Ahhh a little frustrated humor is required this morning. The header image is how I feel right about now about travel ban changes, and that could totally be me calling the EU and telling them "WTH" (but honestly), LOL. I waited until Wednesday this week to post, to keep a cool & calm head. Just frustrated with the world is all, yeah. With that said, let's get to it!
First off I completely blame this administration for their failure to contain the pandemic, and downplaying it's seriousness. Which has resulted in our citizens being shut out of the EU effective immediately, Yes we've been banned in Europe (we are not the only ones) for a least two more weeks, likely longer, as the EU will update the approved list every two weeks. Barring some miracle in the reduction of positive cases per million, the EU will likely not include the US for at least a month maybe longer. Things could change faster and I hope they do. I mentioned this in a previous post. but I really think every country should require negative tests for entry, rather than country bans. Make it a requirement at check in, in the US. Don't put the burden on other countries citizens tax dollars.
Instead nothing of the like has been ratified here in US. The government, said to have lobbied and pleaded to not be on the EU ban list failed. What good was that going to do? none. Implement measures here at airports. If our government wants us to be able to travel overseas then do something so that other countries will feel safe allowing us in! The EU was not going to give into begging when our positive cases are so high. See for yourself.
What you see above is a confirmed case count for last week. In the US this number is around 700 confirmed cases per million population. Now look at the EU & Canada around 100 x million, and Japan is near zero x million (incredible). Canada & Japan were on the approved list, as was China. EU has approx 445 million population, the US population is approx 330 million. So clearly you can see why the EU banned the US. 115 million less people but nearly 7x more cases x million than they do.
More cancellations for later this fall rolled in this week, clients who decided upon the EU ban on us, threw their hands up in the air and said, 'forget it, we are not going, cancel us'... or who just were not able to go due to the ban. This week I've cancelled several trips to France, Greece & the last cabins of small group on a luxury Adriatic cruise for October. Americans do not plan last minute trips to Europe, usually plans & reservations are made months in advance. This EU ban now in place, basically wipes out nearly all of 2020 Europe bookings for at least the upcoming fall.
While most of the world remains inaccessible to most travelers as well, and not just us. There are places we can go to get away. Travel to Mexico, and most of The Caribbean is starting to open up now, as well domestic destinations are available, and Hawaii is opening in August.
I do take on domestic travel, so please do not think I do not. I already have honeymooners heading to Cabo in just weeks, and another couple heading to Hawaii but not till winter of '21.
I think this will be the first year of my 20+ year career that I will not be sending 1 person to Italy. I knew this awhile ago, but to actually say it is really shocking. In a full travel year normally I can figure on around 100+ bookings, and around 300+ travelers worldwide, plus groups. Currently I have around 20 bookings, and 60 travelers through year end + 1 wedding group. That puts client figures down around 80% still. While I'm starting to see clients reschedule and plan future travels again. There will be little to no impact on 2020 averages. Unless a boom in domestic/tropical travel comes about, which would help a bit this year, when international travel is nearly prohibited everywhere for now.
Personally we (my wife & I) have a bit of the travel itch now. Cabo is deeply in our minds for a return. Out trip there in 2019 blew us away and was partially business related and we crave to return for a proper chill lux vacation. With EU out of the picture and airline tickets that need exchanged, a return to Cabo this fall is very real. We need to get away, relaxing on a beautiful beach, being pampered with good food & drink, or doing nothing all day while lounging by a pool. We'll take some of that, PLEASE!
Take into consideration when planning your travel to luxury beach/vacation resorts, things are going to be different, but even better. Your going to see less occupancy (which will increase demand), pool & beach loungers are going to be spaced out and reduced. Dining venues will have less seating capacity, and tables will be further apart, buffets may be completely eliminated. Your going to see cleanings and maid services much more frequently, and most hotel employees will be wearing masks. All resorts/chains now have new health safety and wellness policies in place to help guests be confident the hotel is doing everything they can to keep guests safe. You have no idea how many Zoom meetings I've been part of with different hotels detailing their new health policies. I truly believe they are all doing everything they can for guests well being.
If you are thinking of a domestic trip getaway, please reach out to me as well. Being an associate with Avenue Two Travel, I have access to preferred partnerships with most luxury hotel brands to secure you special added amenities & status you would not get by booking yourself. Most times with only 1 or 2 nights required to secure our preferred status benefits. We are affiliated with incredible luxury properties all over the US, Mexico & Caribbean.
If you want to get away but do not want to be around other people, our preferred relationships with leading private luxury villa and home suppliers worldwide & domestic, are just the thing for you.
I remain confident and positive, I'm seeing a uptick slowly but surely of travel and hope that continues, and so begins July. Another month that will see both my wife & I working from home (I always work from home), getting our meals via take out/delivery, and our groceries delivered at times. We do tend to go grocery shopping ourselves most times now. We haven't' been to a mall, a Target, a Macy's, a restaurant, a cinema since February now.
Stay sane, Stay healthy, and take care to all my clientele & readers. We will get through this!
Avenue Two Travel
Luxury Travel Advisor