Prior to the covid pandemic, the last time we saw a global threat was the Second World War, which affected everyone on the planet and the emergence of Covid-19 has once again put the entire world on notice. This is one of the reasons why long holidays have become the norm; travelling is not as easy as it once was, with varying entry requirements around the world. In Canada, for example, you can’t enter (or leave) the country if you are unvaccinated, while Australia is also doubling down on immigration.
Following strict protocol
All countries have tightened their entry requirements for foreign nationals wishing to visit and when you book a luxury Test & Go hotel in Bangkok, you have to follow the rules. Of course, once this ordeal is over, you are free to travel within Thailand and let’s face it, after all that, you want to spend a minimum of 3-4 months in the Land of Smiles.
Value for money
Let’s not forget the considerable cost of the quarantine period; an investment you want to make the most of; hence the long holidays. When you have to spend a lot to enter a country, you naturally want to extend your stay to cover the 2-week quarantine that most countries require. This is perhaps the only way forward for tourism, time will tell.
This is another reason that people are choosing to spend the winter in a tropical paradise like Thailand; when you work remotely, why not spend half the year on a tropical island? Let’s take a 6-month plan as an example, you can find a really good deal to rent a poolside villa in Phuket and with a low cost of living, you are actually saving money living in such a location. The pandemic forced many companies to adopt a ‘work from home’ policy and to be frank, many businesses prefer this, as running costs drop significantly when employees work from home. This has opened up travel for literally millions of people who would otherwise have been tied to a location and when the pandemic is over, you can expect to see long-term tourism thrive.
The rise of the digital nomad
Whether e-commerce or trading, the digital nomad enjoys an unprecedented level of freedom and places like Thailand are home to many thousands of western entrepreneurs, many of whom return to their native land in their summer. Some become residents (and later citizens) as there is nothing at home to tie them; the average length of stay for a digital nomad would be 9-12 months. Let’s not forget that the pandemic has seriously impacted business travel, with many using video calls rather than meeting face to face. First class and business class have been hit hard by the pandemic, indeed some airlines will not make it; aircraft are very expensive to keep in hangars and even if all restrictions were lifted today, some airlines will never fly again.
Gaining an insight into the culture
When you spend a couple of weeks in a country, you get to see the major tourist attractions, but little of the actual culture of the local people. One sector of tourism that is doing well is home-staying; a person lives with a local family for a few months and they get to exchange cultures and ideas, while the tourist experiences life from the farmer’s perspective, eating their food, sleeping in their home and helping with the daily chores. You could live with a fishing family in South Thailand, or spend a month in the central plains helping the rice farmers to harvest their crop. These holidays are easily arranged if you go to the right tour operator.
We can expect to see long holidays becoming the norm and if you are planning a holiday in sunny Thailand, click here. The Internet hosts a wealth of information for those who are looking for a long holiday and if you would like to spend a year in Southeast Asia, follow the covid protocols and you can enjoy a long stay.
Image Credits: Florian Wehde