Declaring entire regions as risk zones, the introduction of mandatory quarantine, a ban on admission of guests, unrequited hotel rooms and vouchers, cancellation of existing reservations вЂ” the coronation crisis hit the tourism industry particularly hard. And, apparently, the improvement of the situation is not worth waiting for. The press writes about how the coronation crisis turns out for those segments of the population, whose existence depends on tourism, as well as what it can result in for the environment.
Tourism as a means of protecting the environment
The Times notes that the decline in international tourism will hit developing countries particularly hard:
вЂњThink of a man working in Tanzania as a minibus driver driving tourists from the airport to a luxury safari lodge вЂ” and earning a living for a family of eight. Think of the mechanics that keep the engine of a speedboat in proper condition, which takes the inhabitants of some five-star hotel in Thailand to the diving site. Or think of a man who repairs mountaineering boots on the side of the road somewhere in Kathmandu. In many parts of the world, tourism is not just a source of money. Dollars from tourism best protect tropical reefs from dynamite used by fishermen or gorillas in Uganda from a poacher's bullet. After several years of relative poverty, Venice will endure вЂ” and will continue to do so. But what will the situation look like in other tourist destinations?
Mass dismissals are just the beginning
Approximately 2500 employees of Tallink, Estonia's largest shipping company in the Baltic region, which operates ferry services, face dismissal. The industry requires assistance by transferring employees on a part-time basis until next spring. However, Eesti Paevaleht doubts that the situation will improve by then:
вЂњTourism is almost extinct, as well as cruises on ferries in the Baltic States. And instead of the much-needed improvement at first, the situation with restrictions threatens to worsen вЂ” and become even worse than it was this summer. There is no quick demand for places in hotels, ships, airplanes, and tour operators, which existed before the pandemic, anymore. The decision [to extend part-time work and related payments] was not easy. On the one hand, industry employees are at risk of unemployment, and on the other hand, it may happen that the situation will not improve even by spring 2021.
The EU needs uniform rules!
Citing an increase in new infections, an increasing number of EU countries are again imposing travel restrictions and quarantine on those who return from travel. Latvia has decided to close again its borders with Lithuania and Estonia. Diena considers it a big mistake that the EU has not yet agreed on common quarantine criteria for community countries:
"Now we are talking about what the EU has been demanding for decades - the solidarity of all members of the community. Unfortunately, a Kantar survey last summer showed that 53 percent of EU citizens are dissatisfied with the level of solidarity that existed between community members during the Coronavirus Pandemic. So here is a legitimate question: if member countries are unable to agree on a common strategy on this issue, what can they do?