The components that usually make a great getaway from the city are now the reasons why travelers stay away. Crowded museums, restaurants and public transport are not attractive at the time of Covid-19, when we were encouraged to distance ourselves socially to reduce the risk of infection.
Avoid the big city
Although American citizens can visit Mexico, many gamble on more remote places like these ruins in Chiapas instead of visiting Mexico City.
Rodrigo Arangua / AFP / Getty images
Minford canceled a trip to Mexico City in March, but is eager to visit it as soon as it is safe to do so. “I hope to travel there as soon as I’m welcome to support one of my favorite tourist destinations with tourist dollars,” she says.
Mexico is open to American tourists, but because Minford still does not feel responsible for visiting Mexico City, she has visited a family in rural areas of the United States. “Remote visits feel safer. The chances of accidentally getting sick from someone feel lower simply because you can barely see anyone.”
What is even open?
The reduction in city holidays is a result of people listening to advice on avoiding crowds, indoor activities and high-risk attractions. Travelers are also deterred by the fear of getting stuck in a city that could return to quarantine.
Because Broadway closed in May 2021, and Times Square in New York City looks very different these days, many travelers go through city vacations.
Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty images
(We are yet to find out what the trip to Aspen will look like during the ski season.)
Travel and residence of RV
Staying in a big city hotel is outside; The RV trip is in.
“Traveling through the middle of America provided much-needed peace of mind,” Irwin said. “I have to thank the pandemic for showing me the beauty of the United States and the healing nature of rural travel.”
Major tourist conglomerates have evidence that the pandemic has encouraged travelers to gravitate away from city breaks. Amtrak Vacations told CNN Travel that train travel to urban destinations was down 8% from the same time last year. The U.S. Railroad reports a drop in travel to New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington
Visitor spending in the U.S. capital fell 81 percent ($ 6.5 billion) and hotel revenue fell 89 percent ($ 1.2 billion) from March to September from the same period last year, according to the tourist council of the city.
This year, Beckford planned to travel to cities around the world, but instead visited smaller places in her home state of Virginia. She says rural areas are excited about tourists supporting the local tourism economy, as large cities usually receive all the tourist traffic. Beckford longs to visit friends in Los Angeles, but has chosen to avoid the big cities.
Places like the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Appalachians have become more popular in the pandemic.
Calls to the countryside
However, travelers to Italy still choose to visit destinations in the country with a smaller population. “Italians are looking for more remote opportunities such as mountains, nature reserves, and water bodies such as oceans and lakes. For Italians, London and Paris have been replaced by Mount Etna and the Madalena archipelago,” said Carly Stelfox Loya, manager at GetYourGuide.
Due to the pandemic, travelers like Patricia Estrada prefer to visit Italian cities like Calabria (pictured) instead of major European cities.
Alfonso Di Vincenzo / KONTROLAB / LightRocket / Getty images
Florence-based Patricia Estrada usually travels on weekends to European cities. Due to the pandemic, she visited Italian cities such as Calabria, La Spezia and Cornelia. “I feel that traveling to a busy city contributes to the spread of this virus,” she said.
Other European travelers have chosen not to visit cities, no matter how easy it is to travel between major cities on the continent, as city travel is simply not attractive during a pandemic. Yishyene C., a travel blogger in Portugal, had plans to travel to London, but ever-changing rules and restrictions kept her in Portugal. She travels the country and stops in less visited cities, deliberately skipping Lisbon to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus.
“It seemed like a good decision to stay away from the cities,” she said. “The idea of ’escape’ in a city has lost its appeal. Especially with the new rules, which require reduced capacity or working hours for many establishments, it seems not worth the time, effort or money.
Even smaller cities have been hit. In Finland, despite the relatively low number of Covid-19 cases, overnight stays in the capital Helsinki fell by 75 from March to June. Half of the nights in the city are from business trips. Heli Mende, head of a visit to Finland, North America, said tourism typically generates 1.6 billion euros a year in Helsinki.
Even relatively smaller cities such as Helsinki have seen a decline in visitors, many of whom choose to spend time in more remote parts of the country.
Not surprisingly, all Groen’s planned trips to European capitals in 2020 have been canceled. One of her clients wanted to go to Paris, but decided to wait and go in the future, when she would not worry about whether the restaurants and sites they wanted to visit would be open.
Flexible city routes are almost impossible, as many sites and restaurants with a bucket list require advance booking. For example, the Louvre is open, but it is recommended to reserve a time interval in advance to ensure entry. “People just don’t care about spending their vacations, emphasizing what they’re missing,” Groen said.
It is easier to mitigate the risk by avoiding the epicenters of the deadly virus – dense urban areas. City breaks are likely to remain off the table for most travelers until the Covid-19 vaccine becomes widely available.
City travel will return, but until then, passengers are expected to continue to focus on remote tourism as the pandemic progresses.