Americans are proud travelers. They love their country and for the nations that locked them out and made them feel unwelcome, they may not forget for a very long time.
U.S. tourists spent an estimated $144 billion in 2018 alone on international travel and prior to the pandemic had one of the strongest passports in the world.
COVID-19 has changed everything and the U.S. has found themselves locked out of many countries after having the highest number of COVID-19 cases globally.
What many countries that have locked out American tourists don't realize is, they may never return.
It's going to take a long time for Americans to forget about the countries that have completely snubbed them. In the meantime, U.S. travelers are falling in love with new destinations that have become their go-to vacation spot for years to come.
Americans are going to be among the first in the world to be vaccinated. In 2021, we're going to see a proof of vaccination record (POVR) become the ultimate entry ticket to almost every country and 325 million Americans could be holding one by the end of the year.
In the meantime, Americans have been falling in love with new countries they haven't seen before after being locked out of their original target destinations.
Kristie Sullivan from Minnesota told Travel Off Path “We were planning to go to Thailand for a few months but ended up in Croatia. We love it so much in Croatia that we've had some conversations about buying a vacation property here.”
Croatia is currently the only country in the EU that is allowing American travelers to enter which is further skyrocketing its popularity. Americans are required to provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours before arrival.
After traveling the world for the last 5 years and being part of one of the largest full time travel communities in the world, we've learned that people move on. Once they have tried a new country and fallen in love with the beauty, culture and experience, their old favorite destination becomes just a memory.
For the average traveler that goes on vacation once or twice a year, many return to the same spot time after time. It becomes a comfort zone and consistency of knowing what they're going to get. Why fix a good thing right?
If all of a sudden you're favorite destination has “banned” you because of where you're from, there are two things that are going to happen.
The first is, Americans are going to try new destinations they haven't been to before. The most likely contenders are Mexico and the Dominican Republic because they have their arms wide open for American tourists and have easy COVID-19 entry requirements. Travelers will fall in love with new destinations and find new comfort zones.
The second is, who really wants to a return to a country they have been ‘banned' from. Sure people get over things but as we said at the beginning of this article, Americans are PROUD of their country.
U.S. tourists want to go where they feel welcome and especially when some countries are even rewarding them for visiting. For example, the Dominican Republic is offering free medical insurance that covers COVID-19 while travelers visit.
Travelers remember when they feel welcome. Just like any business, you return to where you are appreciated.
But this is different right? Lives are at stake so people will understand and get over it fast because this was an unprecedented time right?
For those of you that follow American politics, the country is completely divided and for many Americans, COVID-19 is no scarier than the common flu. Even their President believes it, so to pretend Americans aren't bitter about countries they have been locked out from would be naive.
It's one thing to ask for proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival but its another to issue a blanket ban on an entire population based on geography.
This whole international travel problem could be solved tomorrow if the world had the testing capabilities.
One standard set of entry requirements for incoming travelers for all countries would solve this jumbled mess.
If the world could come together and set these international travel standards, the confusion of travel restrictions could come to an end.
A standard set of three options for each country to choose from
For example a 3 color coded system that each country could rate themselves:
Green: No Entry requirements
Orange: Proof of negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours OR Proof of Vaccination Record (POVR) when it becomes available.
Red: Proof of negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours OR Proof of Vaccination Record (POVR) when it becomes available AND a 14 day quarantine.
The chances however of this ever becoming a reality are small as for many countries, pride, politics and greed will get in the way.
For now, one thing's for sure. Countries that have completely banned American tourists are feeling the economic impact and what they may not realize, the consequences could last far beyond when COVID-19 is over.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories