The Top Holiday Destinations for Summer 2021
It’s official (hopefully) - summer 2021 is happening! Now that the government has set out the roadmap out of the COVID-19 lockdown, giving us hope for the future, we can start planning our summer holidays for after 17th May. With this in mind, here are Finance Monthly’s suggestions for a holiday after lockdown.
With its stunning beaches and mountains, Montenegro has been a very popular holiday destination pre-COVID and according to the Balkan country’s new foreign minister, Djordje Radulovic, it will be a ‘corona-safe’ travel destination in time for the 2021 tourist season. Tourism makes up 25% of Montenegro’s GDP and following a slow year, the country’s new government is determined to attract foreign holidaymakers this summer, ensuring that all tourist areas are protected.
“We will not totally eradicate coronavirus, but we will have some small, small hotspots under control, which means that tourists can come from Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia – you name it – will be safe and sound in our country [and] totally free to enjoy their vacation,” Radulovic said.
In January 2021, the country lifted the requirements for a negative COVID-19 test result, which has made Montenegro one of the few countries worldwide to allow unrestricted travel in the current environment.
Tourism has been among the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in countries like Greece that rely so heavily on it. Tourism accounts for 20% of the country’s GDP, providing one in five jobs.
However, after the challenges from the past year, Greek officials have announced that they are planning to reopen the country to world travellers from 1st June 2021, with a new “safe travel” plan which will allow visitors to enter its borders with a negative coronavirus test that should be taken within 72 hours before arrival.
Alexis Komninos, a leading hotelier on the island of Santorini, has commented: “Not opening is not an option this year. The chips are down, and it’s clearly crunch time.”
“But while I and others in the industry are doing our part, doling out the cold cash to refurbish, rebuild and slash my prices by 40% in flash sales to lure British, German and other customers, the government must do its part in helping subsidise this national reopening.” Let’s hope they can deliver!
Thanks to the isolated nature of its resorts, the Maldives was one of the first countries that opened their borders back for tourists – all you need is a proof of a negative COVID-19 test carried out within 96 hours before departure. As of 22nd February, there are over 140 hotels and resorts serving international travellers. There’s no need for another test upon arrival in Male, however, those who display COVID-19 like symptoms, including a temperature, coughing or sneezing, will be tested.
Considering two-thirds of the country’s GDP depends on tourism, resorts across the Maldives have done a lot to ensure a safe haven for travellers, with some having their own testing regimes in place. Resorts like Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, for example, offer free PCR tests to guests upon arrival, asking them to not leave their room until they receive a negative result. They also test all staff members once every five days.
Despite a rise in the COVID-19 cases in the country, Seychelles has announced that it is now welcoming vaccinated travellers from all over the world. Tourists will have to be able to prove that they have received two doses of an approved vaccine and will need to submit an authentic certificate from their national health authority as proof of the COVID-19 jabs. However, they will still need a negative PCR test to enter the country, carried out within 72 hours before arrival.
Unvaccinated travellers are allowed to enter too if they arrive via a private jet or come from a list of 48 permitted countries. These travellers will also need to obtain a negative PCR test result prior to arrival in Seychelles.
International travellers are extremely important to Seychelles’ economy, with travel and tourism accounting for 40% of the nation’s GDP. Officials hope that the updated entry requirements will restart tourism in the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2021, helping its economy to get back on its feet.