Spain travel corridors could open between 'Birmingham and Majorca' first if regions face lower coronavirus cases

TRAVEL corridors between the UK and Spain could open between destinations such as Birmingham and Majorca first, if they have lower cases of coronavirus.

Also known as air bridges, countries are discussing agreements to allow tourists to travel between two destinations without needing to quarantine for 14 days.

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Currently, both the UK and Spain are to enforce a two-week quarantine on anyone entering the country, even if it is nationals returning, although Spain will lift theirs in July.

While air bridges are being considered between the UK and destinations like Greece and Portugal, it may be harder to agree for one with Spain due to the high number of cases abroad.

Jose Luis Zoreda, vice president of the travel agency association Exceltur said that if national agreements couldn't be made, then more local routes could be made instead.

He told local media: "Madrid or London may have higher levels of risk, but why not establish a safer corridor, for example, between Majorca and Birmingham?"

He added: "That is just one example, but the British market is essential for Spain's coastal tourism".

Mr Zoreda also warned that delaying the return to tourism could result in "tens of billions of euros" being lost.

He explained why the industry needs enough warning before opening: "To the man from Birmingham who wants to go to the Balearic Islands, you have to tell him in advance what he can do.

"First we have to communicate it to the British agencies and then they have to send him that information."

However, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez said that summer holidays will go ahead this summer for tourists: "From now, foreign tourists can plan their vacations in our country.

"We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks and they will not bring us any risks.

"There will be a tourist season this summer."

Spanish beaches opened last weekend, following strict social distancing measures, although many are enforcing reservations which are likely to remain in place in the future.

Following the PM's announcement, holiday bookings in Spain have quadrupled.

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Universal Orlando Is Prepping to Open It's Doors Again — Here's What You Can Expect

Universal Orlando Is Prepping to Open It’s Doors Again — Here’s What You Can Expect

Universal Orlando Resort has been closed since March 16th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After Universal executive John Sprouls presented a reopening plan to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force on May 21, theme park fans were anxiously awaiting the plan’s approval. That approval came quickly when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed off the following day.

The park has plans to open first to Team Members on June 1 and 2 as a means of testing the new safety procedures, with Annual Passholders being allowed to come back on June 3 and 4. Universal will be fully open to the public on June 5, with a slew of new guidelines in place. Scroll through to learn more about how Universal plans to keep guests and Team Members safe, and how these policies and procedures could affect your next visit.

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Why the future of air travel post-coronavirus may include more private airlines

The future of travel is looking like it may involve more driving, and less reliance on major commercial airlines.

According to a U.S. Travel Association survey, 60 percent of Americans want to travel once the COVID-19 emergency has passed.

Over half of those surveyed want to travel by car, but Alex Wilcox, CEO of the semi-private airline JSX, says there is a better, safer, and more comfortable way to travel post-coronavirus.

“People are going to be avoiding crowds. So whether you are choosing to go to the Grand Canyon or a golf course or a beach, you can be looking for places where there are no crowds,” Wilcox told Fox News.

The regional carrier says that’s why semi-private airlines are the way to fly.

“It’s a private life experience. But because you’re sharing an airplane with up to 29 other people, the price point is very much like any other major air carrier,” Wilcox said.

Semi-private airlines typically won’t fly out of large airports like New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport, which means no crowds, no TSA, and more legroom. Safety isn’t as big of an issue either, Wilcox said.

“We do our own security, but it’s much less intrusive and touch-free,” he explained.

Semi-private planes are also easier to clean too–at JSX their largest plane seats 30 people, including middle row seats – which will remain empty for the time being.

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This Gorgeous Greek Elopement Is the Stunning Escape We Need Right Now

This Gorgeous Greek Elopement Is the Stunning Escape We Need Right Now

In a time when everything from happy hours to baby showers must be attended virtually, dreaming about lavish weddings seems like a faraway thought. Intimate gatherings like small elopements are easier to wish for, even when they are miles from home. Last year, photographer Rebecca Carpenter and event planner Valentina Ring worked together on this styled shoot on the island of Oia in Santorini, Greece, with the hopes of highlighting a couple’s shared passion for travel and their adventurous love story. This romantic elopement showcased the beginning of a new chapter for Louise and Rob, as well as a celebration of their love for each other. The heartfelt beauty and simplicity of a wedding like this was able to highlight the intimate love the two share with each other.

On a romantic island in Greece surrounded by the sea, this gorgeous shoot revolved around the design idea of connecting the sky and the sea together in equal harmony. With dreamy celestial details and bright blue ocean backdrops, the cosmopolitan town of Oia offered charming views of every angle of the Caldera and the Aegean Seas, making every photo look as beautiful as a postcard. Pristine and minimal decor was used to truly embody the feeling of the new bride and groom being alone together on top of the world. From standing on top of a small church to enjoying intimate views only the two of them could see, every image was taken in the hopes of capturing the intimacy of their private love.

The bride was adorned in three designer gowns throughout the shoot — the first by Ersa Atelier, the second by Sottero & Midgley, and the third by Lee Petra Grebenau. Different hair and makeup looks were paired with each dress, making Louise look like a vision every time. From classical to sultry, the looks remained deeply romantic and very much in tune with the alluring feel of Santorini.

This gorgeous wedding eye candy is fueling our wanderlust and inspiring our future wedding planning, and we hope it does the same for you. Until weddings and special gatherings can happen in safe and healthy environments, dreaming about these sweet escapes makes it all the more exciting. Read ahead to see the gorgeous photos from the shoot, and get inspired to have a destination elopement of your own one day.

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Coronavirus-hit travel industry will return, let's get to work now to save workers

US Travel Association CEO: Coronavirus ‘9 times worse’ than 9/11 for industry

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow argues the travel industry has been hit disproportionally worse than any other industry.

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As we begin to reopen the economy, one industry needs particular focus — travel and tourism. We need to start planning now for returning to a world where people have confidence and are able to travel again — and that also means across international borders.

The desire to travel is a human instinct that involves more than creating enjoyable memories; it also supports 1 in 10 or 330 million jobs worldwide according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

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A significant portion of that economic activity is produced through cross-border tourism, not domestic or local travel. While it is logical that local travel will be the first to return to some normalcy in the months ahead, our industry should already be working with governments to create an action plan for how international travel resumes and recovers.

I can speak first hand to the positive impact that international travel has to the United States. In 2019, our company brought 500,000 travelers from overseas. The average international tourist couple spent over ten thousand dollars during their visit – shopping in our malls, dining out, staying in hotels, renting cars, and buying tickets to theatres and attractions.

We estimate our travelers generated some $3 billion in economic activity. When overseas travelers visit America, they don’t just move money from one state to another; they bring new money into our country, reducing our deficit with trading partners.

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After 9/11, I was part of an industry group advising the Bush administration on recovery. I told then-Secretary of Commerce Don Evans that the key to quick recovery has always been to overcome fear.

People have short memories and if the price and product are right, they will pack and go.

Back then, the government moved quickly to convince travelers that air travel was safe while the industry worked hard to make sure the prices and products were right. One ultimate product of our collaboration was Brand USA, a model public-private partnership to promote American commerce.

Our industry should already be working with governments to create an action plan for how international travel resumes and recovers. 

Not dissimilar to the post-9/11 recovery, the recovery from coronavirus will require additional screening measures, this time for controlling the spread of the virus. A key aspect of the recovery from 9/11 was how the federal government led the way in building a global screening regime that both secured and reassured passengers that air travel was safe.

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We need that same kind of coordination to start today for screening measures to control this virus.

There are positive signs that the death toll of coronavirus is beginning to ebb, with new cases and mortality stabilizing or even declining, a trend that we all pray will continue.

Now is the time to develop a plan for getting back to business, putting solutions in place that allow our economy to begin getting back on track.

First, we have to get aid to travel companies and workers that have been decimated. Many travel companies will benefit from the payroll protection loans that were part of the $2.2 trillion relief package signed by President Trump. However, many have concerns that funds will be delayed or run out before companies get the aid.

More aid must be allocated to small businesses specifically impacted by governmental actions curbing the virus’ spread. Additional legislation being considered by Congress should include grants to such companies that run the risk of going out of business.  Seasonal workers who are likely to take a hit early in the summer should be supported directly rather than incentivized to go on unemployment.

Second, we need realistic and pragmatic mechanisms to either validate immunity or test travelers who wish to come to the United States. Rapid tests at the points of departure and arrival in America would help allay much fear and risk related to international travel.

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization administered by the Department of Homeland Security should be remobilized to validate an individual’s ability to travel if they have recently tested negative or have developed immunity.

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Agencies like Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control will require additional funding to ramp up these efforts quickly and will need to collaborate closely and expeditiously with our industry in order to be successful.

Third, we need to come together as an industry to find pragmatic and effective solutions to mitigate the ongoing coronavirus risk. While the government’s role is critical in this crisis, it will ultimately be up to us to protect our workers and customers. Leaders within our industry need to truly lead the way in developing best practices for improved health and hygiene at hotels, restaurants, parks, and other tourist and travel attractions.

All of these steps need to be effective but they must also reassure. By starting work now, we can make the coming summer a strong recovery period for our workers, our small businesses, America and the world.

Noel Irwin Hentschel is the CEO of AmericanTours International, which she co-founded in 1977. She serves on the board of Brand USA and has advised seven U.S. Secretaries of Commerce on travel and tourism.

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