In Venice, where more than 20 million tourists flock to the squares and canals every year, it is always a challenge to reconcile the needs of the locals with the needs of the tourists. When the city’s mayor tried to build a wall along a major thoroughfare that would potentially shut it off to tourists, the initiative was greeted by locals as a surprise measure that was seen as an attempt to shut down a city.
The local government has restricted the construction of new takeaway hotels and restaurants, created fast lanes for residents of public transportation, and created a fast lane for residents “public transportation. While most governments continue to discourage essential international travel, a host of popular destinations have begun to loosen restrictions on tourists and have moved to welcome them back, though not always with the same enthusiasm as Venice. Some had the idea of reducing congestion by diverting foot and boat traffic on particularly busy days in summer. Twenty-two stewards are now wearing vests labelled “enjoyrespectvenezia” to prevent tourists from sitting on monuments, jumping into canals or behaving in any other way.
A number of Caribbean islands are preparing to open their doors to foreign visitors in June, while destinations such as Mexico and Thailand plan to reopen in their regions in the coming weeks. Earlier this month, the European Union unveiled plans to reopen some of its internal borders in response to complaints that some countries, such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, were creating a travel bubble by lifting restrictions on other citizens. While many travelers eagerly await news on where to travel this year, here are some top destinations that have made the decision to either reopen their borders or keep them closed for the time being.
Although the prospect of reopening to international tourists seems a long way off, the authorities have taken steps to ensure that foreign travellers can return home with confidence as soon as they are able. A “do not cancel or postpone” programme has been launched to allow tourists to postpone pre-arranged holidays in Portugal until the end of 2021. Bookings made through accredited travel agencies, hotels and Airbnbs are entitled to travel between 13 March and 30 September 2020.
Los Cabos, meanwhile, will launch a five-phase plan to revitalize tourism in June with the opening of a new hotel complex in the city of San Pedro de los Cabo.
The government has used a lot of public money here over the decades to attract a lot of tourists, but not enough of it, “he said. The executive director of the Los Cabos Tourism Association said he hoped to welcome international and domestic travelers in August and September. Mexico City, another beach destination on the Nayarit Riviera north of Puerta Vallarta, has no immediate plans to bring back tourists.
In January 2017, the government banned the construction of new hotels in the city centre and prevented them from being replaced. In recent years, Barcelona has begun to take measures to improve tourist behaviour by penalising visitors coming and going to its city centres in front of the famous Rambla de Catalunya. Four or five cruise ships docked in Barcelona last year, dumping thousands of passengers on the famous Ramblas along the boulevard.
Georgia has seen a tourism boom in recent years, with more than five million travellers visiting the country in the first half of 2017 and 4.5 million in 2016.
During the crisis, the country was forced to close its winter resorts and in March imposed a travel ban on foreign visitors to all but the main tourist destinations, such as Tbilisi and Tskhinvali.
The country’s government, which is seeking to revive its tourism sector, has said it plans to reopen to international travellers on July 1. The next stage allows for the final stage, which includes the reopening of borders and the resumption of flights. As Spain prepares to end its quarantine policy and open its borders to foreign visitors following the Ebola outbreak in the Spanish capital London, Britain will impose its own 14-day quarantine on all arrivals after June 8, including returning holidaymakers.
This would mean that tourists returning home after a holiday in most foreign destinations would have to spend two weeks in isolation. At the same time, the tourism authorities of the Portuguese Algarve have declared that their beaches will be open to tourists as soon as flights resume. Other tourist destinations have begun to open up and Greece has announced that flights from Athens and Thessaloniki airports will resume on 15 June, a sign that part of Europe has escaped the worst of the pandemic.
The tourism minister said: “If conditions in the UK improve, Spain will be able to welcome our British citizens with the same hospitality as ever. Spain attracts 80 million tourists a year, a sector that accounts for more than 12% of the country’s GDP. The holiday market, which reopens after the end of the summer season, is seen as crucial to the Spanish economy.