A global pandemic can offer a travel journalist some test water. International travel has been put on hold, commissions are low, and Instagram content has been reduced to travel setbacks and sourdough baking.
At this time, when our profession is largely established, we are all the more attracted to the true Garden of Eden for travel writers – the press trip, where all costs are paid!
Like me, you may have seen flashes of travel journalists or bloggers overseas on your social media feed earlier this year. for operations in sunnier areas; Coverage of what it’s like to travel during the pandemic. But should travel journalists really travel with overseas jollies in the current Covid climate in which we are all at the mercy of travel bans, green lists and black lists? Or is the problem more of a red flag on the runway?
2020 was a bleak year for the vacation industry, be it for tourism associations, airlines, and the PR firms they represent. And I can really empathize with countries that try to determine customs for their destination – but not without measure.
It was only this month that I received an invitation from a major tourism association for a press trip to the land of grapes, where sun, luxury and the highest security precautions from Covid are guaranteed. But even though I have spent as much of an adult life abroad as I haven’t, I felt all the more unsettling listening to the details of the itinerary.
For those who choose to travel, the one-fits-all salvo seems like “this is work”. But is now really the time to play overseas travel as an essential work card given that so many of us are currently restricted in our country, if not counties?
The truth, as I see it, is not. While some travel professionals are currently streamlining overseas press trips as a necessary means, I find it hard to justify myself at a Garda checkpoint on my way to Aruba to see how they deal with social distancing at their beach bars.
For me, the Irish travel consumer is smart enough to risk a glimpse of current air travel policies. maybe a number for you on the plane? Increased temperature controls on landing? Shorter alcohol lines on the loop? And if it’s not a trip on Virgin Galactic, a Zoom call could answer many of our questions from afar. Now is really no time to jet set. And sometimes we just have to stay home to really read the room.
Yes it is that time of year. Even in 2020. While the tourism sector may be locked for the next few weeks, some Irish hotels are still holding out for the festive season as Christmas holiday deals are already warming up.
To get the gimmick rolling, Donegal’s luxurious Lough Eske Castle has unveiled its four-day Christmas package, decked out with sumptuous lunches and festive dinners in the heart of picturesque Donegal. The package is valid for a stay from December 23rd to 27th with prices of € 889 per person (that’s four nights for the price of three). lougheskecastlehotel.com
Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Gardens
When we travel again, it is predicted that sustainable, remote destinations will be a priority for consumers more than ever. Perhaps it explains a small development in the Faroe Islands.
On the tiny archipelago between Iceland and Norway, the Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands in the capital Torshavn, the first hotel of a large brand chain, opened its doors this week.
And it really has the garden factor; The hotel follows Faroese tradition and has a traditional thatched roof. Rooms from € 95 per night. hilton.com
The Hyatt Centric
Still need to travel to the capital to work or do important business? A few hotels are still open in Dublin, not least one of my favorite hotels in the city, the Hyatt Centric.
Located in the convenient Liberties district, the hotel offers a stylish and friendly base with prices starting at an impressive € 80 per night including breakfast. They also have a take away menu for non-residents. hyattcentricthelibertiesdublin.com
Could there be signs of life in global tourism? Machu Picchu, the old wonder of the world and backpacker bucket list favorite, has reopened to tourists in Peru this week after its 8-month closure.
As one of the most visited attractions in the world, capable of attracting 1.5 million tourists a year, the number of visitors is now limited to 675 per day, with visitor temperatures also checked upon arrival. Expect the llama to increase a lot for tourists.