Tag Archives: travel

World tourism loss exceeds €1 trillion

The economic damage to the global tourism sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic restricitons is likely to exceed $1 trillion in 2020, which would set the industry back two decades, according to a new report from the United Nations.

“Depending on when travel restrictions will be fully lifted, the World Tourism Organization expects international tourism receipts (i.e. spending by international tourists) to drop between $910 billion and $1.2 trillion this year, which would set the global tourism industry back by 20 years,” UNWTO said.

The report adds that the coronavirus-related restrictions brought international travel to a crashing halt in April and May, resulting in international tourist arrivals that trailed last year’s total by almost 60% through the first five months of 2020.

The UNWTO has underlined that the tourism sector employs one in every ten people on Earth and warns that up to 120 million direct tourism jobs are at risk.

Tourism came to a standstill in mid-March. 2020. International tourist arrivals decreased by 56% in the first months of the year, with numbers in May down by 98%. This translates into a loss of nearly $320 billion in exports – over three times what was lost during the whole of the 2009 global economic crisis.

Forward-looking scenarios point to possible declines in arrivals and receipts from international tourism of 58% to 78% for the whole year depending on the speed of con- tainment of the pandemic, the duration of travel restrictions and the gradual re-opening of borders that has now begun but remains uncertain.

EU vacation with compagnon animal

An EU national can freely travel with his cat, dog or ferret if it has a European pet passport. This passport is available from any authorised veterinarian and must contain details of a valid anti-rabies vaccination.

Owners of a dog, cat or ferret which is less than 3 months old (and not vaccinated against rabies), should check the national rules before the departure.

The EU pet passport is established only for dogs, cats and ferrets. Owners of the other pets, such as rabbits or canaries, you should check relevant national rules on taking animals in/out of the country.

Ownr of compagnion animals indening to travel to Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom, it must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus as follows:

The treatment shall be administered by a veterinarian within a period of not more than 120 hours and not less than 24 hours before the time of scheduled entry into Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom;
the treatment shall be certified by the administering veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport.
Identification

The animal-traveller will require an electronic microchip or a readable tattoo that has been applied before 3 July 2011 with the same code as the one documented in the passport.

Borrell on travel restrictions for Turkey

“Turkey is not only a close neighbour for the European Union, especially for some Member States – it is clear it is a closer neighbour to Greece than to Portugal for example, or Ireland – but it is a key partner, it is a candidate country for accession, and the fact that we in Europe discuss extensively and frequently about Turkey just reflects the importance that we attach to this relationship” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, at the press conference following his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Çavuşoğlu in Ankara, Turkey.

“The advantage of our talks, dear Minister [[of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu], is that we can talk openly, frankly, in a constructive approach. Because currently the situation is far from being ideal. There are many serious issues that require our immediate attention. I want to change for the best the dynamics in our relationship because I believe that we have a mutual interest to get out of this situation and chart a new and positive trajectory, avoiding any kind of incident that could spark more troubles.

“First, the Eastern Mediterranean is a key region for Europe. It is time to tackle this, in order to create a way forward, conductive to confidence building, dialogue, good neighbourhood relations, stability and security. And this cannot be done by unilateral actions but requires cooperation and dialogue.

“The COVID-19 requires cooperation, unhappily it has not been the case worldwide, there is more confrontation than cooperation, but among us we should try to look for more cooperation than confrontation. I will have also the opportunity to discuss with the Minister of Defence [of Turkey, Hulusi Akar]. We are going to talk about the deterioration of the situation in the Aegean Sea, in the Eastern Mediterranean and what it means for EU-Turkey relations…

“…Let me just say that I understand the preoccupations of Turkey about the travel restrictions. I just want to say that Turkey has not been included in this list because we are adopting a progressive lifting of the travel restrictions on non-essential inbound travel. Only 15 countries have been selected to be part of this list, the approach that the Commission’s services in charge of these issues has followed is based on objective criteria related primarily to the health situation. These criteria are objective, applying them is not a mechanical exercise, it involves some qualitative judgement that is not set in stone. It will be revisited at least every two weeks, taking into account the evolving health situation.

“Moreover, not being on the list does not mean a complete travel ban. Citizens and people with an essential reason to come to Europe should be allowed to travel. As I said at least every two weeks we are going to reassess the situation according with the data provided by the health authorities of the states with which we would like to open our borders as soon as possible”.

EU encourages lifting Schengen controls

European Commission issued a statement on travel restrictions in which it “strongly encourages the remaining member states to finalise the process of lifting the internal border controls and restrictions to free movement within the EU by 15 June 2020.”

The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, insisted on the recommendation that internal borders must “reopen as soon as possible.” But she added that the main thing is for everyone to open internal borders completely before opening the EU’s external ones to third-country travelers.

While Germany, France and Belgium have said that they will lift travel restrictions on June 15, Spain is still preventing full mobility between its own regions. This situation is due to end by June 22, when the state of alarm declared to fight the Covid-19 epidemic expires.

The EU Commission said it is aware that coordination issues will not be easy. “We understand that reopening on Monday for countries that have not yet decided to do so could be complicated, and that some might take an extra week or two,” Johansson added.

COVID19: Europe gradually lifts restrictions

A number of European countries are further lifting their restrictions on May 25, Monday:

Gyms and swimming pools reopen in Italy, except in the hardest-hit region of Lombardy. The country has the third-highest recorded death toll from the virus worldwide.

Spain’s two biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, both move into phase one of the country’s 3-phase lockdown lifting plan. People can now gather in small groups, while bars and restaurants can serve customers outside. Other parts of the country move to phase two – meaning beaches, businesses and public areas can open more extensively.

Ferry services in Greece resume to all islands and ports, as the government hopes to boost domestic tourism. Cafes and restaurants are also reopening in the country from Monday.

Bars repent in the Czech Republic – the country with the highest per capita beer consumption in the world – as the country enters its final lockdown easing stage.

As well as restaurants, cafes and pubs, the doors are also reopening at primary schools, zoos and castles.

Switzerland travel restrictions till June

Health Minister Alain Berset said that he was pleased with people’s behaviour in Switzerland, respecting the lockdown during the Easter period.

In addition to the measures, along with the continued flattening of the curve of new Covid-19 infections in Switzerland, Berset indicated that the country would start relaxing the measures soon.

“It didn’t go too bad and so we need to thank everyone for that. As we said, this is not the moment to travel or take holidays – for example in Ticino – and as we saw, people have abided to the rules”.

https://twitter.com/didierpittet/status/1249232108620578818?s=21

I’m happy about that – we’re asking a lot from people at the moment, it needs to be said.”

There will be no passengers allowed to enter Switzerland by air until June 13th. Travel restrictions have been updated and are available on IATA Timatic tool. Exceptions applied, information is subject to permanent change.

Berset reasserted that the country needed to remain humble as vulnerable people will continue to be affected until there is a vaccine. Until a vaccine was found, there is a need to abide by the rules and to keep proper hygiene, Berset said.

COVID19 reaches Himalaya

Nepal government has closed its borders with India and China for a week starting March 23, in a bid to prevent a possible outbreak of the coronavirus among the Himalayan nation.

Although the cross-border human movement is halted till midnight of March 29, supply of goods from the countries will continue as usual, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada told a press conference on March 22 Sunday night.

Nepal, which shares an 1,800-km open border with India, has total 37 motorable land entry points with it, while with China it has four such entry points. Although the cross-border human movement is halted till midnight of March 29, supply of goods from the countries will continue as usual, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada told a press conference on Sunday night.

Moscow: seven Chinese hospitalised

Seven members of a tourist group from China were hospitalized in Moscow with high fever, Interfax news agency reports with reference to an informed source.

The tour group stayed in one of the capital’s hotels. After deterioration, seven people were hospitalized with high fever, ”the source told reporters. According to him, at the moment, other visitors to the hotel are examined by doctors, all are urgently taken tests.

World Health Organisation published hygiene recommendation to avoid contamination with coronavirus,

Aeroflot destroyed cats in luggage

The recent case of animal cruelty exposed Aeroflot inhumaine practices of transportation of animals with luggage, leaving a passenger devastated when receiving two cats crushed in cages, and one frozen to death. Brutal destruction of all tree cats, belonging to the same passenger, caused public outrage in Russia and beyond. (Image above: illustration).

The company acknowledged the need to change rules of animal transportation after the incident with Maxim Chumachenko, who reported death of two pets crushed in cages and the frostbite of a third cat after following Aeroflot rules to surrender the animals to the luggage compartment of a Boeing 777.

Upon arrival at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport from the USA, the passenger received, according to him, “two broken boxes thrown from the third floor” with lifeless animals inside. The victim believes that employees of the Aeroflot, should be prosecuted for cruelty to animals. The management of Aeroflot company acknowledged responsibility for the incident.

Maxim Chumachenko said that on January 22 he arrived from New York at Sheremetyevo. “In the cabin, I transported two cats and three in three different containers (in the luggage compartment. One on flight to Sofia and two to Moscow,” Mr. Chumachenko said.

According to him, in Sheremetyevo he was given “broken boxes with animals” that “seemed to be thrown from the height of the third floor” – the cargo compartment of the Boeing 777 is situated approximately at that height. “Aeroflot employees provided me with the necessary assistance so that I and my cats got on a flight to Sofia, ”said Mr. Chumachenko.“ One cat died of internal bleeding on the Moscow-Sofia flight, and the second two hours after landing on the table at the veterinarian” devastated cat owner said.

Russian Aeroflot company is notorious for cruelty to animals, causing passengers to invent different ways to disobey the rules in attempt to save their pets lives. Recently a passenger became world famous, sharing his trick of avoiding to surrender his overweight cat Viktor to luggage. Fat cat Viktor enjoyed the flight next to his master, but Mikhail Galin lost thousands of spared airmiles (400K) in Aeroflot reprimand measure, He said he never regretted it, because he does not put price on his pet’s life.

AMENDED: According to the owner both cats crushed in cages in luggage department during transportation died from massive internal bleeding. The complete autopsie results will be issued on January 27. Image below: one of the cats killed during travel with Aeroflot. (Source: social media)

Amsterdam increases tourist tax

City of Amsterdam will be adding a levy of €3 per person per night for travelers staying overnight in hotel in addition to the 7% of the room rate it currently charges.

The decision will make Amsterdam the highest overnight tax in Europe, on average.
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