The world has finally started to reopen this year, leading to some of the most enthusiastic travel demands ever. It’s made for a chaotic travel season, but it’s also meant that many countries and destinations are breaking tourism records, as reported by traveloffpath.com
Croatia, Greece, Austria, Los Cabos, Cancun, and many other areas are breaking previous records from the pandemic. However, not all countries see the same tourism growth. Specifically, Canadian and Australian tourist arrivals are still much lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Australia and Canada
Canada and Australia are both far below their pre-pandemic visitor counts, but Australia is the worst.
Travel data shows Australian arrivals down by 65% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Likewise, Canada is down by 31% compared to pre-pandemic levels when combining international air arrivals and land arrivals from the United States.
Many countries around the world began dropping all Covid requirements as early as March in order to bolster tourism efforts. Canada and Australia were much more cautious in their approach. Both countries have had some of the harshest rules and regulations regarding Covid.
The countries only recently started to ease requirements. Australia is now wholly reopened but has only been that way for about a month. The government dropped all its Covid entry requirements in early July, making it one of the slowest uptake in tourist destinations.
Unvaccinated still cannot visit Canada
Canada is worse regarding entry requirements and lagging far behind the most developed countries, as it still has several strict rules. Unvaccinated travellers still cannot visit Canada without compelling reasons, such as a death in the family. However, even if unvaccinated travellers can gain entry to Canada, they will be subject to Covid testing and a mandatory 14-day quarantine. As other countries completely strip away all Covid rules, Canada’s approach seems draconian. Especially after the continued loosening of guidelines from the CDC.
Another significant roadblock for travel to Canada is the ArriveCAN app. The app was initially intended to serve as a Covid-19 screening app for travelers to prove their vaccination status before arrival.
Non-compliant travellers were subject to delays, quarantines, or even a CAD 5000 fine. The app has received criticism for privacy concerns and numerous bugs that have made its use frustrating for travellers.
Travelers may have lost trust in these destinations and fear getting caught up in the mix of freshly implemented travel restrictions on holiday. While many tourist destinations around the world continue to outpace previous arrival records, it looks like Canada and Australia will be waiting a long time for their recovery.