Holiday at home and the urge to travel

The holiday season has begun but many people have decided to forgo long journeys this year. Infection rates are rising in many parts of southern Europe, just as the first holidaymakers are arriving. Concurring that the urge to see faraway places is an irresistible force, commentators describe the travel industry's fight for survival and hope for the emergence of a new kind of tourism.

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

A little glamour in the caravan park

Commenting in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, philosophy professor Peter Strasser can understand the urge to go on holiday despite the pandemic :

“Today's passionate advocates of 'holidays in your own country' are above all those who - paradoxically enough - can afford the luxury of a secluded private residence on their local wellness lake. ... This is why the restoration of traditional holiday rituals is more than just a relapse into old ways of tourism. Among other things it is also a confirmation that our life before the coronavirus was not a consistently catastrophic failure. On the contrary - holiday stress or not - our longing for faraway places allows the hordes of sun-seekers to experience a little of the glamour of the good life beyond the monotonous daily routine, even if it's in a caravan park.”

Sábado (PT) /

Travel must become something special once more

Sábado demands a fundamental rethink in tourism:

“The tourism we have got to know and practise in the last few decades has trivialised the exceptional aspect of travelling and encounters with the unknown. The frenetic loading and unloading of people at airports in European cities has become a habitual procedure. ... The point is not to demonise mass tourism, but to redesign it according to cultural management criteria, to decentralise it and diversify its attractions. So far it has been a model based on the greedy exploration of territories and on treating tourists as if they were commodities.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Don't overdo the caution

The government in Dublin is strongly discouraging the Irish from travelling abroad and requires all travellers and returnees to undergo a 14-day quarantine. The Irish Times finds this excessive:

“Telling people to cancel their summer holidays and go to Ireland alone is a step too far. Will preventing travel abroad mean that we will be pushing back Covid-19 if the virus continues to spread among those in Ireland who have never travelled? We must focus on being well prepared for the flare-up of Covid-19 clusters in Ireland, because that is what will happen. We must continue to educate our citizens about prevention. Let us keep health safety in mind in everything we do. But we cannot continue to rely on lockdowns, social distancing and travel bans.”

Phileleftheros (CY) /

Domestic tourism as a lifeline

Writing in Phileleftheros, columnist Xenia Tourki describes the current mood in Cyprus:

“Summer 2020 is reminiscent of the 1980s. … After a long time we locals are back in the spotlight. Without the hordes of foreign tourists, the industry is finally taking domestic tourists seriously again. And that's not just here in Cyprus but in other countries too. Whether it likes it or not, the industry's survival will depend on them and on them alone - at least for this year. There can be no talk of profit. The only goal for this summer is to survive. And that's it.”