- Due to the corona pandemic there is still a travel warning in Germany until June 15th.
- Tourism researcher Torsten Kirstges believes that summer vacations in Europe will be possible by July at the latest.
- Some beach destinations in Europe give us hope and soon want to open their borders.
The hope for summer vacations faded recently. Foreign minister Heiko Maass (SPD) recently extended the travel warning for foreign countries until June 15, but according to a tourism researcher it could then start again under strict conditions.
Torsten Kirstges from the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven advises vacationers who had planned to travel to other European countries and want to continue doing so not to switch to Germany immediately. Instead, they should wait. He “firmly believes that by July other European countries will open their borders and that vacation trips under certain conditions will be possible again.”
In particular, trips to our direct neighboring countries Austria, France, Holland and Switzerland should be possible again first. This also applies to vacation in the countries from the Schengen Agreement, the expert suspects. Kirstges sees good opportunities especially for car and holiday home vacations in the vicinity of the EU. He also assumes that air travel will soon be at least possible again to a limited extent.
Mallorca remains an option
The Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism, Thomas Bareiß, said something similar to the daily newspaper “Tagesspiegel”: “I would not yet write off other regions in Europe, such as the Balearic Islands or the Greek Islands.”
In parallel, the calls for the restoration of freedom of travel in the Schengen area and for a border opening to Germany’s neighboring countries are also growing louder from politics.
Kirstges also says: “In my eyes, it doesn’t make sense to continue to restrict travel because the virus is probably no more dangerous in France than in Germany.”
It cannot be denied that greater mobility creates higher mortality. “But it cannot be that we permanently limit our freedom to travel, especially since it can take years before there will be a vaccine,” says Kirstges.
Otherwise, the entire European tourism industry would collapse. The decision-makers would have to weigh this up because the economic damage that would result could no longer cushion government measures.
Airfares are likely to become more expensive
If air travel to the Schengen area is allowed again, this will probably only happen under certain conditions, says Kirstges. For example, utilization limits for machines could be set. The wearing of protective masks with FFP2 or FFP3 filters on the plane could also be introduced as a rule. For example, they could be purchased from the airline.
What sounds like positive news to holidaymakers also means that the times of cheap airfares could be over. If planes are not allowed to be fully utilized, prices will probably rise so that the airlines can cover their costs at all, said Kirstges.
As the German press agency reports, the European tourism ministers are apparently currently also discussing the possibility of a so-called “Covid 19 passport”, in which tourists have to submit proof of immunity virtually before entering the country. According to this, only people who are already ill with Covid-19 and are considered to be immune should travel. The proposal has been heavily criticized by many, the passport is already off the table in Germany. In this text, NewsABC.net explains the Corona Pass in more detail.
In any case, Kirstges gives German holidaymakers hope: “Classic European destinations such as the Balearic Islands, Greece and Croatia will open their borders to summer tourism as soon as possible, I think.”
Many European countries have already developed their own concepts in the past weeks and days, as it could still be something with the summer vacation. Here we present some travel destinations where a beach vacation might still work:
Croatia’s tourism minister already said at the end of April that the country would soon enable German tourists to enter the country again. The “Bild” newspaper writes that the country is in talks with Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria in order to arrange separate corridors for drivers through the third countries. A flight bridge from Germany to Croatia is also under discussion, says the “Bild”. “We believe that by precisely controlling tourism, we can enable a safe holiday season for travelers and Croatians alike,” Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli told the “World”. As the newspaper reports, the country on the Adriatic is also considering a health certificate as a condition for entry.
The Greek government gives hope for summer vacations in the travel destination that is very popular with German tourists. “We will open tourism abroad on July 1st,” said Greek Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis in the Greek parliament on Wednesday. Until May 15, the government in Athens will provide details, it said. The area will also receive financial support.
As the “Bild” newspaper reports, the plan provides that health protocols for hotels, marinas, yachts, coaches and planes will be drawn up. The introduction of health passports is also being discussed. Vacationers would then have to be rigorously tested before entering and in Greece.
The Greek tourism minister is relying on international cooperation with the countries of origin of the tourists in the implementation: bilateral agreements with the respective countries should be made in advance on how the tourists are dealt with before and after travel, i.e. whether they need to be quarantined or not.
In order to attract tourists, the EU state is currently planning a large advertising campaign with the country’s good corona crisis management in focus, the report says. Greece is also in talks with Tui, one of the most important German tour operators
The country also has a strong advantage over Italy or Spain: the state had just 2,642 reported corona cases on May 5, according to Johns Hopkins University.
According to information from the newspaper “Bild”, Montenegro is said to be ramping up its tourism infrastructure completely because the country has so few Corona cases. According to official government information, the entry restriction will initially only apply until May 18. As long as the small state on the Adriatic does not surprisingly extend the measures, summer vacation in the beach towns such as Budva or the port of Kotor may soon be possible again.