It’s been six months since March, when the Coronavirus came down hard and much of America went into lockdown. Doctors and epidemiologists have had millions of cases to observe and analyze, and a consensus has developed about how to stop the spread of the virus. Along with it, people have learned how to protect themselves, and strategies are emerging for how to travel safely in a world in which the Coronavirus is present.
Even during the days of the strictest protocols, people were allowed to avail themselves of “essential services,” such as going to the grocery store. Early on, it became clear that the most effective means for stopping the spread were wearing masks, physical distancing, washing hands, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces. Wearing masks is at the top of the list and the most important. Read the rest of this entry »
I saw a Facebook post the other day of a story originally posted on LinkedIn entitled “NYC IS DEAD FOREVER. HERE’S WHY.”
The article went viral and was republished in the New York Post. There was some credibility to the statement, because the pandemic and the resulting economic dislocation has been catastrophic for New York. Besides the economic disaster, the widespread death and social disruption has taken a deep toll the costs of which over the coming years can never be calculated. Read the rest of this entry »
Rwanda recently became one of the few countries in the world that has opened its doors to the abandoned American traveler.
As of Aug. 1, Rwanda is accepting visitors on commercial flights – as long as they have a certificate showing they tested negative for COVID-19 in a SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test that has been administered within the previous five days.
In addition to that, Rwanda recently received the global safety and hygiene stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), certifying that it has successfully adopted the global standardized health and hygiene protocols of the WTTC for dealing with COVID19. The protocols have been formulated based on the experience of WTTC members as well as on guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read the rest of this entry »
When COVID-19 came down hard and fast in March, it looked like it could be the end for tour operators. Few could look confidently at being able to survive a year or more out of business while the world waited for the development of a vaccine – that may or may not ever happen.
But, gradually, the leading operators are learning how to adapt and move forward in a world where the Coronavirus is likely to be with us for a long time.
One of them is Alexander + Roberts. The Keene, NH-based tour operator is a survivor. With its history dating back to 1947, when it was founded in New York City as General Tours, it has endured countless disasters and problems that crippled the travel industry. Read the rest of this entry »
UnCruise Adventures, an operator of small-ship cruises, had a passenger who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Juneau airport and it forced the company to cancel the cruise four days into it, and then to cancel its whole season, including four more Alaska cruises that were scheduled to take place over 10 weeks this summer.
The incident cost UnCruise Adventures millions of dollars and deprived many people of their planned trips. And it’s still not possible to say for sure if the passenger was really infected. Read the rest of this entry »
In the Age of COVID, the world in which nearly all countries competed fiercely for the American tourist dollar is a fading memory, and today there is a relatively small list of destinations that welcome Americans.
Sad as it may be for Americans to give up the throne of favored tourism demographic, being unwelcome is a minor problem compared to the possibility of catching the deadly disease. In terms of both of these issues, and some others besides, Africa emerges as a strong possibility when considering venturing out again after months of sheltering to avoid COVID. Read the rest of this entry »
Since March, when American tour operators and wholesalers were hit with an immediate and, practically, total cut-off of business, they have been scrambling to hold onto what they could and trying to prepare for a resumption of business when travel opens again for Americans.
When that opening would come, no one could say for sure. The rush to reopen led to a skyrocketing of COVID cases that created another setback as the European Union closed its doors to American travelers, forcing operators to scrap much of their planning and start over again. After the second hit, consumer confidence in travel plummeted further and prospective travelers became even more cautious about resuming travel. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s hard not to be political these days. Historically, travel business journals have tried to steer clear of politics, saying it’s just about business. It’s difficult to do that now.
It was Pericles, the longest-lasting leader of the Golden Age of Athenian democracy around 400 BC, who said, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”
Indeed, somehow politics has found its way into the issue of wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19. Read the rest of this entry »