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7 Countries that will Pay You to Visit | Countries to Visit Post Covid

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 12:00
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7 Countries That Will Pay You to Visit After Covid-19

Reading time: 5 mins

There are 195 countries worldwide, and 44 of these countries heavily rely on tourism and travel for over 15% of their total share of employment as of 2019.

Undeniably, Travel & Tourism is a key driver for employment, investment, and economic growth globally. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) economic impact report, this sector contributes US$8.8 trillion or 10.4% of global GDP, and accounts for 319 million jobs or one in ten of all jobs on the planet. However, these numbers have significantly been affected since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

As we have witnessed, the start of what seemed to be a controlled virus, has quickly turned into a global pandemic, causing most countries to close their travel borders in efforts to manage the spread of the disease in their communities.

There has been little chance of escape and the whole world has undoubtedly been affected by the effects of the pandemic in regards to their country’s economy and financial wellbeing. This has certainly affected countries that are most reliant on tourism such as Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Mexico, Bulgaria, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

For example, the beautiful island of Sicily situated in Italy, has lost $1.09 billion in revenue, mainly due to the lack of tourism since March 2020, according to an article published by Forbes last year.

Good news is, many of these countries are slowly opening their borders to tourists, and life for their citizens is gradually returning to how it was before the closure of travel borders. But seeing that Covid-19 is still prevalent this year, it’s generally still a good idea to practice all SOPs no matter where you travel – so wash those hands and keep your mask on!

Another bonus point is that many of these countries are keen for tourists to visit, to help boost up their economy again. Most avid travellers are probably already planning their next trip so some of these countries have gotten creative and are offering to ‘pay’ travellers that pick them for their next adventure.

Are you excited to find out what these countries have to offer? Here’s a run-down of the exciting incentives you’ll receive if you choose these destinations to visit post-covid:

Sicily, Italy

As mentioned, Sicily has suffered a major financial loss during this pandemic, so it makes sense that the government wants to regain its economic standing by offering incentives to visitors if they choose the island as their next travel destination.

In a move to reboot its tourism sector, the regional government has confirmed that it will pay half the price of travellers' plane tickets, one in every three of their hotel nights for the duration of their stay (up to a maximum of 2 free nights), a complimentary entrance ticket to experience a cultural attraction on the island as well as a tourist service to choose from (such as excursions, guided tours or diving).

So, if you are eager to bask in the serene beaches of Sicily, with its beautiful natural scenery and its artistic and cultural heritage, while enjoying these incentives, apply for a voucher at: https://www.visitsicily.info/en/

Just bear in mind, that before travelling to Italy, you’ll need to download and fill in the digital European Passenger Locator Form (PLF) to help with contact tracing, a complete Covid-19 vaccination (performed at least 14 days beforehand) and obtain a rapid molecular or antigenic test (with a negative result) performed 48 hours prior to entry. These requirements may have changed by the time you are reading this, so it’s best to check the official tourism website of Italy for the latest updates when you are ready to travel.


This European island nation is also enticing travellers from around the world to visit post-covid or at least once the lockdown is lifted. The World Travel and Tourism Council data shows that the tourism industry of Malta directly and indirectly accounts for more than 15.9% of their economy, but the sector has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In view of that, Malta’s Tourism Authority hopes to revive its tourism sector through a special incentivised travel scheme for all independent travellers. The incentive mainly covers a minimum of 3 nights when visitors book their holiday stays directly. The payments are made in 3 tiers. There is a €100 (approx. $119) rebate per traveller if you book a five-star hotel, €75 (approx. $89) for a four-star and €50 (about $60) for three-star hotels.

This Scheme has a total allocated budget of €3,500,000 and is estimated to positively impact more than 35,000 tourists. So, start planning your trip and get in on the deal.

Travel requirements applicable to all travellers entering Malta include the completed Public Health Travel Declaration and Passenger Locator Form (PLF). Travellers residing in a country within Malta’s Amber list – such as Singapore – for at least 14 days, must also present a negative nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test result (age 5 and over) done 72 hours before, or a valid official Maltese vaccination certificate (age 12 and over). Testing on arrival may be carried out when travelling from zones considered to be of higher risk – red (travel ban) zones – and you may also be required to quarantine for 14 days and repeat testing at day 11-12 of quarantine. But this could change within a couple of weeks so check the official website of the Maltese Health Ministry for latest updates.


Cyprus is another beautiful island nation in Europe known for its crystal clear beaches and warm sunny weather. It’s tourism industry directly accounts for 13% of their economy and the country has losses of about 70% of the 2.6 billion euros (US$2.85 billion) in tourism-generated revenue.

So, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cypriot government has also pledged to cover all costs for any traveler who tests positive for the coronavirus while on vacation. According to the Associated Press, the government will pay for travelers’ accommodation, food, drink, and medication if they test positive for Covid-19 after entering the country. These patients will only need to foot the bill for their airport transfer and return flight.

On top of that, it has promised to provide dedicated “quarantine hotels” for the patient’s family members and close contacts of the person infected with the coronavirus. So if you choose to travel to Cyprus, you have the peace of mind that you will be well taken care of if you do contract the virus while there.

What’s important to note, is that all permitted travellers must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before entering the country. You will need to upload your PCR test result – taken within 24 hours of your departure - when applying for the Cyprus Flight Pass. In addition to obtaining the Cyprus Flight Pass, travellers are required to carry with them, copies of these documents, whether in hard copy or electronic copy. You will be asked to present your flight pass prior to boarding and on arrival at immigration. Again, it’s best to check for the latest updates on entry requirements if you’re planning a trip to Cyprus.

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun is a breathtaking island on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. It is one of Mexico’s most visited spots, thanks to its stunning beaches where thousands of tourists come to surf and scuba dive.

The economy of Cancun, which is the second largest in Latin America, is heavily reliant on tourism. Last year (2020) the pandemic caused a drop of 45% in tourism revenue at a cost of US$13bil to the sector, according to Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco.

So, in an attempt to woo travellers from other countries, the Cancun Hotel Association has launched a Come to Cancun 2x1 campaign for visitors post-pandemic. This campaign basically offers two free nights of accommodation for every two nights paid and a refund for one plane ticket so visitors can bring a companion with them.

But there is more; travellers to Cancun will also get two extra days free on their car rentals if they have already paid for two days and discounts if they visit local businesses, theme parks, and golf courses. Not a bad deal if you’re planning a holiday for two or even a small family getaway.

Another plus point is that there is no need to provide a negative PCR test when visiting Cancun or quarantine on arrival, though most resorts may ask guests to fill out health questionnaires. However, you will probably need to get the test results when travelling back to your country of residence or your next destination, so, best to do the checks and get tested beforehand if it’s easier that way.


If Bulgaria is on your list of places to travel to in 2021, you’d be glad to know that the Bulgarian government is offering beach passes, sunbeds, loungers, and tables at the beaches for free to its visitors.

According to the Bulgarian authorities, tourism accounts for 10.8% of Bulgaria’s GDP and it is particularly badly affected by the pandemic, so, it has come up with this incentive package that is open to all travellers.

Bulgaria is considered to be a priced holiday spot, with guests that come to bask in the warm sun and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze from the Black Sea. So, it’s definitely a bonus to be able to enjoy extra savings while lounging at the beach.

If you choose this destination, you will be required to present a vaccination certificate indicating completed vaccination of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before arrival, a negative result of an approved PCR test performed within 72 hours before travelling or an approved rapid antigen negative test result performed up to 48 hours before entry. Of course these requirements could have changed so check the latest entry rules to be sure.

Note: Here are two more countries with travel incentives that are not for international travellers but for residents of the country.


The Japanese government is also offering massive discounts and vouchers to boost tourism post-pandemic. But these incentives are for the locals and domestic travellers. Foreigners who are residents in Japan are also eligible to receive these travel perks.

Called the Go-To Travel Campaign,  it was rolled out in July 2020 but later suspended in December 2020 because of the rise of Coronavirus infections, and at the time of writing this article, it has not resumed yet. But we expect it to resume once the numbers have decreased significantly.

The campaign offers up to 50% discounts for accommodation costs and travel packages. The savings come in the form of a 35% discount on the total cost of travel and coupons worth 15 percent of the total cost spent on other travel expenses during the trip.

The United Kingdom

Similar to Japan’s domestic travel incentive; The UK is offering incentives and subsidies to domestic travellers and its residents. The British government aims to give money to Brits to tour locally, to encourage UK residents to explore the local attractions like the historic Scottish countryside and appreciate the beautiful views of England and Wales.

In Conclusion

By the time you read this, more countries may have rolled out travel incentives around the world for travel towards the end of 2021. These incentives are worth considering when planning a future solo trip or a trip with family and friends.

No matter where you decide to go, don’t forget to include travel insurance in your must-have list so that you can travel with peace of mind and ensure your health and safety is priority. In the event of an emergency where you may need to evacuate a country quickly, or if you or a family member falls ill, or if your belongings or personal items get stolen or damaged, travel insurance can ease the stress of loss and protect you and your loved ones. Get a quick quote or call DirectAsia and speak to our travel insurance expert at 6665 5555 to know more. Alternatively, you can fill in the online form here.