The COVID-19 pandemic has obliterated the region’s USD 300 billion travel and tourism industry. The outcome is threatening the external sector of countries for whom tourism has been a stable source of foreign exchange, and domestically, a key employer of the local workforce. But, as the pandemic situation improves in many countries in the region, policymakers are now faced with having to carefully balance rebooting economic activity in the sector against the health and safety of the populace. This note analyzes the impact of the pandemic on the region’s tourism industry, implications for the future of the sector, and possible opportunities and mitigation strategies.