'Tourism bubble' burst 4'Tourism bubble' burst 4

One of the strategies to maintain the international tourism market amid the pandemic is to create `travel bubbles`: alliances between neighboring countries with low infection rates, allowing tourists from one country to travel to another.

The frozen international travel market has not only ruined family summer vacations;

Where did the ‘tourism bubble’ burst?

In May, New Zealand and Australia attracted public opinion when they announced a tourism partnership plan amid the pandemic.

The proposal to create a `travel bubble` between New Zealand and Australia in May has been postponed indefinitely.

For a while, Europe seemed to be the brightest hope for restarting tourism, starting with the `bubble` concept.

Much of Europe quickly became one giant travel bubble.

However, the border doors are not open to welcome foreign visitors for too long.

The `travel bubble` in Asia also had the same fate.

While some countries apply travel bubbles with neighboring countries, others create lists of countries with conditional entry.

In the US, where the number of infections recorded is about 25% of the world’s total, states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut created their own travel bubbles.

From ‘bubble’ to ‘travel corridor’

The idea of `travel bubbles` gradually gave way to `travel corridors` and safe lists.

These regulations change continuously, depending on the evolution of the epidemic.

'Tourism bubble' burst

Italian tourists gathered near the Eiffel Tower, France in early August. Photo: AP

Most websites of foreign ministries of foreign countries clearly state virus testing requirements for tourists.

As for Greece, instead of banning all tourists from countries with a high risk of infection, it recently began requiring citizens from some special countries who need a negative Covid-19 certificate to be tested.

Dr. Brad Connor, director of CDC’s GeoSentinel emerging infectious disease surveillance network in New York, assesses the current risk of nCoV infection as high for both tourists and the countries they visit.

This expert said that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic travelers – even though they are infected – can accidentally bring the virus into an area without being detected.

`We all want to travel again safely. Unfortunately, all efforts to date have been fruitless,` Dr. Connor expressed.

Access by region

Waves of infection may be local, and some countries’ restrictions apply regionally.

Opening up an area to international tourists is the latest idea to retain some of this year’s revenue.

Most governments understand the situation does not allow planning too far ahead.

Dr Connor said: `Travelers can continue to minimize the risk to themselves and others by wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing, but at present we cannot completely eliminate the risk

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