I heard a tiny voice say behind me.
As I looked to see who the voice belonged to, I saw a young boy animatedly pointing to the Santa Claus sculpture that had found a prominent place in the middle of a mall and excitedly told his mother, “North Pole, that’s where I want to go when we can travel again”.
Not being the adventurous kind, I left the young boy and his mother to plan their trip.
But then I got thinking – where would I go once I could travel again?
Do the mountains beckon or would I prefer to have lazy days by the beach? Is something a bit more active on the cards or perhaps, a destination that indulges one of my many interests?
According to UN’s World Tourism Organisation data, there have been 700 million fewer tourist arrivals compared to the same period in 2019, translating into a loss of US$ 730 billion in export revenues from international tourism. This is more than eight times the loss experienced on the back of the 2009 global economic and financial crisis.
In a bid to win back tourists, several countries are actively enticing overseas visitors. Visit Jordan’s campaign 'Jordan will wait for you' or the Maldives tourism board’s hashtag #VisitMaldivesLater are sure to keep travelers inspired.
The world was clearly our oyster pre-COVID but traveling, as we did in the good old days with not a care in the world, will probably take several months more.
While spirits seem buoyed by recent news of a vaccine against COVID-19, inoculating billions will take time.
So, while we continue to fight this infectious terror, I finally figured - why not spend time re-discovering our little red dot.
I’ve begun making a list of the places to visit. Have you?
https://www.unwto.org/ (INTERNATIONAL TOURISM DOWN 70% AS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IMPACT ALL REGIONS)
https://www.stb.gov.sg/ (Enterprise Singapore, Sentosa Development Corporation and Singapore Tourism Board team up with industry to encourage locals to rediscover Singapore)
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of St. John's Home for Elderly Persons.
St John's Home for Elderly Persons is not a government-subvented Home and depend largely on the public's generosity to enable us to continue our work as a Registered Charity.
Please support our Home by donating generously: https://www.giving.sg/stjohnshomesg
Feature picture taken in 2018.