The key to the economic recovery of Europe from COVID-19? Remember the summer holidays

The key to the economic recovery of Europe from COVID-19? Remember the summer holidays

The hotel terrace, where he had breakfast, it was Phil Pelzer almost pretend nothing had changed. Yes, the temperature of maître gun aimed at the head before that allows near buffet. It would not serve in the rule eggs in gloves and a mask. But still the friendly waitresses spoke in German arrest, and the sun warmed nor his pale, tattoo-covered arms. For Pelzer, a plumber from Alsdorf, Germany, which has long since taken his annual holiday on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the important things were still in place. “It’s sunny, there is sand,” he said. “Maybe it’s not quite as much fun as it used to, but it’s still a party.” To this pale remains enthusiastic hopes of a continent. Pelzer and his family was leading among the approximately 400 German tourists who have traveled to Mallorca on 15 June as part of a pilot program in partnership between the travel company TUI and the regional government of the Balearic Islands. It was originally conceived as a way for the company of their hot spots will and tour-proof holiday, get visitors, again after months of blockade. But even before the Pelzer Spain had boarded the plane in Dusseldorf has decided that it can not afford to wait to know the results. On 21 June, driven both by economic necessity, and to break its course neighbors, the Spanish government officially ended the state of emergency and opened its new borders to European tourists. How leaving much of Europe, the compulsory quarantine and followed the pilot program across the continent with keen interest and not a little ‘anxiety was observed. TUI had sold the two flights in a few hours. But I wish that the interest rates to be sustained? It would be enough to prevent the loss of American and Asian tourists whose return could not compensate months off? It would be safe for both visitors and locals who have received them? It would surely with all the personal protection and social contacts needed to transform a relaxing stay in something closely related to a hospital stay? As Europe begins his recovery from the crown pandemic, countries try between the protection of public health from a virus to find a middle ground, which is still a threat and revive ailing economies. Perhaps no sector has higher stakes of tourism. It ‘was, after the trip that the pandemic with compressor so that a virus from the markets of Wuhan, China, to go to the ski resorts in Italy, conference halls of Germany and ports of Japan and California. And in the absence of a vaccine, is that tourism of the necessary components-is unclear, only its planes and cruise ships, but also hotels, restaurants, museums and festivals-remain key vectors for the potential transmission of the virus. But in Europe, particularly in the tourism sector it is also crucial for the economy. In the 27 states that the European Union, up to 11% of GDP comes from tourism collected directly from (compared to 2.6% in the US). In Paris alone it makes the largest tourism industry, go to larger deals, including the services or fashion, and the 38 million that keeps the city each year nearly 12% of all Paris to work. “It ‘was a cliff, vertiginous,” says the deputy mayor of Paris Jean-François Martins from the drop-off from lockdowns causes. “It is millions of visitors to Paris are missing from the beginning of the crisis until we return to normal.” The pain extends up and down the food chain, from the unshakable airlines such as Lufthansa and SAS, the edge of bankruptcy for small business employees to jobs as Athens are teetering, organizing everything from a week samples afternoon in Athens Tours archaeological markets . “If Greece blocked the middle of March we had 100% cancellations,” says Anthia Vlassopoulou, CEO and co-owner of the company of 18 people. Why is targeted primarily for American tourists, do not expect any of them back until 2021. “We expect revenue was down 90% for the year,” says Vlassopoulou. Government “Our only hope is convinced our customers to postpone their trips, rather than the cancellation we have to repay their deposits.” Relief and unemployment subsidies have kept many, though not all living society in recent months, but countries pull back support projections are disastrous. According to the World Tourism Council, Europe is lagging on track 18.4 million jobs in the tourism business in 2020 and $1 Katherine GDP might seem trivial, in the context of a global health emergency, but the opportunities for Europeans Pelzer find Phil and his family could provide will surely enjoy a summer vacation a lifeline for millions of people available. It could also be crucial for Europe’s future. Just as the debt crisis of a decade ago, the threat of a crown to an already fragile European unity. The economic and political bloc based on multilateral cooperation, open borders and the free movement of persons, which threw all the windows during the worst of the crisis. When you reopen attention every European country takes its own approach to border control and health protocols. But tourist economy is to rebuild something that needs to get it together. If they succeed, the European unit could just come out stronger. Since the crown began to proliferate outside of China, Europe was to feel the full effect of the first places. Although the first cases in France were found Italy was quick to impose an epicenter and the first European country a draconian blockade. There and in some other countries such as Spain, France and Britain, infections and mortality screwed almost out of control. Other countries, like Germany, have relatively high rates of infection, but they managed to avoid the devastating mortality rate through a combination of extensive testing and quick action. And then there are a handful of places like Denmark and Greece, to be avoided by a still mysterious combination of good policy and good luck, they have managed all the burden of the disease. Most of the European countries is now well above the peak of their outbreaks. In the spring, when it became clear that the summer season has been limited at best, a lot of investigation began the creation of so-called corridors or bubbles that would allow citizens to areas that seemed to have under control to travel safely the virus. “The idea of ​​creating ist, Grunen Zonen’zu, the first regions would join the virus under control and the economy was able to be restored,” says Bary Pradelski, economist at the French National Center for scientific research. He and his colleagues Miquel Oliu-Barton wrote an article on the European political think tank website VoxEU end of April, I would like to turn influential as France and Spain reopening approached. The plan, he says, would be “to fill those areas in a similar situation with others.” To allow the Baltic States, for example, combine in mid-May, the citizens of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, countries have to visit without obstacles. More recently, Denmark has opened its doors for the German, Norwegian and Icelandic, although not its neighbors in Sweden, the rates of infection and mortality was much higher. EU leaders endorsed the approach, noting in a report on May 13 that “handled properly, safely and in a coordinated manner in the months of Europeans could be the possibility to rest well needed fresh air to get with friends and family in their Member States or across borders, in order to “recover But. like Pradelski emphasizes that coordination has not been fully forthcoming. “The first zoning adapted only at national borders that have nothing to do with the virus really was,” he says. “Now we see the bilateral agreements, but we hope they are just a starting point.” Hopes that the executive body of E.U. EU benchmarks are set for test and border control. “If we find common standards, people do not feel too safe. And then will not be enough demand for tourism” But these will always be the guidelines. Finally, Member States call the shots on their borders. As a result, the current situation is a patchwork of sometimes confusing exceptions. Austria, for example, visitors selected bars from Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom Patent Greece requires a test for the virus by anyone in Italy arrive, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden, among others. It opens its borders continue to be seen as Denmark, which announced on June 18, the participants from Sweden a bar, one of the few countries in Europe, rising new case number. All Member States are currently bargaining over non-E.U. Countries adequately met health and other criteria in July and beyond prohibited. (And do not look good for the United States) The disastrous economic situation does not necessarily Member States work together and can be, in fact, to foster a sense of competition. First off part of the door was certainly the calculation for the pilot program of Mallorca. “We wanted to check the logs that we had put in place,” says Jago Negueruela, tourism minister for the regional government of the Balearic Islands “because we knew how this come out in the summer islands would [popular with tourists]. But we also wanted to do it because it allows us to position them in relation to Europe as a safe destination. the fact that before their potential. ” In a sense, Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, the ideal retreat for a Europe is trying to recover from the pandemic. A relatively early and near total shutdown of the Balearic Islands chain, where it sits, the kind of carnage in Madrid and Barcelona allows experts to avoid, but the block and the confidence of the ‘island to tourism-34.8% of the -Makes GDP is very vulnerable to whatever comes next. And because neither American nor Asian tourists in large numbers to trip Mallorca (Germany and the United Kingdom are its largest markets), provides a clear reflection of how the rest of the continent could welcomes visitors from a number of neighboring countries. “It ‘s because we are the first to do so,” said Negueruela after came the first flights. “We are on the news was in every country last night, and we see a suction effect, have announced more flights and more hotels open. There is a sort of competition with other regions and countries, so it’s good, tried first “. But the internecine compete for the same limited pool of visitors is not the only action the crisis has opened. In March refuse rich northern countries medical help for the hardest-hit south to send or common issue bonds that could reduce the costs of recovery. Italy, in particular, was furious. In April, the European Commissioner for Ursula von der Leyen has apologized to the country for the lack E.U. Solidarity, but the damage had already been done. “Earlier this COVID-19 crisis showed all the weaknesses of the European Union,” says Irene Caratelli, the director of the International Relations Program at the American University of Rome. to meet “A transnational crisis to be closed by national borders was an idiot. It seemed like we only European, if it grows economically ,. If the cost is that national borders come back up.” Caratelli was encouraged, however, by recent collaborations. In late May, the Commission proposed an aid package of € 750 billion ($845 billion), the recovery in the affected countries the hardest, is fragmented to begin immediately and the protection of the internal market for level of wealth and economic growth. The so-called frugal four Austria, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark continue to support more debt (and tourism employees) countries to its south again. But more importantly, Germany, the largest economy of the block, the economies hit hard in punishing austerity measures insisted after 2010, his hawk position has softened and supports a common recovery plan. “It now appears begins, paradoxically, this is the kind of crisis that could trigger the EU going towards federalism,” says Caratelli. But the simple reality of a trip to this age pandemic will not make the E.U. any favors. One of the most visible benefits of E.U. for citizens-which limit the freedom of movement through open, at least for the moment disappeared. The passengers on two floors packed that had landed from Germany to Palma de Mallorca on 15 June to fill in two long distinct forms before being able to disembark, then subjected to temperature scans, interviews and passports types of control does not in many countries Europe for decades view. Once you have made it through all the control points at the Mallorca airport, the pilot program has met the travelers a wide range of protocols designed to keep them, as well as the locals, healthy. Some of them were invisible; the two Riu hotels where they were staying, had average occupancy was 50%, with whole wings to the side, if you set someone was required quarantine; The surface cleaning staff with colorful towels and disinfected the areas cleaned with a strong antiviral. Additional measures were evident; Also every time they checked the inlet temperature to submit to the dining room, guests had to wear masks in public areas and take me places claimed by one of the 70 ungeradeen bottles of hand sanitizer at every hotel. For Txema Delgado, who has worked for four years as a lifeguard, the Riu Concordia much more work was in line with the new routine. He must now every seat thoroughly disinfected after use and clean every handrail in five minutes a guest touch. “But I do not mind,” he says. “I think it reduced the fear of the guests. She seems very quiet and happy, almost as if nothing had happened.” Out on the waterfront, right Christian Laforcade like to be able to say the same thing. With his signature wrapped cloth around long curls, he edited from 2007, the Zur Krone venerable beachfront restaurant serving bratwurst cheerful and aioli to German tourists who are the main visitors to Platja de Palma, a recreational area east of the city. Laforcade again the restaurant opens in May to serve what the locals were around. “I am the brave,” he said with a smile as he pointed to a low walk otherwise deserted. “Or crazy.” And he can not hide his business interests. “In this business you earn the most money in a few months. In October, it’s over,” he said. “We completely lost in March, April and May. It does not look good in June. During this period there would usually serve breakfast from 60 to 80 per day. How I served today? Zero” Pedro Martin, who owns another restaurant, the Celta, two doors down, said it would remain closed for the foreseeable future.. “I do not trust yet,” said Martin, when he could open it again. “I will not trust to when no aircraft in the sky, and we know that these planes are full. “entrepreneurs are desperate, when the streets of Palma are filled with drinking water, carousing tourists, but other rooms are not so sure. teacher, working in Magaluf, Montse Guasch, do not say in person the kind of city tourism Miss de borrachera (drunk tourism) is known. He is also pleased that she is able, during an outdoor table at a bar in the center of the city rush hour. she’s hooked return of familiar tourism for the local economy as well, says. “I just hope it’s still different. Superior, more respectful, more eco-sustainable” she is certainly not alone. In previous years the pandemic initiative of a different kind of crisis in Europe was built as a number of tourists has increased uncontrollably. Coach, airlines at low cost and large cruise ships delivered masses of tourists to historic city centers any disturbance to the local real estate markets, damaging the environment and transform entire neighborhoods into no-go areas for residents. Now, with the break that the pandemic has brought many see the opportunity to reduce the negative impacts of tourism and remake it into something sustainable to do. This case is perhaps nowhere more powerful place in Venice, where tourist numbers were so great that the city government tried main entrances to control access to the city imposing turnstiles. Never proposals longtime apply swaying administrations have managed to limit the number of short-term rental housing or to divert the cruise ships. But where it fails, the virus managed. “For the weekend the first was just about people in [local] region have,” says Francesco Semenzato, co-founder of Venice Is Not Disneyland (Venice is not Disneyland), a platform that citizens who pay attention to draws implications the city’s mass tourism. “And many of them have come … they saw as an opportunity to take their city back. Even now, when it is open to other European, it feels different. Before there was a lot of day trippers and people who just came to check Venice from their list. Now you can say that people are interested in what is really here. If tourism for the rest of our lives as it was, it would be fantastic. “Although not Semenzato much hope is the local government to impose backbone of the exchange, hopes that a pandemic-products-a chance to see their city as a real experience habitable place will enter the Venetians to fight for stricter rules. His sentiments are shared by Paris deputy mayor. “We can make the decision of this crisis an opportunity for tourism reinvent,” says Martins. “We want to go from mass tourism tourism, which melts into the crowd.” To this end, the city is considering measures that have a ban on giant tour buses and a limit to the districts with the Airbnb apartment. Whether it is enough collective will, these kinds of measures in a time of economic difficulties and also see the recession remains unclear. But many countries are trying to open potential losses in the buffer from the staycation and stimulating the potential of the summer holidays for the underprivileged. Italy voucher up to € 500 ($565) for families show that earn less than € 40,000 ($45,100) a year, and they choose to travel within the country, while Spain just an expensive set up, if a little ‘melodramatic advertising campaign announcing the glory of a vacation home. “This summer is the opportunity of a lifetime,” says Martins. “You can go to the Louvre, and no one will be there!” Of course, all this could OF REMEDIAL MEASURES a setback when cases rise rapidly. These fears are back to work on the mind of an employee at the Riu hotels, as they facilitate the expression. “Right now is an outbreak in a meatpacking plant in Germany-announced 1000 people infected,” said the hotel worker who requested anonymity to speak freely. “And if one of these people to come here? I have to look after my parents and children. I am very concerned to get sick.” For his part, Phil Pelzer felt safe. “It seems to take a lot of precautions. And we have to wear masks in Germany back then does not bother me,” he said, as he and his family managed by hiring a car for a day to pick it planned to spend the inside island tour. In many ways represents the type of tourist is to focus his hopes :, more interested in sightseeing and lounging on the beach in loss of time and, above all, family-oriented ready to spread some ‘of money around. “I do not know if I would say that is my dream vacation,” he said. “But we’re still having fun.” -With reporting Vivienne Walt / Paris and Madeleine Roache / London This appears in the July 6, 2020 issue of time.
Picture copyright by Paul Verzone VU for TIME

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