• Uzbekistan hoping to welcome international tourist after pandemic pause

    Published on : Monday, February 22, 2021

    Uzbekistan has forever depended on tourism and travel services for its economic growth. Nestled along the Silk road and with abundance of cultural heritage as well as historical monument, Uzbekistan experienced a constant surge in international tourist visit, but recently owing to pandemic and associated norms of lockdown and travel restriction, the tourism business suffered and so has the economy of the state. But now with the relaxation in travel regulations, the government is hopeful of the return of international tourists to the land of mystery and cultural heritage monuments.

    The country this week introduced a ten-day visa free regime for tourists from China including its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao, as well as Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman starting from March 1. Travellers willing to enter the land should provide a return air ticket or ticket to a third country.

    Uzbekistan has also planned to open its largest gold-mining fields to foreign tourists, in a bid to develop geo-tourism in the resource-rich Central Asian nation. Kholida Ablaeva, a tour guide with 20 years of experience from the ancient city of Samarkand, has been waiting for the reopening of borders to allow foreign tourists to return to her hometown as they did before COVID-19.

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    Tags: Covid-19, international tourist, pandemic recovery, travel and tourism, Uzbekistan Tourism

  • One year on and international tourism business are running on empty

    Published on : Monday, February 1, 2021

    Domestic travel has replaced less than 20% of the revenue received from international visitors, with most export tourism businesses reliant on the JobKeeper supplement to get them this far according to the Australian Tourism Export Council’s industry ‘Pulse Check’ taken in January.

    With borders closed and export tourism businesses unable to access their international markets, 60% are running at less than 50% of their staff and service capacity with most only surviving with the support of the JobKeeper supplement.

    “Australian tourism businesses have hung on with the support of JobKeeper but face annihilation once the program ends next month if the Government fails to provide further support,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.

    “Australia’s tourism industry has spent the past 12 months battling enormous setbacks, from bushfires to floods and the COVID crisis which has closed international borders and left tourism businesses with no customers.”

    ATEC is calling on the Federal Government to provide further financial support to the tourism industry and specifically the export tourism businesses which are unable to operate at anywhere near their previous levels. 

    “Tourism businesses were optimistic that by now international borders would be open and they would be seeing visitors return, but all indications are that these businesses face yet another tough year.

    “State and Territory governments need to provide certainty in the way they respond to COVID outbreaks and a clear path to reopening international travel that appropriately manages the health risk and effective roll out of vaccines in order to give our industry certainty into the future.”

    The export tourism industry ‘Pulse Check’ looked at how Australia’s export tourism businesses have fared over the past 12 months revealing:


    • Around 60% of tourism businesses are running at less than 50% of staff and service capacity
    • While 75% of tourism businesses have been able to supplement some of their revenue with domestic visitors, this spend represents less than 20% of income lost from overseas visitors
    • 55% of tourism businesses will not survive till September without some kind of government support (while international borders remain closed)
    • 95% of inbound tour operators (ITOs) – key tourism export intermediaries – have revenue of less than 10% compared to 2019
    • 50% of ITOs are unable to attract domestic business and for those who have this represents less than 10% of their international market.
    • 80% of ITOs will be gone by September without some kind of government support, making it much harder for the inbound tourism industry to restart.


    “Through no fault of their own, successful tourism businesses from across the country have been decimated by a series of setbacks that culminated with the international border closures.

    “These are the same businesses which were instrumental in delivering $45bn export revenue in 2019 and delivering thousands of jobs to regional communities throughout the country and they will be the ones which will provide future jobs and economic prosperity.

    “Given the success of our export tourism industry over the past decade which saw international visitors contributing more than $350bn in our economy, we must ensure these businesses survive.

    “Once the borders reopen, these businesses will quickly rebound and once again contribute significantly to our export earnings, support regional economies and build back Australian jobs.”

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    Tags: ATEC

  • Finally, Seychelles opens its door for international visitors

    Published on : Saturday, January 23, 2021

    Ultimately, Seychelles has opened its doors for the visitors. The island nation is all prepared to welcome international visitors with open arms. However, this welcome is only those who are vaccinated.

    Visitors must produce themselves as ‘vaccinated’. This means that those who have taken both the doses of COVD-19 vaccine, and also can produce a negative report from a RT-PCR test done not more than 72 hours prior to the journey can enter the island.

    Seychelles will be reopening for tourism in a two-step approach, as per government orders. The island will allow those who have taken both the doses of vaccine and also carrying a COVID negative from a test done 72 hours prior to the journey, in the first phase of this move.

    In the second phase of this move which will start from mid-March, it is hoped that the government of Seychelles would have vaccinated a major section of its population by that time. It is anticipated that during this phase, unvaccinated visitors would probably be permitted to enter the island country with just a COVID-negative report from a test done 72 hours prior to the visit.

    According to Tourism Promotion Board statement, if they go by the current numbers, it is probably that by mid-March, 25 per cent of its population would be vaccinated when the second phase will be rolled out.

    Also, the statement has emphasized that Seychelles at present is opened to Indian visitors, who have not been vaccinated, but via private jet transfers only.

    Nonetheless, those arriving in Seychelles will have to adhere to the existing protocols related to health, such as maintaining adequate social distance, wearing face masks, which will remain unchanged all the time as per the travel advisory issued by the government. All tourism operators will have to follow the existing COVID-19 standard operating procedures and protocol as well.

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    Tags: international visitors, Seychelles

  • U.K. Government banned international arrivals from South America, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde

    Published on : Friday, January 15, 2021

    The Government of United Kingdom has banned international arrivals from the whole of South America, as well as Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde, over concerns about the escalation of a new variant of COVID-19.

    The new restrictions will come into effect at 4am on Friday morning, giving returning travellers just 12 hours to find their way home.

    The Brazilian variant was first announced last Monday after Japanese health officials identified four air passengers arriving in Tokyo from Brazil’s Amazonas state as carriers.

    While scientists are still uncertain whether it is any more transmissible than other variants of coronavirus, or if it will prove to be more resistant to new vaccines, Boris Johnson appeared to confirm yesterday that a flight ban would be enforced, telling a parliamentary cross-party committee: They are putting in extra measures to ensure that people coming from Brazil are checked: and indeed stopping people coming from Brazil.

    The Brazilian authorities have already banned flights from the UK, announcing their decision last month after a separate mutation of Covid-19 was discovered in southeast England. This means there are currently no direct flights from Brazil to the UK, although travellers are still able to make the journey by transiting through other countries.

    There will also be a flight ban on any countries with direct flights to England. These are Argentina, Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores). This excludes cargo and freight without passengers.

    The decision to ban travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in Brazil, that may have spread to countries with strong travel links to Brazil.

    The United Kingdom does currently not have travel corridors with Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, and the travel corridors with Chile, Madeira and the Azores will be closed. Anyone returning from these countries from 4am on Friday will be legally required to self-isolate for ten days.

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    Tags: U.K., United Kingdom