Travel TrendsTravel is vital for mental health, and destinations have been quick to roll out the red carpet for domestic tourists.

Travel, even planning a trip, makes people happy

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Thailand is encouraging expats to explore Amazing Thailand beyond Bangkok.
Thailand is encouraging expats to explore Amazing Thailand beyond Bangkok.

Tourism stakeholders, floored by Covid-19’s devastating impact on international travel, are bouncing back with tempting ideas to push domestic tourism.

A report produced by Finn Partners’ global travel team, Domestic Tourism—Travel Recovery Starts at Home, highlights some of the initiatives being rolled out globally to encourage people to explore their own backyard.

Debbie Flynn, global travel practice leader, FinnPartners, says while the world waits for international travel to reset, domestic tourism “is more important than ever to protect the travel industry”.

“By locals demonstrating how much they enjoy the world on their doorstep, they are leading the way for their countries to open up to the rest of the world,” she adds.

Interestingly, U.S. Travel Association research for its Let’s Go There domestic tourism campaign found that 97% of respondents said having a trip planned made people happier. In addition, 71% reported feeling greater levels of energy when they had a trip planned in the next six months.

Among domestic tourism initiatives highlighted in the report are:

China is responding to market demands for pet-friendly hotels. Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain has introduced pet-cations for travellers to visit with their four-legged family members.

Hong Kong’s Holiday at Home campaign includes a one-stop dining, shopping and entertainment offer with more than 10,000 offers from across the territory. “By encouraging local tourism, we hope to give the world a positive impression so that visitors will feel confident about coming to Hong Kong again,” says Hong Kong Tourist Board chairman, Dr YK Pang.

The Philippines has turned to culinary treats to whet the appetites of locals to travel within the country. The Department of Tourism has brought back its food and travel festival, Kain Na (Let’s Eat!), by staging it online.

Online learning modules will offer e-commerce training for the food and farm tourism stakeholders and small business owners.

“The Filipinos’ love for food never wavered nor waned, even during the pandemic, but it all the more fuelled our appetite and cravings,” says tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who urges residents to “partake of our local cuisine, agriculture produce, food and beverage products.

“Every sip and every bite will help our farmers and food tourism stakeholders recover from this pandemic.”

Singapore Tourism Board has launched its SingapoRediscovers campaign, a series of marketing initiatives to combat the decline of tourism revenue. Worth US$33 million, this campaign is said to be the largest marketing drive introduced in Singapore to boost local demand.

Thailand’s Expat Travel Deal reaches out to the 2.5 million foreigners working in Thailand, encouraging them to explore the country beyond Bangkok.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), says, “Thailand has a large expatriate population, many of whom have strong links with the kingdom and who express great love for Thailand and its people.

“TAT and our strategic partners would like to encourage expats to travel further afield and to discover some of the Amazing Thailand experiences that can be enjoyed in every corner of the country.”

Taiwan offered free admissions to amusement parks for children under the age of 19 years throughout July and August as well as free entry to all national parks. It also launched a discounted price voucher scheme for shops and attractions.

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