Travel has again become very difficult, and the reason for this is the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. A number of countries are again introducing quarantine measures and mandating mandatory PCR testing. The pages of the European press are full of articles about what all these restrictions can do for citizens working in the tourism and related industries…
The government is killing the economy
New rules introduced in France — for example, the closing of bars and restaurants in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence — go too far, — writes in his column in Le Figaro newspaper Edouard Tetro:
“What does the government do instead of acknowledging its past mistakes and changing its strategy? Releasing all the brakes and humming the horn, the locomotive is carried straight into the wall of the new lockdown. Does anyone really believe that the economy and society, and so lying in ruins at the end of the first, spring, lockdown, suddenly can quickly recover from the current package of measures? …. A succession of outstanding debts for rent, private bankruptcies, and impoverished families will take far more lives than the COVID-19. With its idiotic and inaudible measures, which only sow contagious fear, the Castex government is killing the economy of our country. And I was also hoping that this cabinet would show itself to be more pragmatic — and less Jacobite.
The thorny road to Santa Claus
Finland intends to introduce new entry rules that require double testing of arrivals — before and after travel. The Helsingin Sanomat publication fears serious consequences for tourism in Lapland:
“In the tourist industry of Lapland employs about ten thousand people, and annually this sector generates more than a billion euros of profit … The decision to subject tourists to double testing and a three-day quarantine on arrival at the place of rest was a disappointment for Lapland. For visitors from countries at risk, such as the UK, a trip to Santa Claus will be too difficult … Most Lappish travel agencies — and their almost two thousand — are small businesses that often do not have a thick financial cushion in case of crisis. All the years of hard work, thanks to which tourism in Lapland has become a success story, is threatened by a wave of bankruptcies.
Save what saved us!
Tourism provides Portugal 16.5 percent of GDP (as of 2019). It is necessary to ensure the viability of this usually crisis-resistant industry at all costs,” Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar, a member of the European Parliament, said on Publico:
“Tourism is a sustainable, creative, and quality sector of the economy, which is why we must continue to rely on it as the best in this field. The experience of recent years is proof of that. Tourism, which we have praised so much in the past for helping the country’s economy to stay afloat in times of crisis, cannot be sacrificed to other interests. Tourism has done so much for the country and so much that it deserves special attention from the government.
All hope is for the holidaymakers
The hotel business can only hope that someone will go on vacation despite all the warnings, — writes the newspaper Kurier:
“Europe is one solid warning about the risk zone. To be more precise — this patchwork quilt, sewn from various red lists. And from the point of view of the hotel business, it is a solid red rag! Winter season will be a real test of strength for many. The number of booked hotel beds during the skiing season, to put it mildly, does not hit the record. According to recent data, it is only a third of the previous volume. Consultants in the field of tourism assume that one in three hotels in Austria is facing financial difficulties. Ten percent of hotels do not seem to work at all. And it’s easier said than done — in the hotel business you can’t just lock the door and leave. … In a situation where there are no guests, and therefore no money in the cash desk, will not save any delays on loans. The state is not to be hoped for here. Only brave tourists can come to the aid, who will go on vacation in spite of everything.