This week was a week we could see many travel news about border reopenings. The main focus was on the situations of each country in terms of lifting travel bans. Another news was about destinations that which they consider to redesign their destination experience for the post-COVID period. These kinds of specific news once again proved that the travel world will be surely different than it used to be.
As the main topic of the whole week, border reopenings issue is one of the biggest mess because all countries have different restrictions than any other. Meanwhile, a country may lift travel bans to some while they still stay their doors closed to others. When you think about all countries in the world, there should be a such big matrix to understand which countries’ citizens can travel to which country. The leading travel sector media company Skift editors created one of the greatest list showing the reopening announcements. You can just check it if you need such information. However; still, the information may update very quickly from day to day. So that if you plan to visit a destination, try to check their official announcements of the destinations as well.
Regarding border reopenings, while some countries are way more flexible and eager to open borders, some countries are way more protectionist. All in all, I can firmly tell you that border reopenings are not related at all with the number of the corona cases in the countries. It’s rather about economical concerns. For instance, especially countries which their economies are highly dependent on tourism revenues are way more eager to open their borders. These countries are like Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Greece. Although they are not yet eager to open their borders to all regions, they are starting to open their borders in their regions. Especially, EU countries are being more flexible with each other. Also, the European Union made a great map interface that you can check every countries’ restrictions. You can also just check it via the link.
Asia & Oceania
When we look at Asian countries, we can clearly see that they are being way more cautious about accepting visitors or letting their citizens leave the country. Asian countries especially including China, Taiwan, and South Korea are famous for sending group tours to all around the world. Most of them banned group tours till the end of October more or less. Especially, Australia and New Zealand were highly conservative about the issue. They were very successful to come to zero cases lately. But, a couple of new cases in New Zealand made them put domestic restrictions again. Also, sources suggest that Australia will not let international travel till 2021.
Also considering all these different regulations of every country, especially operations of international flights are becoming harder for airlines. Complying with all the restrictions, choosing passengers accordingly, and at the same time making a profit from these flights are being a hard challenge for airlines. That’s why most of the schedules of airlines are disrupted. Also, transfer passengers are being even more important for airlines like Qatar, Emirates, or Turkish Airlines since they are connecting passengers from regions to regions. In such cases of restrictions, carrying allowed passengers to a destination is also becoming a responsibility of the airline. Still, Turkish Airlines announced that for the first phase of the June, they were leading carriers in the European region.
✈️— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) June 19, 2020
We are back, even stronger!
It is a proud moment for us to become the airline with the most flights in the @eurocontrol zone, completing 400 out of 8000 flights performed on 18 June 2020.#TurkishAirlines pic.twitter.com/CtNHKXpgbY
Redesigning Travel Experiences
As we have been suggesting the same idea for all the weeks, the post-COVID era of the traveling will not be the same any soon as it was. We can divide the post-COVID era into two periods that one is a short term including this summer and the other is more long term. In the short term, – actually we should call it the COVID traveling era – countries come up with different solutions to design the travel during the pandemic. Meanwhile, long term solutions more seem like changing the core silhouette of the destination.
Short Term – COVID Era –
As I have mentioned above, countries which they are highly dependent on tourism revenues are trying to come up with safety solutions to encourage international visitors. For instance, Turkey came up with an idea of a ‘healthy tourism certificate’ programme that the government will be certifying safe attractions to visit this year also including airlines and hotels. On the other hand, there are also destinations that are implementing harsher regulations. For instance, Cambodia will be requiring a coronavirus deposit from visitors $3000 in cash to cover insurance costs.
When we look at the longer term of redesigning the travel experience of a destination, we can see that Holland wants to change some aspects of the travel experience of Amsterdam. Even before the pandemic era Holland was starting to promote Amsterdam and the whole country to a more family-friendly destination. And now we can see that these drastically planned changes may be speeded up thanks to the COVID pandemic.
Again, related to the topic of redesigning the travel, TravelScrum Hackathon was organized for the first time this year. The competition focuses on providing solutions for the post-pandemic era of the travel world. The main three topics of the challenge are hygiene&health, travel&experiences, and sustainability&relief. I’m sure that for our readers, the focus topics of the contest are no surprise. By 19th June, the Hackathon jury announced the winners by the online ceremony. If you are more interested in the contest, you can just check their website by clicking the link.
Into The Wild
I can sincerely say that ‘Into the Wild‘ movie may be the most epic and greatest movie about the wanderlust. Before starting the topic, if you didn’t have a chance to see the movie, I highly suggest you watch it. It is based on the true story of Christopher McCandless who was graduated from Emory University in May 1990. After, graduating the university, he decided to donate all the money of $24,000 that he saved during his college years to a charity. Then, he persuaded a vagabond lifestyle. After leaving everything behind, he hiked alone in the wilderness of the US keeping a journal meanwhile. In 1992, he was gone to eternity in the abandoned bus you can see below. After his life was being turned into a book and a movie, his legacy and philosophy became very famous.
The bus that he lost his life in Alaska was attracting many adventurers to see and take pictures with it. Meanwhile, because of the hard conditions of the location where the bus was laying down, some of the adventurers faced with various struggles including a couple of death and loss cases. To ensure the safety of the people, it has been decided to remove the bus from that location. The bus will be remaining in a secure place until it is decided what to do with it. It has been stated that the bus and all the sentimental objects including his suitcase were preserved well.
Wishing everyone to lead a life that you would be fully happy, I would like to finish this weeks’ travel news with the last words that Christopher wrote in his journal just before he died in the famous green bus:
I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!Christopher McCandless
That’s all for this week! See you next week with more travel news!