Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

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steven
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Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by steven »

When can we start traveling again? It's the logical next question.

I don't think anyone in the world knows the answer, but I am interested in hearing your opinions. Chime in below.

Coronavirus updates at https://caravanistan.com/coronavirus/
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by sebhoff »

Mhm - after some initial optimism, I now believe tourism will be severely affected for very a long time. How long? Until we have a vaccine that works.
It'll be interesting to see how things develop in China, where new infections appear to have (at least officially) been virtually stopped. As long as the virus is on its rampage through other countries, things can flare up very quickly again. Since we won't be able to contain the virus world-wide, this scenario is valid for any country that manages to duplicate China's apparent success. This effectively means inter-country movement will have to be heavily restricted long-term. So my current guess is: not before April - and I mean (probably) 2021.
Another possibility might be that people who have had the virus and have become immune might be less restricted in their movements. However, given that currently no suitable test exists to prove this immunity and given how difficult it would be to implement (in a situation where the majority of the population has not yet been infected), I doubt this will have any real effect. Also, who knows whether previously affected people really stay immune for good?
I *really* hope I'll be proven wrong!
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steven
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by steven »

Update: having read a bit more, I have to agree with you, sebhoff.
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Kenny0031
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by Kenny0031 »

Was planning to do the 'Stan's', from the Netherlands, this year from April to October.
Postponed it for a year.
Don't think the world wil be back to normal in a few moths.
As steven stated in a few countries they got it 'under control' but the people are not immuun.
So now you see a secondary wave of infections in China, Singapore and Hongkong originating in Europe.
What wil be the responce, quaritaine again?
In my opinion this virus won't go away, we got to deal with it till we're immuun or there's a vaccin.
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by StephParis »

I have the project to cycle the Pamir starting mid-august in Dushanbe. Untill a few weeks ago I was still confident I can make it. Now I'm seriously doubting... I do hope I'm too pessimistic, but to me summer is too soon to travel again.
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by rkvis »

My opinion:

I think In Europe and China everything will get back to normal in may/june this year. By that time also travel between Europe and North America will be possible again. If the virus spreads as much through Africa and South America as it does in China and Europe then it won´t be possible to travel to Africa and South America this summer. Same for Central Asia, if the virus is going to spread there at the same scale as in Europe it will happen later then in Europe and thus traveling there won´t be possible this summer. Just my guess.

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Pamirski
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by Pamirski »

It seems difficult to estimate, when travel will be again possible without heavy restrictions. If you have a lot of time, you might be doing the 2 weeks quarantine in certain (safe) countries (e.g. China) and then be fine until there might be a new wave of infections in that country. But at the moment it is all very unpredictable. At the moment I'm happy, that we can still move realtively unrestricted in our country (Switzerland), although I'm not using public transport and therefore using the bicycle.
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by Christian77 »

Aside from the very unpredictable estimates for how long the epidemic goes for, and for how long countries enact travel restrictions, there are some other considerations:

1. Some/many tour companies, operators, homestays, hotels and guides may be permanently out of business. They will not wait for tourism to rebound, and they may move on (work in Russia, do their second job full time, find a new career, etc.). So getting around may not be so easy for those without experience in the region or language skills, or for those who are not that good at independent travel. It may have a 2009 feel to it in some places. I expect many types of accommodation to be no longer operating whenever I return. I expect my favorite driver will have to sell his Landcruiser, etc...

2. Airline ticket prices. Some companies will be bankrupt, some will be radically restructured, some will be just a bunch of dusty planes parked on a runway in Istanbul. But when flights start back up again, what will the prices be like? Will they be offering deals to get people to fly again? Will they no longer be able to offer deals? Will prices be set high for the swarm of aid and development workers from NGOs and international organizations that will flood the world when this is over? Will the locals be so broke that this will result in less flights in and out of the region? (aside from Russia). It's already bad enough when you have to fly from North America or Australia. Will the prices be like they were in the late 1990s? (meaning, only budgeted for those wealthy retirees who go to Samarkand and Bukhara, plus for those whose tickets are paid for by the UN, AKDN or some European embassy?

3. Will everybody be as welcoming? The region is not 100% welcoming at the moment, but it's still better than most parts of SE Asia and most of Europe. Will people be suspicious of foreigners? Will we be seen as disease-bearers? I've listened to drivers and random local people discuss what spy agency or gold mine company I work for, so they do already have their suspicions. But what if they don't want me getting in their shared taxi? It could get unpleasant. And some tourists who look Chinese were already treated badly before coronavirus was even a thing.

4. If Central Asia is hit bad, then you may be visiting like a disaster tourist, surrounded by local people who recently buried their parents. That could be problematic. Or you may be seen as welcome income. Who knows...

5. And.... the collapse of state authority. Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are the most vulnerable here. But It may not be obvious. It may be more like a degraded state with reduced abilities. Right now if you have a problem in Kulob you can call the tourist police in Dushanbe, talk in English, and they will call someone in Kulob to get whatever problem sorted out. Maybe in the future the police in Kulob might be like they were in the past (as in, they may empty your pockets and laugh at your threat to make an official complaint in Dushanbe). Maybe the border guards will go back to making their own rules? (like it was before).

I'm hoping for a best case scenario. What I listed above are just some possible bad scenarios. Who knows what will happen...
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steven
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by steven »

Some interesting points raised. If it does turn out to be the worst case scenario, then Caravanistan will also be abandoned - I'll need to get a real job.
Christian77 wrote:2. Airline ticket prices. Some companies will be bankrupt, some will be radically restructured, some will be just a bunch of dusty planes parked on a runway in Istanbul. But when flights start back up again, what will the prices be like? Will they be offering deals to get people to fly again? Will they no longer be able to offer deals?
If you are optimistic: airlines are currently giving away massive deals because they urgently need money.
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AreWeThereYet?
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Re: Coronavirus: when can we start traveling again?

Post by AreWeThereYet? »

My hope is that something picks up in the summer. There's a massive need for it from an economic point of view. I'm following things closely over in Italy, where the lockdown is perhaps at its hardest outside of China/Asia, and even there some productive activities haven't been stopped - the economy would just collapse.

As soon as the curve flattens enough and the local NHS's can catch a breather, things will gradually open again. However, if you look at China that's taking more or less 4 months, and we're talking about China, which took pretty harsh measures early on. For Italy it might be May or June, for the rest of continental Europe maybe July/August and for places that have clearly taken the p*ss who knows.
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