With COVID, a lot of countries’ economies are hard hit due to travel. A lot of businesses rely on tourist to make their earnings. Lately, I’ve heard countries offering tourists reimbursements as an incentive to visit their countries. These countries have small cases of COVID still, so would you risk it for the cheap travel?
The first question I have is which countries are offering incentives. Sicily, an autonomous Italian island, was one of the first regions to do this, and it was also one of the countries who had a high death toll due to COVID. The region is offering a 50% discount on plane tickets and to pay 1 of every 3 nights at a hotel. There is also free entry into museums and archaeological sites.
The second location is Japan. After false news leaks that Japan was going to help foreign tourists pay for their next vacation, Japan’s Tourism Agency announced on Twitter this reimbursement is only for domestic travel. The Japanese government will provide a discount and voucher up to Y20,000 per person towards travel and dining.
The final place, that I know about at least, is Mexico. Cancun is offering potential tax refunds. The tourist tax is only for international tourists who buy goods at specific stores and leave by air or sea at a specific destinations. The reimbursement is 8.9% minus the fee to apply for the tax refund. You apply at the airport or cruise terminal before you leave the destination.
At first, when I believed the rumors that Japan was going to reimburse 50% of travel, I would have loved to seize that opportunity at a lower price. However, with the new piece of information, Italy has the best deal. Italy is beautiful but it isn’t cheap to travel there.
Personally, I would risk it based on a few things. One, I need to know the number of cases per day in each of those countries. Two, how are they implementing safety measures and if people are actually following it in their country. Three, how are they testing and containing COVID cases.
But that’s just me, some of you are bigger risk-takers than me. Look into it if you would like, but do some research too. The decisions you make in life shouldn’t only be based on money. Most importantly, please stay safe in these unprecedented times.