countries are actively battling the virus. More importantly, Vietnam is also planning on opening her boarders to South Korea and China. That’s because these countries hold key tourist markets in the region.