Summer is approaching once again, and it seems that this year, investors have more questions than answers in all things regarding investing, especially in tourism. I understand that, of course. The pandemic hit the tourism sector hard - harder than any other sector. Yet, rough times tend to hold opportunities for the patient and attentive investor.

I, Ofir Bar, have been an investor for over two decades now, especially in real estate and greentech. I have great interest in new startups and innovators. Nevertheless, tourism will always be in investors’ minds - well, at least in my mind. That’s why I’m dedicating this blog post to it. I have researched and examined where opportunities may be, and what’s important to keep in mind. Here are some of my conclusions.

Redder is better

Phase one of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project is scheduled to start operating this year, intended to attract tourists to the Saudi shores of the Red Sea. As you can understand, there’s more of this project yet to come: By 2030, room capacity in the region is planned to rise up to approximately 8000. And we all know that touring in the Arabian peninsula is constantly gaining popularity.

(photo by: Shutterstock)

Loyalty has its rewards

One of the most promising branches of tourism for this summer is cruise vacations. Companies such as Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Carnival are expecting a spike in business, in spite of all COVID regulations. This is mainly thanks to the fact that these companies have a loyal customer base. RCL is especially likely to profit: It’s CEO already declared that bookings for next summer are exceptionally strong. I wouldn’t be surprised if their sales in 2022 surpass pre-epidemic levels.


(photo by: Shutterstock)

A breath of fresh air

Booking sites seem to recover faster from the downturn of COVID. AirBNB’s recovery can be attributed to the many uses its customers find in it - as travelers, students, globe trotters, etc. Today you can’t say ‘tourism’ without automatically thinking of AirBNB as a hospitality option.’s story is similar, in a way. They continue to purchase multiple companies related to tourism - that is to say they are holding more and more cards in their hands. However, in this case, them turning into a monopoly force might not be good for investors, as regulations are bound to follow shortly.

(photo by: Shutterstock)

The little details

I expect more tourism based countries to follow Italy’s footsteps by capping the number of tourists allowed into tourist attractions at a given time. Another possibility is that countries will impose higher tourist taxes.

This can have a positive effect on investment in tourism, since it is a trigger for prices to rise. Thailand and New Zealand are likely to adopt the latter approach. Thailand, by the way, expects a major rise in tourism due to scrapping of quarantine requirements.

How COVID makes us behave

In all things tourism, the first thing that should be brought to mind is the routine for each COVID-19 variant, which tends to be different. The Omicron, for example, has blown by us without causing significant damage to economies, mainly due to governments trying hard to keep local businesses alive and running.

And now we have the new BA2 variant, which is said to be a relative of Omicron. Right now it’s too early to know conclusively whether the variant is about to make us change our ways, but I believe there’s a reason to be optimistic: we witnessed how leaders from all across the world loosened restrictions even though Omicron was highly contagious, due to the fact it wasn’t very deadly. BA2’s case is similar: as far as researchers know, BA2 is even more contagious than Omicron, but not deadlier. And that is a key point.

Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to stay updated on the latest news about the pandemic, and make educated decisions accordingly. I hope you’ve already come to terms with the fact it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Having said that, I wish all of my readers a pleasant and healthy summer vacation.