Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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levelo
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by levelo »

Christian has some good points.
I think it is going to take a LONG time before things get back to " normal " and the dust eventually clears.
I hope I'll be proven wrong, but that's what I fear.
The main issue in the long run for us who can afford to travel in economically undeveloped countries ( for lack of better term ) will be suspicion.
Suspicion on the part of governments/people of poor countries around the globe who have every reason to believe that the virus was imported onto their soils by foreigners.
Of course this doesn't reflect the whole picture of how the virus was spread worldwide, but that is the perception on the ground and that is what matters to us.
Borders may reopen gradually, airlines will start flying again but tourists travelling on European/North American/Chinese passports could be ostracized for quite some time after that.
That would mean major hurdles to get visas ( proving that you don't carry the virus could be one ) and even with one our roaming and interacting with the locals could be altered.
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northinsouth1
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by northinsouth1 »

levelo wrote:Christian has some good points.
I think it is going to take a LONG time before things get back to " normal " and the dust eventually clears.
I hope I'll be proven wrong, but that's what I fear.
The main issue in the long run for us who can afford to travel in economically undeveloped countries ( for lack of better term ) will be suspicion.
Suspicion on the part of governments/people of poor countries around the globe who have every reason to believe that the virus was imported onto their soils by foreigners.
Of course this doesn't reflect the whole picture of how the virus was spread worldwide, but that is the perception on the ground and that is what matters to us.
Borders may reopen gradually, airlines will start flying again but tourists travelling on European/North American/Chinese passports could be ostracized for quite some time after that.
That would mean major hurdles to get visas ( proving that you don't carry the virus could be one ) and even with one our roaming and interacting with the locals could be altered.
If I may piggyback on this observation with a question: I have lined up to tours through Caravanistan as the broker: one for the Pamirs, one for Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in June and July. At this point, I'm leaning toward cancelling these as reading this makes me think that even if the virus subsides, the countries won't be a good place to tour (especially since my Russian is elementary to intermediate). Would folks say this is correct? If it is correct, I'm hoping to be able to recover some of the deposit we made on the tours, but I'm not hopeful.
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Christian77
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by Christian77 »

My comment is more for the fully-independent budget travellers who do a mix of the most popular destinations plus some off-the-beaten-track places. The Pamir Highway, whenever it opens up will be fine for those who are paying for a tour or for their own driver. I'm thinking more about how I travel, and the places I go to, some of which may see their guesthouses shut down long-term. But the main stops on the Pamir Highway, for example, will be OK. There will be some place your driver knows of that is open and taking guests.

My concerns are rather niche concerns, such as: Khiva has only once place a like - a hostel ($). If that shuts down, then it will be a hotel ($$-$$$). But Bishkek, for example, has a million hostels at the moment. But even if 90% of them go out of business, I will still be able to find a good cheap place. I'm worried about some of the less-visited spots: if I'm going to a village that has only two known guesthouses, will I be arriving at 8pm to a village with zero guesthouses post-coronavirus? That's where language-skills come in. In Tajikistan I'll start asking around in Tajik until I find some young guy who demands I stay with his family. But... will people then be suspicious of foreigners? I have no idea.

But I don't think this really applies to people who are on a supported tour. Generally your driver/guide can figure out and solve any problem.
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sebhoff
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by sebhoff »

I thought it might be interesting to revive this thread more than 3 months after its last post...? I wonder whether our predictions/expectations have changed?
It currently looks as if some restricted level of tourism is slowly becoming feasible. Uzbekistan is luring tourists (on officially guided tours) with the promise to cover their medical expenses if they catch the virus during their trip (although only a small number of countries are exempt from quarantine rules), local train services (e.g. in Kazakhstan) have resumed, Georgia is quite aggressively promoting the opening of the country to international tourism on the 1st of July, etc. etc.
I guess the kind of tourism that that most readers of Caravanistan yearn for, still has to wait, though? Also: do we know anything about whether the gloomy picture some of you have painted for the local tourism industry (and I don't mean the major chains or government.run agencies) has become true, or is it too early to tell? Have overlanders who got stuck managed to continue their trips?
Back in March, I felt that we wouldn't be able to travel in a normal way before a vaccine was found (and distributed across the world), and I think this is still my best guess. But I'm curious about whether independent travel in the region will be possible again at a considerably reduced rate - and what the experience would be like.
Sebastian
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sebhoff
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by sebhoff »

sebhoff wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:54 am
local train services (e.g. in Kazakhstan) have resumed
Mhm - I just read that Kazakhstan is in the throes of a (second?) spike and is about to go into another lockdown. :cry:
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steven
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by steven »

Yes, I know a number of people who are sick right now in Kazakhstan. Not looking good.
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Torotaxi
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:43 am

Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by Torotaxi »

I'm hoping to fly into Almaty end of August and spend a few weeks in Kyrgyzstan doing some treks/horseriding etc. Anyone else going to be there?
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