It has been a hard year for everyone involved in the travel and tourism industries as large parts of the world have been in lockdown or have closed their borders.
Most of Southeast Asia is still off limits for most travellers but there are signs that things may be more promising for 2021.
Thailand has recently launched the Special Tourist Visa, for long-stay visitors from low risk countries, and Tourist Visas, for shorter stays.
Both have a number of restrictions, including an initial 14-day quarantine and extensive medical insurance, but they are allowing the first tourists back since the middle of March.
As confidence grows within Thailand of the success of these schemes it is hoped that restrictions will relax and more people will be allowed to visit. There have also been rumours that the quarantine period will be reduced to 10-days.
While most of Indonesia continues to struggle with high numbers of Covid-19, Bali has had better success in keeping lower numbers.
There have been extensive reports, unconfirmed, that Bali is hoping to re-open to foreign visitors from the start of December.
The reports suggest that visitors would be required to take a Covid-19 test on arrival and once given the all-clear would be free to travel on the island.
Singapore has announced an air travel bubble with Hong Kong for leisure travel from 22nd November.
Initially one flight a day, with a maximum of 200 travellers, will make the trip, increasing to two flights from 7th December. The flights will be suspended for two weeks if the 7-day moving average of daily unlinked Covid-19 cases is more than five in either Singapore or Hong Kong.
Travellers between Singapore and Hong Kong will have to take Covid-19 tests, but will not be required to quarantine and will not have any restrictions on travel.
Singapore has also lifted travel restrictions to visitors from Australia (excluding Victoria State), Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand and Vietnam under the Air Travel Pass (ATP) scheme.
They have also introduced Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) arrangements with a number of countries for visitors travelling for business and official purposes.
Although there have been no lifting of restrictions in Vietnam there have been the first indications that the country is preparing for the restart of the foreign tourist industry.
The country recently released a promotional video targeting USA visitors and are launching a tourist app with information about restaurants, hotels, apartments, entertainment places, transport providers, hospitals and pharmacies who have submitted their Covid safety status.
Da Nang has also held an online seminar to promote tourism with Singapore.
The prospects of a vaccine, possibly even before the end of 2020, raises hopes that tourism may be able to open more extensively.
Countries may start allowing more tourists to enter as long as they have received a vaccination, possible in conjunction with a negative Covid-19 test. Increased availability of reliable rapid tests make this even more achieveable.
A number of airports have started to build up to the return of mass tourism with the installation of rapid testing facilities.
In the UK Heathrow Airport has installed rapid testing facilities and are working, together with other airports, to get agreement from the UK Government to accept the tests to reduce or even not require quarantine.
In Southeast Asia, Changi Airport in Singapore and Phuket Airport in Thailand have both installed testing facilities in preparation for more foreign visitors.
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