As travel restrictions ease, some countries are more selective about who they take in after the pandemic.
Last week, New Zealand’s tourism minister reiterated his desire to attract “high quality tourists” rather than those who camp across the country “on $10 [€7] a day by eating dried noodles.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, tourist boards around the world have been experimenting with entry policies. Now they are rolling out stimulus packages – many of which echo that “quality over quantity” mentality.
Reduce overtourism could have a positive impact on the environment and local communities in popular destinations. But does this mean that travel will become reserved for the super-rich?
With rise fuel costs signaling the end of the era of €10 flights, according to a recent BBC Radio 4 interview with Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, the days of budget travel could be behind us.
So here are the countries targeting wealthy visitors like tourism Bounces.
The Cayman Islands welcome wealthy remote workers
Long a haven for luxury travellers, the Caribbean The Cayman Islands have sought to secure their upscale image – even during the pandemic.
Launched in 2020, the Global Citizen Concierge Program (GCCP) gives teleworkers the chance to settle in this British Overseas Territory. Those earning more than $100,000 (€98,666) a year can apply for a two-year visa for an annual fee of $1,469 (€1,449).
As part of this program, the country’s official tourism website invites “professionals and digital nomads look alike [to] embrace a remote lifestyle and fully immerse yourself in the luxury, adventure, culture and bespoke beauty of the Cayman Islands.”
Fiji targets growth in visitor spending
During the pandemic, Fiji has positioned itself as a retreat for billionaires.
In June 2020, the country launched the “blue lanes” for “boaters seeking to escape the pandemic to paradise”. In a tweet, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama invited billionaires with private jets to charter theirs he is.
Before COVID, the tourism industry accounted for 38% of Fiji’s economy. To launch a revival, the country continues to focus on luxury travel.
Tourism Fiji’s business plan for 2022 to 2024 commits to “attracting and expanding high-value customer segments” and encouraging “growth in visitor spending” to promote sustainable tourism.
Hawai’i struggling with rampant overtourism
Last year, Hawaii battled an influx of American tourists flocking to the island as a quarantine-free escape. Hospitality staff shortages, congested roads and 90-minute wait times at restaurants are just a few of the problems faced.
Unsustainable overtourism not only strains local infrastructure, but also the diversity of the island. ecosystem. The state now hopes to deter tourists and support locals by raising prices. Fees have already been doubled on popular activities for foreign tourists. Many local councils are also touting the idea of a ‘visitor impact charge’ for other attractions.
Indonesia dances around a Bali backpacker ban
In September 2021, Indonesia joined the list of countries seeking “quality” visitors after the pandemic.
“We are aiming for quality tourism in baliso we will not allow backpackers enter once the reopening plan for international travelers is officially in place in the near future,” said Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, according to a report by the Bali Sun.
He later clarified that he was referring to the screening of visitors who might violate the health of the country or immigration rules.
But the arrival in 2022 of luxury hotel brands like Banyan Tree and Jumeirah in Bali suggests that the island is moving further and further away from its hiker past.
Montserrat attracts lucrative digital nomads
Want to do the mountain Caribbean the island of Montserrat your home for a year? If your annual income is over $70,000 (€69,000), it is now possible.
Launched in February 2021, the Remote Work Stamp invites high earners digital nomads to “work remotely and securely from an exotic location”.
The application fee is $500 (€493).
New Zealand snubs $10-a-day motorhomes
New ZealandThe post-pandemic tourism recovery program is aimed at high net worth individuals.
“It’s not the guys who jump in an RV and … drive around our country on $10 [€7] a day by eating dried noodles,” Tourism Minister Stuart Nash told the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand’s annual conference in August 2022.
Instead, he wants to attract visitors who “spend a little more money, stay a little longer.”
New Zealand finally reopened its borders in August 2022, with plans to better manage the tourism industry by avoiding overcrowding and improve sustainability.
Thailand tries to shake up its backpacker heritage
Thailand tourism the industry is steadily recovering after months of COVID restrictions, which have tested visitors’ willingness to shell out dearly quarantine diets.
Anxious to take advantage of this and undermine the country’s long-standing image as a backpacker’s paradise, government ministers have asked hotels and businesses to refrain from luring tourists with big discounts.
“We can’t let people come to Thailand and say because it’s cheap,” Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at a tourism event in July 2022.
Instead, he suggested the country should focus on increasing its value as a premium travel destination, Reuters reports.
Thailand also hopes to attract high earners digital nomads with his new 10-year “work from Thailand” visa. Only open to those earning more than $80,000 (€78,965) a year, the visa bolsters the country’s push for wealthy visitors.