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The U.S. Airport Thats Buzzing as Covid Shuts Down World Travel – The Wall Street Journal

Grapevine, Texas

Theres an occasional line at the Chick-fil-A counter, and an occasional line of airplanes waiting to take off, too. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport lookssort of busy.

And thats enough to make DFW the busiest airport in the world.

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The U.S. Airport Thats Buzzing as Covid Shuts Down World Travel - The Wall Street Journal

Mrida makes the Travel + Leisure top 25 best cities in the world to travel – The Yucatan Times

Mrida appears in the 24th place in a select list of the 25 best cities in the world to travel, which is produced each year, with the help of its readers, by the Travel + Leisure specialized magazine.

These are the Travel + Leisure Worlds Best Awards 2020, which in its 25th edition recognized Oaxaca in the first place, a city that also obtained the distinction as Mexico Top City.

According to the newspaper El Universal, the federal Secretary of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqus, said that Mexico is the only country with four cities within the top 25, and he sent his congratulations to Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato (first and second place respectively); Mexico City (eleventh place) and Mrida, Yucatn (twenty-fourth).

This list is obtained thanks to the travel opinions of the readers of this specialized publication based in New York City, which is dedicated to giving advice and tips on destinations around the world and has also delivered these awards for the last 25 years.

The governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat Casab, assured that the official announcement is expected this Wednesday, July 15, after 5 p.m., and on that day, Oaxaca will officially receive the Worlds Best City to Travel in the World Award by Travel + Leisure.

Since 2017, Oaxaca has been listed each year among the best 15 cities on the planet and in the top five best cities in Mexico, according to this publication with a global presence.

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Mrida makes the Travel + Leisure top 25 best cities in the world to travel - The Yucatan Times

Mashpi Lodge Reopens With New Health and Safety Efforts – Luxury Travel Advisor

After three-and-a-half months with its doors locked and only a skeleton crew onsite, Mashpi Lodge has begun welcoming guests to experience the rainforest again. Located within the 6,000-acre Mashpi Rainforest Reserve near Quito, Ecuador, Mashpi Lodge has spent the pandemic pause implementing more than 30 protocols and measures designed to prioritize the health and safety of guests and staff, surpassing even the Safe Travels protocols recommended by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Team members of Mashpi Lodge have been trained and tested on every new detail of bio-security, with particular emphasis given to cleaning, food and beverage handling, and guest interaction. T note, the team came up with new wordless gesturesan open palm of the right hand held over the heart for welcome; arms crossed over the chest and a little bow for thank youto limit verbal interactions and need to remove masks.

Mashpi Lodge has installed new infrastructure, acquired new productsincluding ozone tunnels, disinfection matts, contactless gel dispensers, electrostatic sprayers and social distancing signageand adapted many aspects of its guest experience to protect against COVID-19. On arrival, guests will be checked in digitally and receive single-use hand towels and welcome drinks in bottles. The Lodge has further eliminated printed materials and made all information guests might require browsable via smartphone.

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Guest amenities include sanitizing gels and sprays and individual rain ponchos. The Lodge has also replaced buffets with la carte service in the glass-enclosed dining room and ensured that all tables are spaced for social distancing. The new measures extend beyond Mashpi Lodge proper, with expert guides trained and equipped to see to the health, safety and peace of mind of guests exploring the rainforest on foot, by Sky Bike and/or Dragonfly cable car.

Rates at Mashpi Lodge include shared transfer from main hotels in Quito, all meals, all guided activities and excursions within the reserve, soft drinks and the use of rubber boots and rain ponchos.

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Mashpi Lodge Reopens With New Health and Safety Efforts - Luxury Travel Advisor

Cross-border travel after COVID is confusing – this approach can help – World Economic Forum

When the six nations of the East African Community opened to essential trade in June, COVID-19 testing created kilometers of backed up trucks along the borders as truck drivers waited for hours to get test results. By working together to share test results in a harmonized system, border crossing and regional integration was later accelerated within East Africa.

We need this kind of coordination and harmonization on a global scale. Unfortunately, that is not the current trajectory of COVID-19 era border crossing. COVID brought a patchwork of closed borders and complex border entry requirements as reopening countries attempted to balance the urgent need to restart travel and cross-border economic activity against the imperative of protecting their populations health.

Such disparate efforts are slowing travel and halting a range of industries such as tourism. Without intervention, these efforts will lead to fragmented policies and procedures and make international travel confusing and uncertain long into the future.

Image: IATA

The need: Safe, dynamic borders that respect private data

For cross-border traffic to resume fully, travelers need border crossing experiences that are safe, predictable and do not require excess disclosure of personal health information. Such policies are not universally in place.

Each day, new bilateral travel bubbles are announced, governed by border crossing policies that also seem to shift on a near daily basis, reflecting differing policy approaches and the evolving consensus on testing effectiveness. (There is a lively debate, for example, about the validity of negative tests, and how long a negative test may be considered valid.)

Border procedures for travelers range from wearing a GPS tag for the full 14-day quarantine period to proof of a recent negative laboratory test to simple temperature screening on arrival. Once an effective vaccine is in place and widely available, proof of vaccination could be required.

Digital privacy concerns around COVID-19 have focused on contact tracing until now, but the same concerns will arise with the new proliferation of COVID-related travel and passporting apps. Travelers face the prospect of downloading different health screening apps for each country they enter, each airport they visit and every plane they board. Travelers could be required to share personal health information at every stage of their journey.

Even when borders are described as open, some policies, such as quarantine, make travelers reluctant to cross them. A recent study by IATA found that the drop of inbound travel to countries with a 14-day quarantine was nearly equivalent to countries with closed borders.

Image: IATA

The path forward: New collaborations and best practices

Recognizing that scientific consensus around testing and immunization is not yet mature and that global guidance around testing has yet to be developed, there is an urgent need to design a flexible model that can help us move past the current fragmentation and that can evolve and adapt as the science matures.

Such a model would allow travellers to use a common, standards-based platform to present their COVID-19 health status at each step of their journey, while keeping their other personal health information private and secure.

The Commons Project, a non-profit public trust established with support from the Rockefeller Foundation to build global digital services and platforms for the common good, is working with a broad coalition of public and private partners around the world to develop and launch a standard global model to enable people to document their certified COVID-19 status to facilitate international travel and border crossing while keeping their health information private.

The framework, once further defined, will serve several needs.

These protocols provide global direction but require local implementation.

Governments will develop national or regional policies based on these protocols, and industry players will help ensure their consistent and effective implementation across the aviation, travel and tourism sectors while adapting to differing local conditions.

CommonPass enables these efforts by streamlining implementation and supporting interoperability between countries with differing policy regimes. It will also help travelers to collect the health records required for crossing a particular border and share them in a privacy-preserving manner.

Developing and scaling such a model will not be without its challenges. A new level of cross-industry cooperation between the health, aviation, travel and tourism sectors will be crucial. Comprehensive guidelines and protocols have already been developed by international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI), the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and others. Still, such changes will require a coordinated, harmonized approach that is as global in scale as the pandemic itself.

Additionally, time is of the essence. The deepening economic impact of closed and high friction border crossings places increased urgency on moving quickly from framework to implementation. Governments, businesses and travellers alike are eager to see change as soon as possible and implement an interoperable framework that can adapt to local conditions.

To this end, the CommonPass initiative kicked off July 2020 by convening ministers of health, tourism and international cooperation as well as industry representatives from technology, travel, health and tourism representing more than 50 countries as well as international organizations.

These experts will now refine the CommonPass framework and plan for its roll-out at the regional and global levels. The stakeholders are expected to reconvene in late summer 2020 to formally launch the CommonPass framework.

COVID-19 has turned many countries inward, fearful of interacting with other countries. The pandemic, however, has also shown the worlds capacity to innovate quickly and collaborate in unprecedented ways. Such an approach will be key to restarting international travel and restoring the global interconnectedness of the pre-COVID-19 era.

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Cross-border travel after COVID is confusing - this approach can help - World Economic Forum

The people who say they’re not boarding an airplane until there’s a Covid-19 vaccine – CNN

(CNN) With airlines introducing new measures like face masks and intensive sanitization routines to reassure passengers, people have been cautiously returning to air travel even while the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world.

But for some, the notion of climbing aboard an airplane now or in the near future, remains unthinkable. Nothing that airlines, government officials or fellow travelers can say will convince them to step on board.

CNN spoke to some of these self-grounded travelers to find out their biggest concerns about air travel at the moment and what it would take to get them back above 30,000 feet.

For Chris Trinh, a 41-year-old father of four based in Minnesota, the decision to stay off airplanes is partly because of his kids -- his youngest child is only 10 months old and he says he'd be worried about her crawling on the aisle.

It's also, he says, because he feels that no matter how careful he is, he can't guarantee others will be similarly conscientious.

"It's hard to trust other people," he tells CNN.

Trinh's wife is Japanese, and the family usually spend extended vacations in Japan over the summer months. This is the first year they'll be staying in the United States.

"The risk is just too high, and we just don't want to travel," he explains.

Trinh and his family aren't alone. Retired CVS Health engineering manager Vincent Marseglia, 70, is also avoiding flying.

"You're going to be near people, even if they leave the middle seats open," Marseglia tells CNN, speaking from his home in Rhode Island.

Chris Trinh is worried about traveling with his young children.

Courtesy Chris Trinh

"There's no way I'm going to get on a plane. Even before that, you have the crowds at the airports going through security, so you're just exposing yourself."

Wisconsin-based Dean Calin, 60, who's worked in the commercial aircraft industry for more than three decades, has similar trepidations.

Calin says his extensive aviation knowledge makes him more, rather than less, cautious about flying in the age of coronavirus.

"Even though airlines are taking steps to clean the interiors and the air is filtered thoroughly as a process of the air conditioning system, all of that can't counteract the potential contamination that passengers will bring every time the plane is loaded," Calin tells CNN.

"I just don't think that, without a vaccine, there's any safe way to travel yet."

Rethinking plans

Vincent Marseglia and his wife on a train traveling through France in 2016. Right now, they're remaining at home in Rhode Island.

Courtesy Vincent Marseglia

Ruling out air travel means rethinking vacation plans.

Marseglia says that, because of his age, he's being careful in all aspects of his life. He's socially distancing during meetups with his grandkids and wouldn't go on a train either -- nor would he share a car without anyone other than his wife.

Marseglia lives by the ocean in Rhode Island, and he's swapping out dreams of vacations in Italy for local, socially distanced outings in coastal Jamestown.

He's cautious about traveling to other states, given that different regions in the United States have adopted different strategies for quarantining and handling the virus.

But while pouring over photographs of previous adventures in Europe is currently bittersweet, Marseglia's conscious that he's in a privileged position, and so many have been more adversely impacted by Covid-19.

"Even when a vaccine comes available, I'm not going to be the first one to run out and get it," says Marseglia, who points out he's lucky to be able to stay at home and not worry about returning to a workplace.

"I'm willing to wait as long as it takes to get the vaccine, so if it's next year or the year after, I won't make any plans to do any kind of extensive travel until I know that's out there, and it's available and it's effective and I can get it."

Marseglia and his wife in Florence, Italy.

Courtesy Vincent Marseglia

Dean Calin tells CNN he's been self-isolating for over 100 days now, due to concerns about the impact of the virus on his asthma.

As well as working in the aerospace industry, Calin is also a singer in a group. At the beginning of 2020, he was looking forward to aviation-focused business travel trips alongside music gigs across the world. That's all on hold for now.

"It's a sacrifice that we have to make, if we intend to go on living" is Calin's perspective. "It's challenging and it's a different way to live your life, but the alternative is to ignore it is to court death."

Like Marseglia, Calin says would only return to the skies if he'd been vaccinated and he knew the rest of the population had also had time to get the vaccine.

Right now, he calls those who're traveling again "either very brave or very foolish."

"I just don't think that without a vaccine. There's any safe way to travel yet," he says.

How safe is it to travel?

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, tells CNN he does not currently advocate traveling by airplane, particularly in the United States.

"We have been recommending to our patients only really essential travel at present, because in this country, the virus is not under control. It's all over the country and continuing to spread in an inhibited fashion," Schaffner tells CNN.

Schaffner's perspective is people should only travel for personal reasons, in unavoidable circumstances.

"Even then, we ask them to do that very, very cautiously, wearing their masks at all time, keeping social distance," he adds.

Schaffner is principally concerned about the potential for the virus to spread in crowded airports, where it's difficult to maintain social distancing. He also expresses worries about travelers being tightly packed in the cabin.

While some are being cautious, others are returning to air travel.

CNN

"All the hullabaloo having to do with travel often brings you in very close proximity with others in enclosed spaces," he says.

Schaffner is also worried about the impact of traveling back and forth from a spot where there might be a particularly high number of cases.

The infectious disease expert has a vacation home in Florida, where he and his wife usually spend the summer months. They won't be going there this year, he explains. The couple are in the at-risk category due to their ages, which adds to their hesitance, but they're also concerned about the high infection rate in Florida.

"Once we get a vaccine or vaccines, and they can be shown to be reasonably effective and safe and they start to be distributed, then -- if we were vaccinated -- then we can travel," says Schaffner.

Dean Calin, former frequent flier

"And we would be even more comforted if we realize that the large majority of the population out there also received the vaccine," he adds. "I think that will reduce the transmission of this Covid virus, so that then things truly can start to return to normal."

That said, Schaffner's conscious this could be some time off.

"I think this period of caution will be quite extensive, over a period of months, extensive months," says Schaffner.

In the US, Operation Warp Speed is a vaccine program that aims to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine by 2021.

Temporary reality

Trinh is remaining optimistic that his family will one day be able to travel comfortably again.

Courtesy Chris Trinh

Trinh is willing to play the long game when it comes to returning to global travel.

On the day that they would've flown out to Japan, Trinh's wife and kids were upset about the plans that weren't to be. They weren't just sad about the canceled vacation; they don't know when they'll next see their extended family.

But Trinh says he's cautiously optimistic about the future.

"I feel it's just a temporary thing, right? I mean, if it lasts a year, maybe two years, that's just what we have to do," he says. "For me, it's unfortunate that it's happening, but at the same time it's hopefully a once in a lifetime kind of thing."

Trinh is also diplomatic when it comes to reports of other travelers returning to the skies in packed planes.

"I see it as each person's choice," he says. "I mean, as long as everybody accepts the risks that they're taking, I think it's okay."

He's confident there will be a solution, eventually, and his family will board an airplane once again.

"Hopefully it gets better at that point, that we're back to traveling on a yearly basis," he says.

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The people who say they're not boarding an airplane until there's a Covid-19 vaccine - CNN

Coronavirus and travel: A loophole is allowing locked-down Russians to escape to the beaches of the Mediterranean – Traveller

Henry Meyer and Irina Reznik

Muscovites desperate for a summer holiday abroad this year have found a loophole that's letting them evade Russia's coronavirus ban on foreign travel. A loophole that involves a 14-hour round trip via Belarus.

Travellers are exploiting the soft border between the two former-Soviet neighbours. Russians can drive to Minsk with minimal checks, and once there they can make use of Belarus's more liberal Covid-19 restrictions.

"Since the quarantine, Minsk has become a Casablanca, the main crossroads for Russians who want to leave the country," said Maxim Valetskiy, a Russian businessman with an Israeli passport and family in London, who has used the detour four times since the Kremlin halted foreign travel at the end of March.

Russians have been advised to stay put this summer even as other coronavirus restrictions are loosened, as the government deals with the fourth-highest infection rate in the world. Domestic travel within Russia's 6.6 million square-mile territory is mostly allowed, but many are put off by the country's underdeveloped and crowded tourist resorts.

Russians aren't the only ones seeking out cumbersome detours to work around coronavirus restrictions that have slashed international travel this summer. Stanley Johnson, the British Prime Minister's father, has been criticised for using Bulgaria as an air bridge to visit his villa in Greece, which had restrictions on visitors from the UK.

"I want to go on holiday where I choose, and that's certainly not on the Black Sea in Russia," said Elena Venediktova, a 44 year-old real estate broker in Moscow, who has booked a two-week holiday via Belarus in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurgada from August1. "Europe may be off limits but there are lots of other seaside destinations. You just have to make a slight effort."

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The loophole is proving to be a boon to Belorussian tour operators in a disastrous year for most of the global holiday industry. Minsk-based Travel House has seen a surge in reservations from Russians for package holidays in Turkey and Egypt since those countries opened their borders on July 1. All of the trips are run through Belavia, Belarus's state-owned airline.

In theory Russians are allowed to cross the border only to study, receive health treatment or to care for a sick relative, but many tour operators get around that by securing their clients a booking at a Belorussian sanatorium.

"The demand is huge - all the flights to Egypt and Turkey are booked solid beyond mid-July," said Yury Surkov, Travel House's commercial director, who estimates that Russians will soon make up about 40 per centof flights from Belarus to major tourist destinations. "We're adding flights from regional airports."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov acknowledged on state TV late that the loophole exists, but said that the Kremlin isn't planning to close it. The government said Friday it may restart some flights abroad in mid-August.

"We can't forbid people from using this opportunity," Lavrov said. "Of course people should be careful and use common sense when taking such decisions."

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See also:Greece considers second lockdown after tourists bring spike of cases

See also:Move over, Monkey Jesus: Spain botches restoration of another work of art

Henry Meyer and Irina Reznik

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Coronavirus and travel: A loophole is allowing locked-down Russians to escape to the beaches of the Mediterranean - Traveller

Dude Will Travel 37,000 Miles Around The World On A Honda Monkey – RideApart

We hear of people dropping their old, boring eat, work, sleep life to answer the call of motorcycle adventure almost every week. Chances are you probably know someone who's made the jump. Whether its for personal motives or to seek a bit of online recognition, the nomadic lifestyle on two wheels is a surging trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

For Portuguese rider Andr Sousa, the purpose of his ride around the world is to set a world record. Another one. See, the 24-year-old set the 2018 World Record for the fastest trip around South America on a small bike, according to the International Book of Records. This time around, Sousas ambitions have gone from continental to global.

On July 12, 2020, Sousa set off on yet another adventure in the hopes of adding another world record to his collection by becoming the first rider to circumvent the world on a small bike. This time, the trip will take two years and take him on a 37,000-mile journey across 50 countries. What about the small bike? Sousa opted for one of the smallest, more reliable, and rugged models available on the market: the Honda Monkey.

His mini moto was slightly supped up for the occasion to increase its capability thanks to a new exhaust, and additional lighting pods that come in handy when hes stuck navigating unfamiliar terrains in the dark. In addition to a few minor tweaks, the bike is also fully-loaded with all the gear, bells, and whistles such a trip requires. This isnt a glamorous gourmet Instagram trip and Sousa doesnt plan to stop at fancy restaurants and hotels along the way so he needs a fair bit of gear.

Thankfully, it looks like hes taken advantage of every motorcycle packing solution in the book and then some. The bags are comically almost as big as the bike itself. You can follow his adventure on the Ride That Monkey website and social media accounts if youre curious to know how the Monkey holds up. God speed, Andr, make us proud.

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Dude Will Travel 37,000 Miles Around The World On A Honda Monkey - RideApart

Oaxaca, Mexico, Is No. 1 City Overall in 25th Annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards – PRNewswire

TRAVEL + LEISURE WORLD'S BEST AWARDS 2020 WINNERS OVERALL

WORLD'S BEST CITY

Oaxaca, Mexico

WORLD'S BEST HOTEL

Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

WORLD'S BEST HOTEL BRAND

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

WORLD'S BEST ISLAND

Palawan, Philippines

WORLD'S BEST MEGA-SHIP OCEAN CRUISE LINE

Disney Cruise Line

WORLD'S BEST LARGE-SHIP OCEAN CRUISE LINE

Viking

WORLD'S BEST MIDSIZE-SHIP OCEAN CRUISE LINE

Seabourn

WORLD'S BEST SMALL-SHIP OCEAN CRUISE LINE

Quasar Expeditions

WORLD'S BEST RIVER CRUISE LINE

Crystal River Cruises

WORLD'S BEST INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE

Singapore Airlines

WORLD'S BEST DOMESTIC AIRLINE

JetBlue Airways

WORLD'S BEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore

WORLD'S BEST DOMESTIC AIRPORT

Indianapolis International Airport, Illinois

WORLD'S BEST SAFARI OUTFITTER

Rothschild Safaris

WORLD'S BEST TOUR OPERATOR

Ker & Downey

WORLD'S BEST CAR-RENTAL COMPANY

National Car Rental

WORLD'S BEST INTERNATIONAL DESTINATION SPA

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico

WORLD'S BEST DOMESTIC DESTINATION SPA

Pearl Laguna, Laguna Beach, California

TRAVEL + LEISURE WORLD'S BEST HOTEL 2020 WINNERS, BY REGION

CONTINENTAL U.S. OVERALL

BEST CITY HOTEL

The Mark, New York, New York

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming

U.S. (BY REGION)

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN THE NORTHEAST

Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, Vermont

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN THE SOUTH

Fearrington House Inn, Pittsboro, North Carolina

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN THE MIDWEST

Deer Path Inn, Lake Forest, Illinois

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN THE WEST

Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN CALIFORNIA

North Block Hotel, Yountville

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN FLORIDA

Sunset Key Cottages, Key West

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN GREATER MIAMI BEACH

Kimpton Angler's Hotel South Beach

BEST HOTEL IN NEW YORK CITY

The Mark

BEST HOTEL IN GREATER LOS ANGELES

Santa Monica Proper Hotel

BEST HOTEL IN CHICAGO

The Peninsula

BEST HOTEL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Hay-Adams

BEST HOTEL IN CHARLESTON

Wentworth Mansion

BEST RESORT HOTEL IN HAWAII

Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani, Waikiki

BEST HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS

Wynn

CANADA

BEST CITY HOTEL

Loden Hotel, Vancouver

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland

THE CARIBBEAN, BERMUDA & THE BAHAMAS

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Secret Bay, Dominica

MEXICO

BEST CITY HOTEL

Hotel Amparo, San Miguel de Allende

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Cala de Mar Resort & Spa, Ixtapa

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA

BEST CITY HOTEL

Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador

CENTRAL AMERICA

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Gardens, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

SOUTH AMERICA

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Awasi Patagonia, Torres del Paine, Chile

EUROPE (OVERALL)

BEST CITY HOTEL

Raffles, Istanbul, Turkey

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini, Greece

EUROPE (BY REGION)

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Oaxaca, Mexico, Is No. 1 City Overall in 25th Annual Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards - PRNewswire

Dubai marks business events reopening with AI conference – Conference and Meetings World

Business events are set to restart in Dubai, with 16 July seeing the start of the emirates first major live in-person leadership business event organised byDubai World Trade Centre.

The AI Everything x Restart Dubai Summer Conference, hosted by the National Program of Artificial Intelligence, will celebrate the United Arab Emirates AI efforts during this time of pandemic.

The event promises exclusive face-to-face conversations with government and private sector leaders from healthcare, education, retail, e-commerce, tourism and hospitality.

The support and enthusiasm from our speakers, exhibitors, partners, the wider business community and our very own team have been so exceptional, said executive vice-president, Dubai World Trade Centre, Trixie LohMirmand.

Dubai has started to welcome again international tourists, complete with comprehensive precautionary measures and protocols to ensure the highest international standards of health and safety.

Crown Prince of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited Dubai Airport to review the preparations and preventive protocols in place to welcome tourists back, starting from 7 July.

Ahead of the reopening, Dubai had received the Safe Travels Stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which validates the stringent global hygiene and safety protocols the city has put in place.

Ranked one of the worlds five most visited cities for the fifth year in a row by Mastercards Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) 2019, Dubai welcomed 15.93m international overnight visitors last year.

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Dubai marks business events reopening with AI conference - Conference and Meetings World

In Pictures: The Bruce Oldfield designs worn by stars and royals as he turns 70 – expressandstar.com

Bruce Oldfield, one of the royal familys favourite fashion designers, is celebrating his 70th birthday on Tuesday.

The British couture designer, who was one of Diana, Princess of Wales favoured designers, was brought up in foster care before he was adopted by a seamstress.

He went on to create luxury dresses for royals, as well as celebrities such as model Jerry Hall and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, in a career spanning 45 years.

Diana wore a glistening floor-length gown by Oldfield to a star-studded charity catwalk in aid of child care charity Barnardos, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in 1985.

She attended the event as president of the charity, along with celebrities including actress Joan Collins.

At another Barnardos event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in 1988, Oldfield is pictured with Diana wearing his off-the-shoulder crushed purple velvet gown.

Oldfield grew up under the care of Barnardos, received financial support from the charity in his teenage years, and is now vice president of the charity.

Oldfields designs have an enduring popularity with the royal family the Duchess of Cornwall also occasionally wears his dresses.

Camilla attended the Bruce Oldfield Fashion Show, which raised money for the National Osteoporosis Society, in 2017, wearing his black knee-length gown.

She is pictured with Oldfield, and four models sporting his brightly coloured ballgowns, at Lancaster House in London.

Models show off two dresses from Bruce Oldfields 1975 Borghese Spring Collection.

Actress Joanna Lumley wore an intricate lilac shawl and dress by Oldfield to celebrate his 50th birthday and 25 years in the fashion industry at Mansion House in London.

Model and philanthropist Lady Getty also accompanied Oldfield to his star-studded birthday party in 2000.

Diana wore Oldfields veiled hat and knee-length white dress when she opened the World Travel Market at Olympia, London, in 1985.

The long-sleeved design featured a wrap-neck collar and breast pocket detail.

She also wore Oldfields designs in Rome with the Prince of Wales in 1985.

She is pictured with Charles wearing a black and white cotton suit during their Vatican tour.

Oldfields designs have hit the red carpet at the Oscars, including when former model Heather Mills wore a flower-patterned cutout dress by him in 2002.

She attended the 74th annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, alongside her then-partner and Beatles musician Sir Paul McCartney.

Oldfield designed the worlds most expensive abaya at the time a long outer garment worn by some Muslim women in 2008.

British electric violinist Linzi Stoppard modelled the 175,000 garment at the Intercontinental Hotel in central London.

The British designer also created McDonalds staff uniforms in April 2008, which were neutral-toned.

This range of specialist workwear was to be rolled out to the 67,000 McDonalds employees in Britain at the time, according to Vogue.

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In Pictures: The Bruce Oldfield designs worn by stars and royals as he turns 70 - expressandstar.com

How the world’s busiest airport will use technology for post-Covid travel – IOL

By Tracy Rucinski 12h ago

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With COVID-19 ravaging the aviation industry, airlines and airports worldwide are reining in costs and halting new spending, except in one area: reassuring pandemic-wary passengers about travel.

"Whatever the new normal (...) it's going to be more and more around self-service," Sean Donohue, chief executive of Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport (DFW), told Reuters in an interview.

The airport is working with American Airlines - whose home base is DFW - to roll out a self-check-in for luggage, and all of its restrooms will be entirely touchless by the end of July with technology developed by Infax Inc. They will have hands-free sinks, soap, flushing toilets, and paper towel dispensers, which will be equipped with sensors to alert workers when supplies are low.

"One of the biggest complaints airports receive are restrooms," Donohue said.

Dallas is piloting three technology options for luggage check-ins: Amadeus's ICM, SITA, and Materna IPS.

DFW has become the world's busiest airport, according to figures from travel analytics firm Cirium, thanks in part to a strategy by large global carrier American to concentrate much of its pandemic flying through its Texas hub.

Last year DFW rolled out biometric boarding -- where your face is your boarding pass -- for international flights and is taking advantage of the lull in international traffic to work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to use the VeriScan technology for arriving passengers too, he said.

Delta Air Lines opened the first U.S. biometric terminal in Atlanta in 2018, and some airports in Europe and Asia also use facial recognition technology. It has spurred some concerns, however, with a U.S. government study finding racial bias in the technology and the European Union earlier this year considered banning it in public places over privacy concerns.

The Dallas airport is also testing new technology around better sanitization, beginning with ultraviolet technology that can kill germs before they circulate into the HVAC system.

But it has also deployed electrostatic foggers and hired a "hit team" of 150 people who are going through the terminals physically sanitizing high-touch areas.

"Technology is critical because it can be very efficient," Donohue said, but customers "being able to visualize what's happening is reassuring as well."

DFW has invested millions of dollars above its cleaning and sanitation budget since the pandemic broke out, while suspending about $100 million of capital programs and reducing its second-half operating costs by about 20% as it addresses COVID-19's steep hit to the industry, which only months ago was preparing for growth.

Nearly 114,000 customers went through DFW on July 11, an improvement from a 10,000 per day trough in April, but still just about half of last year's volumes.

The airport has also been testing touchless technology for employee temperature checks, but is not currently planning hotly-debated checks for passengers, barring a federal mandate for which there has yet to be any inclination by the U.S. government.

Michael Davies, who runs the New Technology Ventures program at London Business School, said technology will be one of many changes to the airport experience going forward, with fewer overall travelers who will be seeking more space and spending less time dining and shopping.

"You put these things together and this feels in some interesting ways very much like back to the golden age of air travel," said Davies.

Excerpt from:

How the world's busiest airport will use technology for post-Covid travel - IOL

Future of hospitality in a world changed by COVID-19 – Moneycontrol

Rajiv Gupta

The COVID-19 global pandemic and ensuing lockdown has severely impacted the hospitality sector. In 2019, the tourism industry contributed around 9 percent of Indias GDP and generated 87.5 million jobs which is about 12.75 percent of total employment of 2018-19, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The global economy is going through the deepest recession in decades.

WTTC estimates revenue losses of up to USD 2.7 trillion with 100 million jobs at risk globally. In India, the next one year is going to be the most difficult for the travel and tourism industry with estimated revenue and job losses at $17 billion and 40 million (both direct and indirect) respectively.

Indias hospitality sector is facing its biggest crisis ever. Revenue per available room (RevPAR), one of the key performance indicators for the hospitality industry, has seen a drop of 18.5% in Q1 2020 over the same period last year.

May 2020 experienced an occupancy decline of 77% over the same time last year. As per estimates, occupancy for branded hotels in 2020 is set to decline by about 20% over 2019 and average daily rate (ADR) by more than 8%.

The combined impact of occupancy and ADR would reflect on RevPAR which is expected to decline by more than 30% over 2019. The other segments of revenue for hotels like food and beverages, banquets, spas would also see a significant decline over 2019.

Steep decline in total revenue added up with fixed operating expenses and debt servicing have added to the woes of the hospitality sector. The magnitude of the impact is far reaching and devastating with layoffs job losses and pay cuts becoming a new normal.

The coming months would also witness mounting credit distress for several hospitality companies resulting in a possibility of bankruptcy. The outstanding loans attached to hotel real estate are estimated at Rs. 50,000 crores, according to Hotelivate.

Weak business outlook and high fixed operating costs pose a serious challenge for servicing of loans. Defaults and loans turning bad is to be expected.

Covid-19 Unlock 1 allowed opening up of hotels outside the containment zones from June 8 with strict safety guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) which was a relief after 75 days of lockdown. However, in this era, hospitality sector version 2.0 is going to be very different with the new normal being social distancing, minimal physical contact, wearing of masks, face cover and PPE kit and high level of hand hygiene.

International tourism and business travel would be a thing of the past till the time coronavirus is eradicated globally. Hospitality industry would have a high dependency on the domestic market and need to win customers confidence and assurance with hotels safety and hygiene standards.

Hotels need to make higher usage of technology to enable contactless servicing of customers. Contactless check-in like mobile app-based self-check-in and check-out is set to become a norm. At restaurants, a digital menu based on a QR code will be acceptable. Takeaways and home deliveries will be the way for survival of the food & beverage business. Innovation and digitalisation will be imperative for businesses to function.

Reduced operational capacity and increased operating costs due to heightened safety and hygiene standards are some of the challenges forthcoming for hotels reopening post lockdown. For example, in Maharashtra hotels are allowed to operate at 33% capacity subject to adherence of social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

The hospitality sector is restarting with a very advanced level of hygiene standards, infectious disease prevention programmes and care. All this would (perhaps) reassure the guests about their safety and well-being.

Companies would be required to do write downs in business during the current fiscal. Impairment provisions need to be created which would reduce profits drastically.

Hotel owners should get some relief on debt servicing due to moratorium extended till August 31 and relaxation in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) provisions. RBI is expected to come out with relief measures including loan restructuring for stressed sectors like tourism and hospitality to ease down the lockdown pain.

Besides hotels would get opportunity for restructuring of operating costs. For example, reduction in consumption of heat, light, power and control of food wastages would be the norm. Sensible usage of technology for reduction of overhead expenses and rationalizing of payroll costs too would be expected.

Postponing non-essential IT and capex expenses would have a positive impact on cash flow. Cash reserves, deferred payment plans for creditors and spending need to be cautiously monitored to avoid fresh working capital infusion.

The hospitality sector will need to adapt new strategies for a strong comeback because the road ahead looks bumpy with restricted demand for all revenue segments.

Hotels should also continue to serve as Covid-19 quarantine facilities as this would be a steady new revenue segment. It may take 12-24 months for the hospitality sector to return to 2019 RevPAR levels. At this crucial juncture one cannot ignore the importance of critical success factors activities that a business must do to survive to fight another day.

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Future of hospitality in a world changed by COVID-19 - Moneycontrol

The absolute report will add the study for Impact of COVID-19 in Cultural Tourism Global Industry – 3rd Watch News

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The absolute report will add the study for Impact of COVID-19 in Cultural Tourism Global Industry - 3rd Watch News

WTTC to host Global Science Summit on Covid-19 – Breaking Travel News

The World Travel & Tourism Council will host a new event to examine the scientific evidence that can be used to inform practical solutions for mitigating and living with Covid-19.

Hosted in partnership with Carnival Corporation, the event will take place on July 23rd.

Taking place from 14:00-17:30 GMT, the event is open to the public and will share the latest scientific knowledge and evidence-based best practices related to prevention, detection, treatment and mitigation of the virus.

It is the latest initiative to continue building global understanding concerning Covid-19s impact on society, including travel and tourism.

The summit will consider practices from the leading scientists and health experts for mitigating the spread of the virus.

It will bring together a robust line-up of world renowned medical, epidemiology and public health experts to explore and share the latest best practice on the science of Covid-19 and how best to address the many practical questions people have about the disease.

Speakers and panellists represent a diverse range of science, research, clinical, academic, policy and business backgrounds, including amongst others, members of Scientists to Stop Covid-19, who have volunteered to participate.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: I was excited when Arnold, on behalf of Carnival Corporation, approached me with this idea.

This event will be a powerful platform for harnessing the best thinking from across all fields of knowledge in the public and private sectors.

The science of this virus is rapidly evolving, and these real-time insights will be invaluable in helping us determine evidence-based protection and mitigation measures to combat Covid-19.

They will also help drive global alignment and collaboration on the frontiers of science and policy, which is critical to the survival of this important sector.

More Information

To register for the summit, head over to the official website.

Participants will be invited to submit questions in advance and during the online event.

See the article here:

WTTC to host Global Science Summit on Covid-19 - Breaking Travel News

Cross-border travel after COVID is confusing – this approach can help – World Economic Forum

When the six nations of the East African Community opened to essential trade in June, COVID-19 testing created kilometers of backed up trucks along the borders as truck drivers waited for hours to get test results. By working together to share test results in a harmonized system, border crossing and regional integration was later accelerated within East Africa.

We need this kind of coordination and harmonization on a global scale. Unfortunately, that is not the current trajectory of COVID-19 era border crossing. COVID brought a patchwork of closed borders and complex border entry requirements as reopening countries attempted to balance the urgent need to restart travel and cross-border economic activity against the imperative of protecting their populations health.

Such disparate efforts are slowing travel and halting a range of industries such as tourism. Without intervention, these efforts will lead to fragmented policies and procedures and make international travel confusing and uncertain long into the future.

Image: IATA

The need: Safe, dynamic borders that respect private data

For cross-border traffic to resume fully, travelers need border crossing experiences that are safe, predictable and do not require excess disclosure of personal health information. Such policies are not universally in place.

Each day, new bilateral travel bubbles are announced, governed by border crossing policies that also seem to shift on a near daily basis, reflecting differing policy approaches and the evolving consensus on testing effectiveness. (There is a lively debate, for example, about the validity of negative tests, and how long a negative test may be considered valid.)

Border procedures for travelers range from wearing a GPS tag for the full 14-day quarantine period to proof of a recent negative laboratory test to simple temperature screening on arrival. Once an effective vaccine is in place and widely available, proof of vaccination could be required.

Digital privacy concerns around COVID-19 have focused on contact tracing until now, but the same concerns will arise with the new proliferation of COVID-related travel and passporting apps. Travelers face the prospect of downloading different health screening apps for each country they enter, each airport they visit and every plane they board. Travelers could be required to share personal health information at every stage of their journey.

Even when borders are described as open, some policies, such as quarantine, make travelers reluctant to cross them. A recent study by IATA found that the drop of inbound travel to countries with a 14-day quarantine was nearly equivalent to countries with closed borders.

Image: IATA

The path forward: New collaborations and best practices

Recognizing that scientific consensus around testing and immunization is not yet mature and that global guidance around testing has yet to be developed, there is an urgent need to design a flexible model that can help us move past the current fragmentation and that can evolve and adapt as the science matures.

Such a model would allow travellers to use a common, standards-based platform to present their COVID-19 health status at each step of their journey, while keeping their other personal health information private and secure.

The Commons Project, a non-profit public trust established with support from the Rockefeller Foundation to build global digital services and platforms for the common good, is working with a broad coalition of public and private partners around the world to develop and launch a standard global model to enable people to document their certified COVID-19 status to facilitate international travel and border crossing while keeping their health information private.

The framework, once further defined, will serve several needs.

These protocols provide global direction but require local implementation.

Governments will develop national or regional policies based on these protocols, and industry players will help ensure their consistent and effective implementation across the aviation, travel and tourism sectors while adapting to differing local conditions.

CommonPass enables these efforts by streamlining implementation and supporting interoperability between countries with differing policy regimes. It will also help travelers to collect the health records required for crossing a particular border and share them in a privacy-preserving manner.

Developing and scaling such a model will not be without its challenges. A new level of cross-industry cooperation between the health, aviation, travel and tourism sectors will be crucial. Comprehensive guidelines and protocols have already been developed by international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI), the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and others. Still, such changes will require a coordinated, harmonized approach that is as global in scale as the pandemic itself.

Additionally, time is of the essence. The deepening economic impact of closed and high friction border crossings places increased urgency on moving quickly from framework to implementation. Governments, businesses and travellers alike are eager to see change as soon as possible and implement an interoperable framework that can adapt to local conditions.

To this end, the CommonPass initiative kicked off July 2020 by convening ministers of health, tourism and international cooperation as well as industry representatives from technology, travel, health and tourism representing more than 50 countries as well as international organizations.

These experts will now refine the CommonPass framework and plan for its roll-out at the regional and global levels. The stakeholders are expected to reconvene in late summer 2020 to formally launch the CommonPass framework.

COVID-19 has turned many countries inward, fearful of interacting with other countries. The pandemic, however, has also shown the worlds capacity to innovate quickly and collaborate in unprecedented ways. Such an approach will be key to restarting international travel and restoring the global interconnectedness of the pre-COVID-19 era.

Continued here:

Cross-border travel after COVID is confusing - this approach can help - World Economic Forum

A New Visa Would Let You Travel to Barbados and Work There Remotely For a Year – Cond Nast Traveler

If you had the chance to travel to Barbados and work by the beach, would you?

Five months ago, working outside the office, even just temporarily, was a pipe dream for most employees. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Businesses remain shuttered around the globe to enforce social distancing, and working remotely has become the newand, for some, newly permanentnormal. Once encumbered by long and expensive commutes, employees now find themselves untethered from a traditional workplace, taking Zoom meetings from their living rooms instead. According to Global Workplace Analytics, an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the worlds workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.

But if theres one takeaway from spending months quarantined at home, its that staring at the same four walls can grow old very quickly. More than ever, telecommuters are dreaming of shaking things up and escaping life for a little while. In fact, Barbados is banking on it.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced in a speech that the Barbados government is developing a 12-month Barbados Welcome Stampa special visa for remote workers who want to trade home for island life for up to a year at a time.

The stamp is currently in the final stages of development. While further details are forthcoming, Mottley said in her speech that the visa would allow people from the United States, Europe, and Latin America to come and do their jobs digitally for a couple of months and then go back home, if they feel they can work better in a more relaxed atmosphere such as next to a beach. The proposal is a direct response to current COVID-19 travel restrictions, in which lengthy, mandated quarantines restrict short-term travel.

The prospect of working from a beach is more than tempting. Being by the ocean has been proven to boost your mood and your healthboth of which can suffer under self-isolation. At the same time, the stamp would also help jump-start the islands economy by bringing in additional tourism dollars for local businesses. Barbados is among the top 20 countries most dependent on travel and tourism as a source of GDP, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Its worth noting that this new opportunity to work remotely has appeal beyond cabin fever. As the Black Lives Matter movement grows across the U.S., Black Americans are increasingly looking to move abroad to escape the institutional racism and discrimination still so persistent in America. It remains to be seen whether Barbados will market this opportunity specifically to Black Americans to capture a portion of their massive spending power, but theres no question that tourism boards play a large role in making travel more accessible and inclusive.

Luckily, interested parties wont have to wait for long. While the visa is in the final stages of development, the Caribbean island will begin welcoming international travelers back on Sunday, July 12, when air travel to Barbados is expected to recommence. JetBlue and American Airlines are resuming commercial flights from the U.S. on July 25 and August 5, respectively.

We're reporting on how COVID-19 impacts travel on a daily basis. Find all of our coronavirus coverage and travel resources here.

See more here:

A New Visa Would Let You Travel to Barbados and Work There Remotely For a Year - Cond Nast Traveler

Travelers Should Wear to Care" in the New Normal, Says WTTC – Travel Agent

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called upon all travelers to don protective face masks to show they wear to care in the "new normal" of traveling. As countries transition from lockdowns to reopening their borders, the wearing of face masks helps signal the return of safer travels, while providing personal protection for users, as well as those around them.

The advice from WTTC in favor of mandatory mask wearing comes from evidence that countries that are recovering faster and avoiding second COVID-19 spikes are those where the use of face masks have been widely enforced and encouraged.

Following medical guidance from theHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, WTTC advises the wearing of masks on all forms of transport throughout the entire traveler journey, as well as when visiting any interior venue or those with restricted movement which results in close personal contact of two meters or less. WTTC has asked governments around the globe to enforce the wearing of face masks, as well as enlisting the support of the private sector to remind customers of their obligations to protect their health and that of fellow travelers.

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Travelers around the world are being encouraged to join in the WTTC social media campaign, which is launching with the hashtag #wear2care.

The new recommendations follow in the wake of WTTC recently issuing its new guidelines for Safe & Seamless Travel including testing and tracing to ensure people can enjoy Safe Travels in the "new normal."

Ramon Snchez, principal investigator and research associate at Harvard University, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a press announcement, Wearing face masks has been proven to provide the highest level of protection against transmission at 82 percent. Constant hand hygiene and surface cleaning, which kills more than 90 percent of viruses that are found on surfaces, also prevents the virus from reaching the face from the hands.

The public should keep a two-meter (six-foot) distance whenever they can; however, if that simply isnt possible, people should increase the ventilation around them. Inside buildings this can be done by opening doors and windows which decreases the viral concentration by more than 70 percent.

Mechanical ventilation, such as air conditioning decreases it by 80 percent, while going outdoors proves more effective by decreasing the viral concentration between 90 percent and 95 percent.

Visit https://wttc.org/.

Stats: 32% of Americans Definitely Plan to Fly in 2020

Carnival Corp., WTTC Plan Global Summit to Share COVID-19 Intel

RCL Group, NCLH Partner on Panel, Submit Separate CDC Plans

WTTC Lays Out Guidelines for Safe Travel in the New Normal

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Travelers Should Wear to Care" in the New Normal, Says WTTC - Travel Agent

Famous Athlone pub among the oldest companies in the world – IrishCentral

An Irish pub in Anthlone, Co Westmeath, has been recognized as one of the oldest companies in the world.

Sen's Bar, which is over 1,100 years old, holds the Guinness World record for the oldest pub in Ireland and is also believed to be the oldest in all of Europe, and possibly the entire world.

The pub was established in 900 as an inn by a man named Luain Mac Luighdeach, who acted as a guide to travelers crossing the treacherous River Shannon. The business has remained strong, until it was forced to temporarily close its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More: Look inside Irelands oldest pub - it might be the oldest in the world

The French History Podcast shared a list of 32 oldest companies and the world and Sens Bar came in at number 10. It is the only Irish company on the list.

The oldest corporations in the world. The Monnaie de Paris is among the oldest, and has been in operation since 864, when Charles the Bald was king of France. (Charles was Charlemagne's grandson). pic.twitter.com/QAwh5Qvj5O

According to the podcast, hosted by PHD candidate Gary Girod, Sen's Bar is the oldest pub in the world. It is closely followed by The Bingly Arms, which was established fifty-three years later in the UK. These are the only two pubs on the list, with hotels making up a quarter of the list, The Irish Post reports.

A large portion of the companies can be found in Japan, which claims the top five oldest corporations. Number one on the list is Kongo Gumi, a Japanese construction company. It was established in 578 and has been in business for 1,442 years!

Read More: The surprising reason why Irish pubs around the world all look the same

Sen's Bar will be back to serving customer later this month; meanwhile, here is the list of the top 10 oldest companies in the world:

1 Kongo Gumi Construction, est. 578 (Japan)

2 Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan Hotel, est.705 (Japan)

3 Koman Hotel, est. 717 (Hotel)

4 Hoshi Ryokan Hotel, est. 718 (Japan)

5 Gena Shigyo Ceremonial Paper Goods, est. 771 (Japan)

6 St Peter Stiftskulinarium Restaurant, est. 803 (Austria)

7 Staffelter Hof Winery , est. 862 (Germany)

8 Monnaie de Paris Mint, est.864 (France)

9 Tanaka-Iga Religious Goods, est. 885 (Japan)

10 Sen's Bar, est. 900 (Ireland)

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Famous Athlone pub among the oldest companies in the world - IrishCentral

Sony BBC Earths Couch Travel Anthology with Simon Reeve, Sue Perkins and Romesh Ranganathan brings home the world – The Hindu

Im indulging in a bit of fantasy travel and documenting my photographs at the moment, says Simon Reeve over phone from London where he is in lockdown. Its difficult to say how travel will play out post-pandemic, he adds.

But until the world opens up again to the wanderer, Reeve, British author of books on international terrorism, history and travelogues, and two other presenters will give us exotic places to discover from the safety of our homes.

Sony BBC Earths Couch Travel Anthology will take viewers to well-known and not-so-known countries across the globe and go beyond the tropes of happy tourist sites to discover the mystique of these places.

This is nothing out of the ordinary for Reeve, 48, who has made a career travelling to dangerous destinations. He has found himself folding his 63 frame into the back of a gun-mounted open truck while rebel gangs challenged each other on the war-torn streets of Mogadishu, hunted with the bushmen of the Kalahari, cried at the sight of Rohingya camps, ziplined into Myanmar from Manipur, and roamed the forgotten citadels of Central Asia. He has visited nearly 130 countries, made 22 travel programmes for television, authored three best-sellers among his many books, and received a One World Broadcasting Trust award and the Ness Award in 2012 from the Royal Geographic Society.

Alongside Reeve, who will present Russia, Turkey, the Caribbean, Cuba, Colombia, Cuba and Myanmar, Couch Travel Anthology also has British comedian and actor Sue Perkins(Japan), and stand-up comic-actor Romesh Ranganathan(travel misadventures).

Doing it his way

For Couch Travel Anthology I chose some of the countries, the producer chose others. It includes an incredible variety of places, says Reeve. Travelling with a cameraman, producer, director and a local guide, Reeve admits that it sometimes takes three weeks to film an hour of television. It takes longer if I need to strike a rapport. Thats where local guides or fixers help. They sort out permits, translate and help curate the travel; they enrich your experience, he says.

Reeve admits that travelling to present unknown facets of a country takes many visits and an eye for experiences that fall through the gaps. Travellers like to tick off how many countries they have been to. But you could go to places like India or Brazil 20 times and still find new experiences. Ive been to India nine times and found dramatically different stories, and not in just terms of geography or culture. Finding extraordinary human beings is the real beauty of travelling. There are seven billion people on the planet and all their stories can be beautiful, he adds.

To decipher the focus of the series involves a lot of research. We do loads of it, says Reeve. You can turn up in a place and enjoy the experience but its not the same when you are filming a series. There is a joy when you prepare in advance, in reading up; you savour the place. We talk to our guides and plan what you may be allowed to film and who will be in it. Sometimes, the filming is spontaneous. You see something and stop; the schedules are not set in concrete.

For the series shot in Myanmar, Reeve says he was on the move every day. It took us a month to cover Burma, moving across Malawmyine, Yangon, Naypyitaw, Bagan, Mandalay and the Shan state. Travelling around the Caribbean was action-packed with incredible beaches that hide the harsh reality of these places, he says.

Reeve adds that travelling enables him to see the world in shades of light and dark. Writing doesnt come easy to me, Ive had to shed sweat and blood for my books, he says. I have had an incredible education through travel. I love my job but Im away for five months a year. I miss my nine-year-old son then. One day I hope to be able to stand on a hill and share the view with him.

Couch Travel Anthology is on SONY BBC Earth on July 13 at 10pm

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Sony BBC Earths Couch Travel Anthology with Simon Reeve, Sue Perkins and Romesh Ranganathan brings home the world - The Hindu

Travel updates: Backlash against ‘lunatic’ cruise ban as other holiday restrictions ease – The Telegraph

As most Britons are today finallyfree to take their much-longed-for summer holidays without facing a 14-day quarantine upon their return, thecruise industry remains paralysed.

The UK Government has updated its guidance for cruise ships, advising all British people to avoid travelling on them. Minister Caroline Dinenage indicated this would stay in place "probably until October", and a government rep told The Telegraph today it was to avoid the risk of repatriations.

"In a week when weve quite rightly seen financial help for the struggling hospitality sector, the cruise industry, worth 10 billion a year to the UK economy and responsible for almost 90,000 jobs when you factor in cruise line employees, travel agencies, port staff, catering companies and more, gets a sharp boot in the teeth," argues Telegraph Travel's cruise expert Jane Archer, dismissing the stance as a "lunatic" ban.

Meanwhile,mandatory self-isolation hasbeen dropped for arrivals into England, Wales and Northern Ireland from a list of 75countries, including Spain, France andItaly. Scotland similarly eased restrictions but has notably left Spain off its quarantine exemption list, to the ire of many, thanks to its "significantly higher prevalence" Covid-19 infections.

These policies are subject to change, the Government has warned.Already, Serbia has been removed from England's list of quarantine-free countries on the very day the policy came into force.

Still, for many holidaymakers, this day marks a major step towards freedom in the new normal. Early flights todayincluded Malaga from Stansted, Palma from Gatwick and Barcelona from Heathrow.

What will this new normal look like? Muzzled. Yesterday, thechief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), saidface masks should be mandatory for all forms of travel and in any indoor spaces from hotels and restaurants to cruise ships and bars.

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Travel updates: Backlash against 'lunatic' cruise ban as other holiday restrictions ease - The Telegraph


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