Because of the epidemic COVID-19 travel became more dangerous to health, but often much cheaper. Are the Germans to give up now from a holiday abroad?
To go or not to go? That is the question for all who thinks now about the upcoming summer vacation or a tourist trip in the spring holidays. On the one hand, the coronavirus. On the other – the resulting decline and even a collapse in prices of many tourist destinations and services. How to be?
Increase the role of hot tours
“Travel has already become one of the basic human needs. People travel not refuse”, – said the Professor of the University of Munich jürgen Shade (J?rgen Schmude). He studies the Economics of tourism and is convinced that the vacationers because of the epidemic COVID-19 completely refused to travel, “has a lot of things to happen.”
And if the same happens? In any case, once again increase the number of tourists who book travel at the last moment, predicts Professor Smude published March 3 in an interview with Reuters: “Many are waiting, watching the spread of the virus, and will make a decision much later.” When?
The scientist believes that a certain test of sentiment can be Easter is a very popular holiday period in Europe, especially in Germany. This year they will fall in the first half of April. “If the situation in the coming weeks to calm down, Easter tourism business can pass almost normal,” said jürgen Shade. He, however, admits that many vacationers will prefer the countryside, because a large concentration of people in large cities increases the potential risk of infection.
Trip to Italy: what are the regions to visit is not recommended
However, he does not exclude that will demand even for Italy. This country is traditionally in the top five in the three most popular in Germany overseas tourist destinations, but its Northern part has become the biggest hotbed of the epidemic COVID-19 in Europe. But this does not mean that “the German tourists now cross out all of Italy”, says Professor Shade and says: “In Lombardy they do not go there now, but, say, Sicily is no longer true”.
Such a selective approach recommends that the German tourists and the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Germany, which is responsible in Germany for warnings about travel to dangerous areas. On the website of the German foreign Ministry said that currently (data for 5 March) it advises to refrain from trips in the province of Lodi in Lombardy and in the village of Vaux-Euganeo in the province of Padua in the Veneto region.
Thus, visiting other provinces and cities of Lombardy, including its capital Milan, and the Veneto region, including Venice, experts of the German foreign Ministry threat is not considered. But the trip to Iran, they do not recommend. This is somewhat contrary to estimates of the Berlin Institute named Robert Koch (RKI), key governmental agencies responsible in Germany for the study of infectious diseases and fight against them. He is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of health.
The Institute considers a “risk” is not the whole of Iran, as foreign Minister, and only the province of Qom and Tehran (as of March 5, has not changed since 2 March). At the same time in Italy experts on epidemiology of the RKI, in contrast to the foreign Ministry, referred to “zones of risk” not only the whole of Lombardy, but also a region of Emilia-Romagna with its capital Bologna.
The South is always in demand
But on other continents, such as Asia, many people think that threat is now all of Italy and all of Europe, says Jurgen Smude. But this is a common phenomenon well known from the previous crises, assured the specialist in the tourism industry. “After the accident at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, the Japanese, many Europeans did not want to fly in (South. – Ed.) Korea, although it is very far from the crash site. And after Ebola outbreaks in Central Africa, many Germans did not fly to South Africa”, lists the Professor.
However, in such cases, the tourists refused to travel at all, and simply flexible change direction. Jürgen Smude convinced that now will be the same. However, he doubts that the worldwide spread of the coronavirus will lead to the fact that German tourists will start EN masse to withdraw from foreign trips and prefer to relax within Germany (especially because the coronavirus is spreading rapidly now in Germany).
The experience of recent years shows that, during summer, many Germans want to rest still in the South. So, after the terrorist attacks in Egypt and Turkey vacationers quickly shifted to other countries with warm seas – Spain, Italy and Greece, like an expert. According to him, “tourists have very short memories” if the coronavirus epidemic will decline and will be less likely to appear in the headlines, traditionally popular destinations fairly quickly again become popular.
Great discounts on hotels and tours?
Moreover, the industry certainly will offer significant discounts. “If we talk about price, then there is a red line beyond which many tourists are willing to ignore the perceived risk,” – said Professor jürgen Shade.
However, while in Germany, no large scale reduce the cost of trips and tours during the summer months is not observed. But for this it’s just early. In fact, a sharp reduction in the number of bookings, the tour operators felt only the week from 17 to 23 February, announced on March 4, Dirt Nordbeck (D?rte Nordbeck). She heads the company’s Travel Data + Analytics, which tracks trends in the tourist market of Germany. It was that week, when I went to reports on the distribution of COVID-19 in Italy.
So the prices are coming weeks while reduce is that some hotels, especially in those European cities where cancelled large events – fairs, congresses, sports events. In Europe there’s no collapse, as in Asia, where a significant number of travelers still were Chinese.
According to DW, in hotels Indonesian island of Bali customers canceled 40 thousand bookings. A correspondent S?ddeutsche Zeitung in Hong Kong reports that rooms in four-star hotels in this city, one of the most expensive in the world, there are now approximately 22 euros per night. By the way, the German foreign Ministry advises not to travel to Bali or Hong Kong, in other words, consider these popular tourist goal safe.
Poll: give up holidays abroad or not?
It is possible that such prices will make those or other tourists to overcome initial fears or doubts, and to go to distant exotic climes. On the question of the Institute for the study of public opinion YouGov, “You would have refused to leave abroad due COVID-19?”, given on 2 March, 20% of Germans over the age of 18 answered “no” 22% – “rather no”. At the same time, 18% said they would refuse, and 21% – would rather.
As you can see, the respondents were divided almost equally, while 19% were undecided and, thus, can swing one way or the other way. Dirt Nordbeck comes in the analysis of the dynamics of reservation to similar conclusions. On the outbound tourism market of Germany (largest in Europe) is now, indeed, “there is a kind of total restraint”, however, the expert emphasizes, “the vacation is valued (by the Germans. – Ed.) so high, that this restraint may be only temporary”.
However, in the near future the German holiday makers who have decided, despite the worldwide epidemic, or even pandemic, to leave Germany to rest somewhere abroad from the coronavirus that can deal with quite the unusual problem. Israel c, on 6 March, has banned the entry of tourists from Germany and Austria, Spain, France and Switzerland, and before it has closed the border for the Italians. What if other countries resort to the same measure against travelers from States with a large number of infected people?