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Luxury travel news this week: Coronavirus update

Here’s a round-up of luxury travel stories that have caught the eye this week. To make sure you receive these new weekly alerts in your web browser, please click on the red bell icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page and click ‘subscribe’ (works on desktop only – for other ways to subscribe, please click here). This will also alert you to any other posts on the blog. Should you wish, you can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking on the icon again and selecting ‘unsubscribe’. Tourists being kept under coronavirus quarantine at luxury Maldives resort While there’s no doubt that having your vacation interrupted by a fast-spreading virus that’s infected more than 108,000 globally and killed over 3,800 is a major inconvenience, there are surely worse places to be confined than a luxury Maldives resort. Over the weekend, the Indian Ocean island nation was added to the ever-growing list of countries with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus after two staff members at the Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, located on the northern reef of Lhaviyani Atoll, tested positive for the virus… [read more] Private jets are taking off because of coronavirus So your flight’s canceled, but you need to get home or to that important business meeting ASAP. Perhaps you’re just nervous about transiting through a busy airport with other passengers. Most of us are handling coronavirus-related disruption by staying put, but for those in a travel predicament with dollars to burn, there’s an increasingly popular alternative: private jets. While much of the travel industry has been suffering as the infection spreads globally, the private jet industry has apparently been on a roll… [read more] In pictures: see eerie pictures of the world’s most popular cultural sites emptied by the coronavirus On the first day of Italy’s national emergency-mandated quarantine, the country’s most famous landmarks are eerily devoid of life. On Monday, Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte declared the “whole of Italy will become a protected zone,” instituting travel restrictions that can be avoided only for work or health emergencies. Around the world, countries are experiencing striking declines in tourism as people have been instructed to avoid large groups and limit travel… [read more] Coronavirus travel: is this your chance to book the cheapest vacation ever? As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies around the world, many travelers are canceling trips and hunkering down at home while cruise lines from Princess to Viking are suspending operations, Disney World and Disneyland are closing and airlines are slashing routes. But the savviest travelers are seizing this opportunity to take advantage of cheap travel deals on hotels, airlines, cruises and more—or just looking for ways to escape from reality… [read more] What the wealthy are buying to protect themselves from the coronavirus Some people have found a measure of reassurance in these coronavirus days by stocking up on hand sanitiser and toilet paper. For others, peace comes with the purchase of a $4,995 (Dh18,344) emergency go-bag, outfitted with “Bond-like gadgets” and custom monogramming…. [read more] We really enjoy hearing from our readers and would love to hear your views on any of these stories! Please click on the comments below and share your thoughts. Thank you. Have a story you’d like to share? Please contact us for details.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Some good picks for news here. One of the most important things right now is getting accurate information and taking precautions suggested by the CDC. As a traveler myself, I’ve definitely noticed some cheaper flights in my region. But keeping up to date with how the virus is being handled is probably a good idea before you book any flights. Travel restrictions have been changing rapidly. So keep that in mind too. Some countries are obviously handling this better than others…

    1. It is interesting to see the approach being taken by different countries. Here in the UK they are talking about isolating older and more vulnerable people and, with time, allowing the population to develop ‘herd immunity’. I think they are actually doing a good job to address the situation in the best way possible, based on scientific evidence, but time will tell once we get through all of this.

  2. I know a lot of travellers who have had their fingers badly burned by the Coronavirus. I know one poor skier who has paid £1500 for the privilege of arriving at a ski resort and being told that the resort would close in 2 hours without him even strapping on a ski. He slept at Geneva airport overnight and is lucky to have a flight back to London this afternoon, though I expect that flight came at an extortionate cost. I also know of people travelling to the likes of Bali who’ve also suffered big losses. Even when the Coronavirus subsides I think it will be a while before some people have the confidence to travel again.

    1. Yes, it will take a while but not as long as some people predict, I don’t think (see my blog post that’s coming up soon). One thing is for sure… the travel insurance companies are going to be kept busy!

  3. I had dinner last week with my goddaughter who is a bookseller. Obviously she reported that people are seeing lengthy isolation as a way of catching up on the great doorstep novels that they had never read eg War and Peace, Moby Dick etc but she also said that the travel section was doing well. Certainly less guidebooks were being sold but customers were still buying the books about a destination and individual’s reflections on their travels. Once the crisis is over there will be a lot of people catching up on their travels.

    1. For sure! I see a lot of people in the industry urging people to simply change the dates of their booked trips, rather than cancelling them. There will – in my opinion – certainly be a strong demand for travel once things finally settle down. Unfortunately, though, there will also be a few business casualties within the industry before that happens.

  4. As a travel writer I attended the IMM event in London last week – 159 exhibitors and around 380 media – and it was impressive to hear the resilience exhibited there. Everyone was already making plans for life after the virus.

    1. Yes, Michael… I was there too and there was an excellent turn-out. The industry WILL bounce back (as it has done many times before) but it will take time… I have a post all about this coming up in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out for that one :-)

  5. The virus surely caused panic and worry to people across the globe. Many tourists cancelled their holidays due to the threat of the virus and travel restrictions imposed by some countries. It is very frustrating especially if everything is planned out nicely and you are ready to go. However, we must always put our, and our loved ones’ safety first. Even if there are cheap tickets available, many tourist spots are closed since officials suggest to avoid crowded places and practice social distancing. Moreover, tourists can still visit their dream destinations once the crisis subside. As of now, we should follow health measures to ensure everyone’s safety.

  6. I’ve been so, so angry lately with this coronavirus stuff in terms of both the UK government’s response and the selfishness of some people, particularly those stockpiling a ridiculous amount of stuff like hand sanitiser and trying to sell a £1 bottle for £25 to £40 online. Disgraceful. It’s only when Boris got such flack from the public, other advisors and other scientists were speaking out that the health secretary came along and started saying how they are going to do whatever it takes and actually do something, rather than just standing back and watching it happen, hoping 60% of the population get it and develop immunity. At least the rest of the world won’t know the true extent of this embarrassing attempt to protect our own people when nobody except those in hospital will be tested. It’s a time we should be coming together as a community and as a world to get through this. It’s good to hear at least that private jets are able to help out, I can see why that industry is booming.

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