7 Mar 2020
Coronavirus, the fear of traveling. And checks
The fear of the virus, of course. But even more the fear of controls. The fear of being entangled in that network of checks that has now been spread in airports all over the world. And that a simple fever, when traveling can always happen, turns into quarantine. Maybe in a distant country, after a simple stopover. Termoscan syndrome is the real grain of sand that is blocking those who have to leave these days. And also the gears of that real national industry called tourism.
Trips canceled for Coronavirus
To get an idea of what’s going on, just browse through the samples of cancellations collected in these hours by the travel agency network. A married couple canceled their honeymoon in Brazil for May. Another couple canceled it for June, the Caribbean destination. A family reversed on an Australia tour, scheduled for August. From Sicily a school trip to Venice was canceled with the textual motivation that “there are many Chinese people”. While there are countless cancellations to the sea in winter, from the Maldives to Zanzibar. Fear, termoscan syndrome, psychosis. The fact remains that at this moment there are no real reasons to avoid these destinations. There is no so-called foreign ministry advice. And whoever cancels the trip loses the money, in whole or in part depending on the conditions and the fact that he is a DIY traveler or has chosen a tour operator. Just from Astoi, the association of tour operators, they speak of a “psychological reaction” which acts as a brake not only on travel but also on “the thought of booking a holiday in the summer”.
The «Sanremo effect»
It sounds like a joke but it looks like that’s the way it is. Several travel agency operators report a strange trend in the number of cancellations arriving from Italy. Three weeks ago there was a spike. Last week there was a drop, a sharp drop. This week I am growing again. In the middle week, the “weak” one, there was the Sanremo Festival when the attention of half of Italy was concentrated on lighter subjects and much less was said about Coronavirus. Fantaspiegazione? “Unfortunately not,” says Ivana Jelinic, president of Fiavet, the Italian Federation of travel agencies. «It is true that in the week there was a sharp drop in cancellations. And it is reasonable to think that the reason is precisely that: there was no mention of Coronavirus because we were talking about Sanremo and this reduced psychosis ».