[Disclaimer: The South African government has banned all non-essential domestic travel and all international travel despite travel incentives.]
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the majority of the world has gone into some sort of lockdown or isolation with businesses and entire industries being irrevocably affected. The event and tourism industry, in particular, has taken a major hit across the globe with airlines closing shop and hotels and resorts sitting with vacant rooms for the foreseeable future.
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Last month, the Italian island of Sicily announced its plans to kickstart their tourism sector again with an itetic=vised plan, and now a handful of other countries are following suit as Business Insider reports. Take a look some of the incentives “on the table” below and read more in the latest COVID-19 related news, right here.
Japan: Subsidized Travel. The head of the Japan Tourism Agency announced this week that the government has created an incentivised plan to boost tourism by offering to subsidize a portion of travellers expenses.
While the finer details of the program are yet to be announced, some sources say that the program will apply to domestic travellers while other sources say the program could follow Italy’s lead by extending the subsidy to international visitors when travel restrictions are lifted.
Cancun, Mexico: Free hotel stays, car rental, and discounts at theme parks, golf courses, and spas. Mexico hopes to welcome back tourists from mid-June, and a new campaign is being launched to promote destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, like Cancun and Cozumel.
Sicily, Italy: Accommodation and flight cost up to 50% covered, and free tickets to attractions. The government is offering to pay for tourists to go on holiday in Sicily and has budgeted US$50 million to get people visiting the island. The Sicilian government will reportedly pay for half of a visitors airfare as well as prepared one-third of the hotel expenses. As soon as air travel is safe again, vouchers for this deal will be up for grabs via Sicily’s tourism website.
Madeira, Portugal: Free coronavirus tests. The Portuguese islands of Madeira, are set to reopen to international tourists on July 1. Under the islands’ plans, all visitors will have to prove they tested negatively for the coronavirus within 72 hours before departure or be tested upon arrival, with costs covered by the Madeira government.
Cyprus: Accommodation, food, and medicine costs covered for any tourist who gets the coronavirus while visiting. Cyprus has promised to cover the costs of tourists who fall ill with Covid-19 while visiting the island. Authorities have said they will pay for any accommodation, food, and medicine used by patients and their families should any tourist test positive for the virus while on their visit.
Iceland: Free coronavirus tests. Iceland is planning to reopen the country’s borders to tourists by June 15, offering travellers Covid-19 tests upon arrival at the airport. Those who test negative would be free to enjoy their time in the country, but those who test positive would have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Please note, all the above offers are subject to travel restrictions and border closures.