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Today’s Takeaways 7-31-20

Bak to the eastern Med • Boomers lose a year • Baja’s in biz • Carnival Pinnacle — an idea whose time never came • 40% of travel destinations have eased restrictions • What the experts have learned about COID-19 • A world without tourism is a sad place, indeed • Critics pan ‘hygiene theater’ • What’s a new port without cruise ships? Ask Ketchikan • Hurricane Isaias making ships move •

Live from Variety Cruises’ Galileo: The first eastern Mediterranean cruise in COVID era

Cruise Critic: Variety Cruises made a little bit of history when the 49-passenger Galileo set sail Friday from the marina adjacent to the main port at Piraeus in Greece, where the small ship has been docked for four months. Accompanied by the sound of its sister ships’ horns blaring, flares blazing and a small crowd of well-wishers on the quayside — one of which operated a drone to capture the moment — the vessel headed out into the Aegean Sea, becoming the first cruise ship to restart operations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Tourism restarts: 40% of destinations have now eased travel restrictions

Travel Daily News: The responsible restart of tourism is underway around the world as growing numbers of destinations ease COVID-19 related travel restrictions and adapt to the new reality. According to the latest analysis from the World Tourism Organization(UNWTO), 40% of all destinations worldwide have now eased the restrictions they placed on international tourism in response to COVID-19.

Sleeping lions, terrible pain: A new world without tourism

Associated Press: For growing numbers of businesses and individuals who depend on the global tourism industry, the question is not so much when the coronavirus might take its boot off their throats but whether they’ll still be around when business picks up. In trying to fend off the virus, countries that put up entry barriers to tourists have done so at a mounting and terrible cost to themselves and others. Around the world, travel amid the pandemic is becoming a story of tentative steps forward here, but punishing steps back there, of “yes” to letting back visitors from places faring somewhat better against the coronavirus but not from others where outbreaks are flaring.

European economy shrinks by historic margin: Live business updates

New York Times: The European economy tumbled into its worst recession on record in the second quarter, as quarantines in countries across the continent brought business, trade and consumer spending to a grinding halt. From April to June, gross domestic product fell from the first quarter by 11.9 percent in the 27 member states of the European Union, and by 12.1 percent in countries that use the euro currency, according to figures released on Friday by Eurostat, the bloc’s statistics agency.

New port brings tourism hope and pollution fears to Alaskan town

Reuters: It was supposed to be the Alaskan port town’s biggest tourist season yet. Ketchikan was expecting more than a million visitors this summer, many of them arriving at a newly built dock that juts out into the frigid waters of Ward Cove, the site of the town’s old pulp mill. Then the novel coronavirus hit, triggering a global shutdown of travel, tourism and, specifically, cruise ships, which became notorious as mass incubators and carriers of the disease.