Quotable: Behavioral science can help curb coronavirus spread

“Despite surging Covid-19 cases around the country, groups continue to flout public health guidance about safe practices. Some instances are particularly flagrant, such as Alabama college students reportedly organizing “Covid parties” to intentionally infect attendees. But individual examples reflect a broader trend: since late May, a growing proportion of Americans have socialized with people outside of their own households, with up to a third doing so without maintaining social distancing. It is easy to write off this behavior as a result of poor awareness and the spread of misinformation. But decision science suggests that it may be dictated by group behavior as much as faulty information. Humans are social beings that seek out surrounding norms to inform what is deemed to be appropriate choices. The tendency to follow the “wisdom of the crowd” or make choices based on what others do (e.g., friends, public figures) is known as social proof. To change Covid-related behaviors, we must implement policies and programs that also harness the power of social influence to fundamentally change social norms.”

Dr. Joshua Liao, internal medicine physician at the University of Washington and contributor to Forbes

Quotable: Can cruising go from Covid scapegoat to pandemic hero?

“Crises of the magnitude of Covid-19 spur a binary result for enterprises: innovation or collapse. And the high degree of risk posed to cruise lines is measurable, reflected in the cost of the loans and investments they arranged to ensure midterm liquidity.  But signs have emerged that cruising will not only survive but even offer a case study of exemplary crisis management.”

Arnie Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of Travel Weekly

Quotable: Looking for positives

“Is it just me, or does there seem to be more and more negativity happening with each new week? Can we all just take a moment to pause and instead focus on finding the positives? The year 2020 isn’t what we expected or hoped for, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a lost year. Times are hard, but good things are happening all around us – even in the travel industry. Popular tourist destinations are reopening and while the experience is a bit different, travelers are still having a good time.”

Eric Bowman, managing editor of TravelPulse

Quotable: Will travel lose its magic?

“The reason why I’m saying all this is because I firmly believe that travelling gives us the possibility to become better human beings. Understanding and appreciating foreign cultures makes us kind and compassionate. And while I fully agree that safety should always come first in anything we do, I can’t help but wonder what the future will look like after so many months of closure, isolation and distancing. I have no doubt that we will one day be able to travel again, but I worry that it’ll become more and more difficult to encounter that spark of life I’ve sought and found in so many unthinkable places.”

Silvia O’Donovan, Travel Daily Media

Quotable: Sustainable travel is not just about the planet; it’s about people

“The most important thing the industry can do is to tilt the account that it shares about the rest of the earth by a few degrees. So people who live in our part of the world understand the common humanity they share with those who are not like us, don’t look like us and didn’t start life in the same places as us. It’s about telling a tale that says to the traveller, when you venture away from home, you are going somewhere with a different geography but it’s not a different planet where the people are not connected to us. We need to encourage individuals to be more open to the humans they’re connecting with when they’re abroad. Some stories people share with us will feel different, but a lot of them we should recognise. All disruption and dislocation, no matter how unpleasant the cause is, has to be regarded as an opportunity for change. Change doesn’t come about simply by people lamenting it.”

Trevor Phillips, broadcaster, writer, anti-racism campaigner and former chair of the U.K.’s Equality and Human Rights Commission

Quotable: There’s no such thing as ‘over tipping’

“I know how difficult and thankless that kind of work is. I also know what a morale boost it can be to receive a great tip. The way I look at it, an extra few dollars is not something I will even miss, but it might make a huge difference for the person receiving the tip.”

Ryan Patterson, an over tipper who routinely adds a 25% gratuity to his restaurant bill, “and sometimes as much as 50%, depending on the level of effort expended.”

Quotable: The problem is the CDC, not the cruise lines

“This issue is NOT that the industry has been passive in developing health protocols. Quite the contrary. In our view, the hurdle lies with the CDC’s unwillingness to discuss, debate and mutually implement the highest standards of passenger and crew health care. Major cruise operators have established a panel of leading virologists and health policy experts, which has, for many weeks, submitted suggestions for new protocols, with limited interest by the CDC in a two-sided discussion about resuming sailing.”

— Instinet analyst Harry Curtis

Quotable: The future of luxury travel

“Warren Buffet has a saying, ‘price is what you pay, value is what you get.’ Travel advisors bring value to their clients on a multitude of levels. They bring years of experience, knowledge and connections that the average person could never amass on their own. Their collective reputations are leveraged for their client’s benefit. They quiet the noise, cut through the digital clutter and both save their clients time on frustrating research and while also enhancing the fun part of dreaming. The collaboration with their clients creates personalized experiences in unique destinations because no one ever calls up and says, ‘I want to go where everyone else is going this summer,’ or it allows travelers to see old favorite places in a new way.”

Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso

Quotable: If living is a priority, should you cruise?

“This is not the first time that ships have become Petri dishes for disease. The word “quarantine” is derived from a combination of illness and ships. When the Black Death paralyzed Europe in the 14th century the Venetian trading colony, Ragusa, did not entirely close, allowing new laws for visiting ships (1377). If the ships arrived from places with the plague, they were required to anchor offshore for a month to prove they were not carriers of the disease. The time offshore was extended to 40 days and identified as quarantino, Italian for ’40.’ “

— Dr. Elinor Garely, editor-in-chief at wines.travel

Quotable: A travel writer contemplates a less mobile future

“Recently, I marked 10 years of travel writing feeling uneasy about the state of modern tourism. In part, my idea of foreign places had become infected by the unavoidable backdrop of an angrier, destabilizing world. And while millions still jumped on planes for leisure, I couldn’t shake the creeping sense that so much of what we call travel is extractive, the commodification of someone else’s sunshine, culture and photogenic views. In my most cynical moments, I had started to see travel as something monstrous, a vector of humanity’s infestation that has evolved out of all proportion with what the planet can sustain.”

Henry Wismayer is a writer based in London. His website is henry-wismayer.com.