When the authorities announced that the COVID-19 pandemic has reached endemicity in the country, there was a collective sigh of relief as the various restrictive measures had put a dent on the economy as well as mental health.
Now that the borders have re-opened, we are seeing more tourists out and about. If the past two and a half years had been all about staycation, I believe now is the time for the authorities to ramp up efforts in attracting foreigners to visit the Abode of Peace.
I was recently driving in the capital when I saw a tourist looking lost and resigned. It got me thinking if we have everything in place to ensure that tourists are able to navigate all our landmarks with much prior planning.
Perhaps the first thing to consider is to set up a tourist information signboard featuring our attractions at all entry points, including the airport. Not only would it serve as a refresher to visitors of our “national treasures”, it might change the minds of transit travellers who had not intended to leave the airport for a short adventure.
Then there is the issue of transportation. We have long lamented the lack of proper bus schedules and routes. It may be high time for the authorities to reach out to these operators to work out a way to better serve tourists who prefer to explore the country without a guide.
It would also be helpful to have signboards in the capital indicating the direction and estimated time to reach the nearest landmark. In doing so, even if the attraction is not on the itinerary, tourists may feel compelled to make a stop due to its close proximity.
Our country may not have the most vibrant night life or shopping malls that can rival those in the region, but there is a certain flavour to the comparatively slower pace that foreign tourists might find unique and palatable.