Tag: Tourism

Coronavirus, Berlin: “Holidays in Italy and Spain? We need to talk about it”

Coronavirus, Berlin: “Holidays in Italy and Spain? We need to talk about it”

“With Italy and Spain, countries particularly affected by the coronavirus and where many limitations are still in force, we will have to talk.” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, after a video conference meeting with the 10 EU countries that represent the Germans’ most popular destinations for the summer holidays. Berlin is not looking for bilateral agreements, but a coordinated and transparent process in the EU is needed. Maas explained.

Contagion trends are improving in many European countries, stated the German minister. “I hope everyone can have the situation under control at some point, so that we can travel to all countries again without reservations. But I don’t know if it will be possible for everyone this summer,” he added. “We will be very cautious. We do not want to give the impression that everything will be the same, regardless of where you go.”

The words of the German minister follow those of his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, who has ensured that Italy will be ready to reopen its borders since June 3. According to Di Maio, free movement between the Regions will resume in Italy on that date, and European tourists will be allowed to enter. “Our facilities are ready.” He said adding that any blacklists between EU countries is inadmissible.

Spain could instead reopen its frontiers to foreign tourists starting from the end of June, when the Spanish will be allowed to move within the country. According to the Minister of Transport Jose Luis Abalos, from the end of June, Spain will restart tourism. I hope, if the withdrawal of the quarantine measures is going well, we can make Spain more attractive in terms of health.

Mutual travel deals, as proposed in a leaked European Commission document on 12 May, may be struck between countries with similar coronavirus risk profiles. For example, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed a ‘travel bubble’ allowing movement between those countries. The commission also plans to publish an interactive map where travellers will be able to check on border controls and travel conditions around Europe.

Belgium is aiming to reopen to international tourists by 15 June, and is likely to make an announcement by the end of May. Some indirect flights with the UK are operating for essential travel. Eurostar has a significantly reduced service, and public transport is running with masks mandatory. Also, France announced to reopen its borders, initially with Switzerland and Germany, from 15 June. In Greece, borders reopening to international tourists on 1 July at the earliest.

Should EU treat coronavirus as the new normal?

Should EU treat coronavirus as the new normal?

Europe is desperate to get its tourism industry back into action. But the pandemic is not stopping itself from spreading. The European Union greatly depends on its tourism industry and is said to be trying to save millions of jobs that depend on this industry. It is estimated that in spending in 2020 before the lockdowns, cross-border vacation travel had been expected to generate 1.3 billion euros, or $1.4 billion.

It is confirmed that the European Union has now set out plans for a phased restart of travel this summer. The EU border controls have been gradually lifted with measures to minimise the risks of infection kept under check. These include wearing face masks on shared transport.

Iceland plans to open its economy by June 15. It depends heavily on revenue from its tourism industry. They are putting some restrictions in place. For example, international travelers must decide on arrival whether they want to pay for a corona virus test or spend 14 days in quarantine, according to a government plan presented.

Other EU nations are trying desperately to come back to work. Other countries around the world are also grappling with how to reopen businesses after the pandemic has forced half of the planet into some form of lockdown and ground the global economy to a near-halt. Most nations are figuring out innovative ways to get back work going but for industries like tourism and travel, there is no way out except to the conventional open and travel.

As EU finds the courage to open up, numbers of cases of contraction continue to escalate. Russia, now the country with the second-highest number of virus cases, recorded more than 10,000 new infections after authorities this week eased restrictions to allow some people back to work.

United Kingdom is one of the few nations which is trying to go back to normal and allowing people to go back to work. France, Italy and Spain are also opening up, but the danger of a second wave of contraction cannot be ruled out.

A recent statement by WHO officials warns the world that “Corona virus could be reality that never goes away.” That just means that this is going to be the new normal around which EU nations will learn to adapt and ensure their tourism industry continues to thrive.

EU will have to go slow on tourism  post lockdown

EU will have to go slow on tourism post lockdown

For Germany, it is bad new post lockdown open, as the tourism industry might not be the same again. It still has a cap over the worldwide travel that extends into June 14. But the industry has been badly hit and is now looking for financial help.

Germany is also looking at a shrink by a record 6.3percent. According to Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, “We will experience the worst recession in the history of the federal republic,” since its founding in 1949.

Tourism accounts for 10 percent of the EU’s economic output. Economists now believe that the 27 member states will have to decide how to resume public movement both within their countries and beyond. The German association for tour operators has shared their plight with the media of having lost over €4.8bn ($5.21bn) in sales up until the end of April, and that the tourist sector would now need urgent government assistance.

Of all of Germany, mask is a compulsion. For Austria for example, while quarantine restrictions have been lifted off from three popular ski resorts, the movement of tourists will not be the same as before as they wish to adopt a phased return to tourist activity that begins by allowing German visitors too. In Spain for example, there is unrest over hotels being opened from May 11, because of fear people might not be able to follow social distancing protocols, flight restrictions and border closures, leading to low traffic and low sales therefore.

In Belgium, mayors from towns along the North Sea coast are thinking out strategies best suited to create access to the beaches. They intent to reach a solution by May 08, where they intent to create some kind of restricted accessand “save the Belgians’ summer”.
France has said no beaches will be open until at least June, while Spain is also targeting the end of June.

For over European Union, tourism is going to need slow and patient redefining and this might hurt just too much for those invested in the industry.

Culture and tourism don’t stop during the Coronavirus pandemic
Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa

Culture and tourism don’t stop during the Coronavirus pandemic

Culture and tourism don’t stop during the novel coronavirus pandemic. If it’s impossible to travel because of the lock-down, many governments and organizations have made their beauties and their cultural heritage available online. A service highly appreciated by citizens, who forced to stay home for the measures in response to COVID-19, are able to rediscover museums, exhibitions and precious gardens, directly on their computer and smartphones.

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, in Washington (USA), virtual tours allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device. Visitors can also access select collections and research areas at our satellite support and research stations as well as past exhibits no longer on display. During the virtual visit, it’s possible to learn about the ecology of African elephants, their place in geologic time, and their connections to humans, including the threats they face from poachers. Examine the diversity, dynamism, and global influence of Africa’s peoples and cultures over time in the realms of family, work, community, and the natural environment as well.

In Italy, The ‘Scuderie del Quirinale’ virtually reopened the doors of the “Raffaello, 1520-1483” exhibition with video stories, insights and forays into the backstage which, through social channels, will allow the visitor to admire some of the most beautiful works on display and will present details and curiosities about the art of the Renaissance painter and on the largest exhibition ever attempted so far. With the hashtag #RaffaelloOltreLaMostra it will be possible to listen the story of the curators and virtually participate in the meetings hosted at Palazzo Altempi, in Rome, before the opening of the exhibition to the public. From Silvia Ginzburg, expert on the theme of Raphael’s youth, to Antonio Natali, who tells the painter’s Florentine period, up to Alessandro Zuccari, who explores his activity in the capital.

In the United Arab Emirates, Louvre Abu Dhabi provided free access to more content through virtual tours, video, audio and downloadable activities, ensuring that the museum remains accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. “While Louvre Abu Dhabi is temporarily closed, our mission of sharing stories of cultural connections continues,” said Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi. “New digital features include a virtual 360-tour of our most recent exhibition, as well as online resources and activities that bring our collection to life. We will continue to tell the stories of our museum, with the hope that they offer solace, peace and inspiration,” Rabaté added. Louvre Abu Dhabi is also a part of CulturAll, a new initiative launched by the UAE Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to bring the emirate’s cultural landmarks online for audiences to enjoy their offerings from home.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism has also decided to make available online guided tours in the ancient Egypt and exhibitions of archaeological jewels preserved along the Nile. “This initiative – the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity (@moantiquities) explains from its Facebook page – is part of our efforts to allow people from all over the world to explore and enjoy the ancient Egyptian civilization even if confined to their home due to precautionary anti-pandemic measures”. Several online visits, one more suggestive than the other, are published every day both on the official website of the Egyptian ministry and on the social networks accounts, with the slogan “Live Egypt from home. Stay safe”.

Increasing Coronavirus: Who is to blame?
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus, Europe

Increasing Coronavirus: Who is to blame?

Coronavirus, the biggest global pandemic of the century, is not the only virus which has infected the world and taken down millions of lives. The world has fallen victim to Ebola, Yellow fever, Zika virus, Nipa virus, MERS (CoV), scarlet fever, SARS, Enterovirus 68 and many more. Today, we have more viruses and diseases than ever before. According to a research paper, “Deposition rates of viruses and bacteria above the atmospheric boundary layer”, published in 2018, there are about 800 million viruses on every square meter of the planet. But not all viruses cause pandemics. Well, not all viruses even enter the human lives.

According to scientists, wet forests are the breeding grounds for most of the viruses in the world as the region is rich in terms of biodiversity. Rodents, mammals and bats are the maximum carriers of viruses but the most dangerous of all are bats as they have a strange ability to carry a lot of viruses, in their saliva, urine, and faeces. And they can easily spread these virus as they can fly to different places.

Dr. Kevin Olival, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, who has been studying emerging viral infections for over a decade, said that over the last 60 years, the number of viral diseases has gone up four times and the outbreaks per year has increased three times.
He added that there are thousands of new viruses in the world. Interestingly these are new only to the world of humans and science as they have been existing among the wild for thousands of years.

Viruses are not coming to humans, but humans are going to them. It is humans, who are getting into the forest, and using the forest land to build malls, estates or convert them into plantations, including soya bean plantation in Amazon, palm oil plantation in Indonesia, Malaysia, live stock ranching, agricultural expansion, logging etc.

Dr. Barbara Han, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York, said, “Whatever survives, spills out. Deforestation is closely tied to disease emergence.” Dr Han said that by 2050, more than half of the world’s population is expected to live in the tropics and subtropics. Where as at present only 15 percent of the world’s rain forests still remain untouched, but the rest has been burned down.

Human activities are rapidly impacting the environment and hampering the balance of existing biodiversity. With all these changes, comes along the era of new and deadly viruses. We witness it a lot many times that, if deforestation happens in certain area then animals show up in nearly farm lands or houses. In the same manner if these virus-carrying animals or bats enter human space or spit or pee or poop on a human or in our farm lands then these viruses enter human race.

In 2017, Dr. Olival was working on project ‘PREDICT’, along with a team from the EcoHealth Alliance, who were trying to investigate where the most dangerous unknown pathogens are likely to be living. The team predicted that the next pandemic would emerge from bats, as they are already known to be cause of many human pandemics, including Sars, which emerged from cave-dwelling bats in China, and Ebola.

Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, raised a pertinent point. Dr. Morse told BBC, “I think we are better able to respond to pandemics today than ever, but part of the problem is mobilising the resources and political will to take them seriously. I feel the greatest problem is not so much the pathogen – it’s complacency.”

The key causes of increasing rate of viruses are rampant human consumerism, globalisation, overselling of tourism industry and growing clutches of capitalism, in-short human expansion into the wild. We, humans need to learn from past and from our catastrophic mistakes before becomes a past.

EU members come together to combat coronavirus created economy dip

EU members come together to combat coronavirus created economy dip

Just like Japan and the Saudi Arabia, the European Union feels as responsible for its fellow human beings and is taking measures to curb the effect of the novel virus repercussions on the global economy.

The European Union (EU) has decided to put a package of measures in place to help some of the stuck economies of member firms. This includes a €37bn euro (£33bn) investment initiative also. German finance minister Olaf Scholz has further added that his country could part nationalise firms to tackle the crisis.

Germany is amongst the few nations which has also declared that if there is a successful Covid-19 virus vaccine discovered after trials, it will be available to all over the world and will not be given a particular country autonomy. There was news that the US was trying to buy the formula off the German biotechnology company.

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On its part, another member nation Norway has decided to suspend some airline taxes as global aviation body International Air Transport Association (IATA) said carriers could fold over the next few months. This is a simple way to buttress the various carriers and give them time to recoup from the dipping numbers in travelers as most of the world has been put under a lock down to contain the virus from spreading.

According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the EU has also decided to offer a guarantee €8bn in loans to 100,000 firms to support the corporate sector that is reeling under severe pressure from doodling numbers. Leyen has further shown trust in the solidarity of the EU members nations to work together to ensure the medical lines are full and these various measures can cushion the jobs and pays of people.

The worst hit seems to the airlines businesses that need to be salvaged, according to Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive of the IATA. It is estimated that more airlines could collapse if the coronavirus crisis last more than another two to three months.

Further Juniac has informed the media that global revenue losses would be “probably above” $113bn that it estimated a week ago, before the Trump administration’s announcement of US travel curbs on passengers from much of continental Europe.

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