Armchair travellers intent on visiting Great Britain can use the national tourism agency website to download recipes for lemon lavender shortbread, take a virtual tour of Harry Potter locations and shuffle a thoroughly British playlist (including The Clash’s 1980s anthem Should I Stay or Should I go). What they cannot do, under current rules, is fly to the country without a two-week quarantine. That — unsurprisingly — has irked British Airways and Ryanair as well as easyJet, which resumed flights this week. Similar restrictions elsewhere have stymied visitor flows, dealing a blow to the $3-trillion global tourism industry.

Yet ending quarantines would not reverse those flows. Tourism is an up-close and personal business of crowded souks, beach massages and island raves. It does not fit well in a social-distancing world. Snapshots from holiday destinations around the world show an industry trying to reinvent itself. Some have little choice. Thailand, which relies on tourism for...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now