Covid-19 Travel Bubbles Were Set to Restore Flying but Haven’t Taken Off

A few months ago, travel bubbles were the big idea for reopening skies across the Asia-Pacific region. Countries would strike deals with each other to allow air travel with certain restrictions, many officials said, and those would expand to regional pacts.

It’s proving hard to do, even for countries that have largely managed to keep a lid on the coronavirus.

Take Singapore, a city-state whose economy is so dependent on its airport, officials liken it to the lungs. Passenger volumes are languishing at 1.5% of pre-coronavirus levels, threatening its status as an aviation hub and the investment that comes with it.

The region’s other airports are similarly quiet, according to the latest data from August. Hong Kong International Airport saw 1.4% of passenger traffic compared with August 2019. At Japan’s Narita airport, international travelers in August were just 3.3% of the same month last year. At South Korea’s Incheon International

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Covid set to boost demand for travel insurance in India

MUMBAI: India’s nascent, yet growing, travel insurance market is set to get a major pandemic push.

Thousands of Indian students, executives and tourists who have deferred their foreign trips due to Covid-19 will likely have to buy compulsory travel insurance policies when countries open their borders for unrestricted travel, said sector experts. Insurance companies are anticipating a massive surge in demand for such products.

Insurance cover for travellers so far had not been compulsory in most countries — those where it was mandatory included the US, Russia, Qatar, Cuba and the Central European countries. But now many countries with high ceilings on social security are making that mandatory for foreign nationals planning extended visits. Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are reportedly mulling on making this compulsory.

“Up till now, apart from Schengen countries and the US, travel insurance was not mandatory for foreign travels,” said Tarun Mathur, a cofounder

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With Prices Down $200 Per Room, NYC Hotels Set for More Pain

(Bloomberg) — The Midtown Hilton has been closed since March. Same for The Edition, a brand new Times Square boutique. You can get a room at the Pierre, just don’t expect the full-suite of white-glove services that have made the hotel a Manhattan landmark since 1930.

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Autumn in New York, a season so inviting that it inspired a jazz standard, is grim this year, with the city’s tourism market among the worst in the U.S. The pandemic has canceled live events like Fashion Week and the New York City Marathon, repelled business travelers and international visitors and blown gaping holes in a tourism market that generates $70 billion in economic activity in a typical year.

Things are better now than they were in March, the worst month in memory for the city’s hotel industry, but they’re still historically bad. At this point, more than 200 of New York’s

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Bereft Of Jet Set, NY Luxury Hotels Welcome Last-minute Locals

John Farrell and his wife booked a $1,000 room in the morning and were in New York hours later for their one-night stay.

The couple is part of a new local and last-minute clientele keeping the lights on at the city’s most luxurious hotels now that the coronavirus has chased off the international jet set.

The yellow taxis and limousines that used to pile in front of swanky hotel The Pierre are gone. So are the crowds of foreigners mingling in the lobby.

A security officer sits in the lobby of The Pierre hotel, a shadow of its former self amid the coronavirus pandemic A security officer sits in the lobby of The Pierre hotel, a shadow of its former self amid the coronavirus pandemic Photo: AFP / Angela Weiss

 

The Central Park hotel once hosted galas and welcomed celebrities — everyone from Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor to, more recently, Lady Gaga.

But with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing it is a shadow of its former self: Following six

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COVID hotels for Bay Area homeless residents set to close

The Bay Area is winding down the grand experiment that sheltered thousands of its homeless residents in safe environments during the pandemic, raising fresh concerns about the spread of COVID-19 as officials scramble to find alternative housing.

Gov. Gavin Newsom launched Project Roomkey in April, a first-of-its-kind program that moved unhoused residents into hotels to protect them from the virus. Six months later, with federal funding sources poised to expire, Bay Area counties are moving to close those hotels — some in the next few months.

The program likely will be remembered as a mixed success. It didn’t come close to reaching everyone who needed help, but Project Roomkey proved that — given the funding and motivation — the Bay Area is capable of quickly mobilizing a vast amount of resources and personnel to attack the homelessness crisis.

The effort also allowed counties to reduce the number of people in

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The Mallee: Book a tour guide set to inspire post-COVID visits | The Canberra Times

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The Mallee is a region of northwestern Victoria. It occupies about 41,000 square kilometres between the Wimmera and Murray rivers. Michael “Booza” Robertson believes there is a boom time coming for the Mallee, with greenshoots already sprouting. The Patchewollock long-timer said pubs were re-opening, tourists were returning and city slickers were looking for greener rural pastures. “I was talking to a real estate friend and house inquiries for little towns like Patchy, Hopetoun, Ouyen are booming,” he said. “All the people in Melbourne just want to get out of the rat-race. So every cloud has a silver lining. “I think it will have a big impact on rural Victoria – it will benefit it enormously.” In recent weeks grey nomads and tourists have hit the road again and are heading out bush. They go in search of silo trails and nature. Enter a new book

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Cruise: Scenic to offer unique excursions set to transform future holidays | Cruise | Travel

Regardless of which option cruisers choose, Ms Maher encourages travellers to get off the boat and explore.

“The best way to make the most of a river cruise and its excursions is to include a range of different activities and to make the most of your free time,” she said.

“Excursions are what makes the river cruise so memorable for many of our guests. There is no better way to visit a region than with a local, which is why we use local expert guides on all of our Scenic river cruises.

“They offer the perfect balance of interesting and informative tales about the places being visited, as well as insider knowledge that can’t be found in any guide books.”

Of course, in order to satisfy all wants and needs, it takes some planning.

That is where Ms Maher and her team come in, however they couldn’t do it without

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ISL: NorthEast United FC’s Gerard Nus set to arrive in India

NorthEast United FC boss along with his coaching staff will arrive in India on Friday…

NorthEast United FC head coach Gerard Nus will be the third manager in the Indian Super League (ISL) after ATK Mohun Bagan’s Antonio Lopez Habas and Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle to arrive in India.

Nus will be accompanied by his coaching staff and they will touchdown at Goa on Friday, following which they will have to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days before kicking off pre-season training.

NorthEast United had posted a picture of their head coach and his coaching staff at the Madrid airport getting ready to travel to Goa.

Star midfielder Federico Gallego had left for India on Wednesday and has already reached Goa on Thursday. The

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Set sail with The Mild West cruise shows on the Chicago River

On deck with The Mild West

The warm days of summer are slipping away, but you’re not out of opportunities for a boat party just yet. Chicago rock band The Mild West is setting sail aboard Chicago Line Cruise’s 65-foot Ft. Dearborn down the Chicago River, treating guests to a 90-minute set of their pop-infused originals and a few choice favorites. Both cruises — 7 (sold out) and 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 — are limited to 50 passengers each, with social distancing, public health protocols and sanitization procedures in place. Ogle the city’s architecture while enjoying music produced right here in town.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

9 p.m. (arrive at least 15 minutes before departure) Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Ogden Slip Docks across from 465 N. McClurg Court, Chicago. Free to register for tickets at eventbrite.com, but $32.70 is due at the time of boarding.

Indigenous Peoples Day livestream

Channeling the power

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Azamara Will Set Sail Again for the 2021 Europe Season with New Greek Country-Intensive Voyages

MIAMI, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Destination-focused cruise brand – Azamara – has announced the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season and return to service on March 20, 2021 for Azamara Quest’s originally scheduled 12-night Spain Country-IntensiveSM voyage, Azamara Journey’sApril 9, 2021 voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona, and Azamara Pursuit’s new series of Greek Country-Intensive Voyages starting on May 9, 2021. The brand’s itineraries are all designed for more in-depth exploration to truly connect to the country’s authentic heart of local life and culture. The boutique cruise line has chosen to adjust its sailings as a result of individual country restrictions, as well as guest survey results indicating that Azamara guests will feel more comfortable waiting to cruise until 2021. Compensation options can be viewed here.

“After very careful consideration, we have made the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe

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