space traveling warriors tier list : Popular destinations still closed to leisure tourists

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(CNN) — During the recent Easter holidays, social media feeds were filled with photos of happy travelers, many taking their first trips abroad since the start of the pandemic.

Ski holidays in Switzerland. Beach breaks in Thailand. That long-promised family trip to Disney World.

In fact, so many travelers are hitting the road that experts are already predicting a summer of travel chaos is ahead as the industry struggles to cope with reduced capacity and a shrinking workforce.

‘A highly uneven recovery’

A scroll through UNWTO Destination Tracker reveals that most places reliant on tourism dollars have abandoned quarantine restrictions and are welcoming travelers – although some still have some caveats such as mandatory Covid-19 testing on arrival, pre-flight testing, mandatory quarantines if tests come back positive and so on.
But while most of the world’s popular destinations reopened, there are a few tourism favorites that remain off-limits to leisure travelers – regardless of your willingness to test, vaccinate and quarantine.

And most of them are in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are starting to see the first signs of a recovery with markets like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia and Cambodia relaxing their restrictions and starting a recovery,” says Liz Ortiguera, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. PATA), which is made up of 650 member organizations, including government tourism bodies, travel agencies and airports.

“However, there are still several important markets in the region that are virtually closed from an international capacity perspective. The region as a whole is experiencing a highly uneven recovery.”

Japan eases entry restrictions – but tourists still stay out

As we visit the city’s top sites, locals share what makes Tokyo one of the greatest cities in the world. video of black buddha

Tourists looking to visit Tokyo’s fish markets will have to wait a little longer to get their sushi fix.

Japan continues to relax its strict entry measures – the limit on the number of new arrivals per day has been raised to 10,000 people from April 10, 2022 – but that does not include leisure tourists.

At the moment, citizens, residents, researchers, students, family members of residents and business travelers can enter with prior authorization. Some face quarantine depending on where they are arriving.

So when will Japan reopen to tourists? The time issue came up during a press conference held by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on April 8; however, no specific plans have been announced.

“We will have to continue to make appropriate decisions based on the infection situation and international movements in each country,” he said. “It hasn’t been determined yet.”

China struggles to contain outbreaks

In Shanghai, once seen as a haven for foreigners, there is a sudden rush to get out. Covid’s harsh restrictions are not only crushing social freedoms and crippling business in the financial center, they are also making access to basic necessities nearly impossible for some. CNN’s David Culver speaks to quarantined expats about what they are experiencing.

Much has been said about how the world’s tourism economy will not truly recover until China’s citizens are able to travel abroad again.

In 2019, the number of outbound tourists from China reached 155 million, according to the China Tourism Academy, making it the world’s largest market for outbound travel.

For now, Chinese citizens are strongly discouraged from traveling abroad and those who do face at least two weeks of quarantine upon returning, sometimes longer.

But what about foreign tourists willing to spend their quarantine time in exchange for a vacation?

Those who wish to fulfill their dream of walking along the Great Wall will have to wait to take these steps. Foreigners are not allowed to enter for leisure tourism at this time.

While that vaccination target has been met, the country remains committed to its zero Covid strategy as it struggles to contain outbreaks in several cities, making it highly unlikely that global tourists will be welcomed in the foreseeable future.

Macau not ready to bet on reopening, HK opens the door a crack

Macau’s casinos remain beyond the reach of most international travelers.

Adobe Stock

Bad news for travelers looking to hit the tables at Asia’s most famous gaming destination and enjoy Macanese cuisine. There are no signs that Macau will open its borders to the world anytime soon.
tourists are still banned from entering the special administrative region, with the exception of visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. And even those who can enter have to be quarantined for two weeks, with the exception of those arriving from certain chinese cities.
according to one government press release issued in mid-April, business travelers and students from outside mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong will also be able to enter in the near future. But few details were given.

No firm Taiwan reopening date

Leisure tourists looking to visit Taiwan's capital Taipei will have to wait a little longer to visit.

Leisure tourists looking to visit Taiwan’s capital Taipei will have to wait a little longer to visit.

Adobe Stock

Foreign business travelers can visit the island from March 7th. As of April 12, foreign relatives and Taiwan residents with a valid foreign resident certificate can also apply for the visit.

Other travelers now welcome include those on work/study visas, those coming for investment or business purposes, or visitors entering for humanitarian reasons.

Leisure tourists, however, still cannot visit.

As more destinations are reopening their borders, Chen Shih-chung, Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare, said in February that the island needed to consider easing travel restrictions so it doesn’t fall behind in terms of economic development.

Without offering a concrete reopening date, Chen also said current restrictions would be lifted and non-commercial travelers would be allowed in if the virus spreads. remains under control.

Several Pacific islands remain off-limits

Samoa has yet to announce when it will reopen to international tourists.

Samoa has yet to announce when it will reopen to international tourists.

Martin Valigursky/Adobe Stocks

According to a report titled “Asia Ready Travel Index 2022” released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) last week, island nations including Vanuatu and Fiji are among the most reliant on tourism in the region.

Fiji, where tourism accounts for 40% of the economy, reopened at the end of 2021. It tops the EIU’s travel readiness index, which looks at the three factors that can affect international tourist sentiment: destination vaccination coverage; the ease of traveling to the destination; and quarantine requirements when they return to their place of residence.

Other Pacific island destinations that have reopened to tourists include Tahiti, Palau and the Cook Islands.

But several places in this region remain closed for vacationersincluding Samoa, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Tonga and Solomon Islands.

PATA CEO Ortiguera notes that circumstances are unique and each destination needs to assess its level of readiness and time to reconnect with the outside world while managing the challenging balance of lives versus livelihoods.

“And to borrow an analogy used during a recent WHO briefing – each nation must navigate its unique path down the mountain from this pandemic impact,” she says.

“If I look at Singapore as an example, the country has aggressively managed Covid transmissions and is now navigating a successful exit to reopen the market. I am confident that these measures have laid a solid foundation for a sustained recovery.”

CNN’s Junko Ogura, Maggie Hiufu Wong and CNN’s Beijing office contributed to this report.

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