THE NEUTRAL ZONE
The international tourism industry is hurting due to the pandemic, but the emotional and financial effects vary by city.
The tourism industry is expected to drop by 70% this year, making this the worst decline in international tourism since the end of World War II. Several destinations with economies that depend heavily on tourism are eager to reopen, such as Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands, which are aiming to reopen to tourists in June. Ryanair plans to operate at 40 percent capacity and travel to 90 percent of its traditional routes as countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece plan to reopen this summer. Other regions are taking more drastic measures. Cyprus is offering to pay the vacation costs of anyone who contracts coronavirus during their visit to the country.
While some places are eager to reopen, others are more reluctant. The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand stated that the country will not reopen until the fourth quarter of 2020 at the earliest, depending on the state of the outbreak. South Africa will not resume domestic tourism until December of this year, while international tourism will not resume until February of 2021.
Some places are reporting an improved standard of living for locals in the absence of mass tourism, compiled by fear of outsiders who could bring the virus to their town. Experts in the EU worry about a “lack of standardization” between countries in Europe, as some have more sophisticated measures in place than others.
Hawaii Should Not Rush To Fully Reopen Tourism – Honolulu Civil Beat – 5/28/20 Hawaiian Airlines is requiring passengers to wear masks during the duration of the flight. Seat assignments will be done manually with agents separating unrelated passengers by blocking middle seats. Yet, passengers will be removing masks to eat and drink during long flights. Children and passengers with respiratory conditions will be exempted from wearing a mask. With hardly any guidance from the FAA, airlines are making up their own COVID-19 safety regulations.
In Marrakesh, tourism is frozen. So is the economy. – Marketplace – 5/28/20 For Babas and many others in Marrakesh, the tourism industry is essential. According to a 2019 report from the World Travel and Tourism Council, about 30% of the local economy in Marrakesh revolves around tourism, making it one of the most tourist-dependent economies in the world. […] “Ninety percent of my customers are restaurants, guest houses, and coffee places,” said Babas in a phone interview with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal. “And the other 10% are local customers.”
Ohio tourism industry losing patience with Gov. Mike DeWine, lack of timetable for reopening zoos, museums, amusement parks – cleveland – 5/27/20 “I’m very anxious to get the guidelines approved by the governor so we can get these attractions open,” said Calvert, who chaired the travel and tourism advisory group tasked with developing rules for reopening the state’s tourism economy. “They want an answer. They want to open.” She noted that Indiana and Kentucky plan to reopen numerous tourist attractions in the coming weeks. “I don’t want our visitors to go to those states and do things they can’t do here,” she said.
With tourists gone, Amsterdam locals reclaim their city – CNN – 5/27/20 I had tears in my eyes. A kind of deep emotion I hadn’t felt for a long time: the love for my city. The beauty of it touched me, as it had in my youth — the 1980s and ’90s — when the city was still mine. […] “I have more contact with my neighbors, the canals are clearer than ever and the city’s nature is thriving. The constant noise is gone and there is calmness. Amsterdam has a circadian rhythm again. It feels like a little retreat.”
CTV News VI on Twitter, 5/28/20: Several communities on Vancouver Island are getting ready to roll out the welcome mat for tourists once again – even those areas that previously asked visitors to stay away.
Tourism Ireland Industry of Twitter, 5/28/20: How would you like to help fill the hearts of the world with Ireland? Share your inspirational content with us and help keep the island of Ireland at the front of everyone’s mind #FillYourHeartWithIreland
Alex Leff on Twitter, 5/28/20: “If a visitor to Cyprus tests positive for COVID-19 this summer, the government will cover many of their expenses — including food, drink and lodging” – @publicbill writes
Johannes Reck on Twitter, 5/28/20: Most people plan a Zoomcation this summer. The adventurous 9% going to cities will have the most unique experience in modern tourism. Imagine an empty Sistine Chapel or a lonely selfie with the Mona Lisa 🤩