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.
Cruise Critic: Ocean cruising, which has restarted in Germany and Norway, is set to begin in “several other important European states,” according to the cruise industry’s trade organization. Speaking at a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) roundtable discussion for cruise media, President Adam Goldstein said meetings with European Union governmental bodies, including EU Healthy Gateways and EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) had led directly to the restart of cruising in Germany and Norway.
Skift: With risk more manageable compared to ocean-going cruises, summer in this region for the sector may be saved by the more resilient tourists from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Travel Daily News: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called for more consistent travel rules and COVID-19 advice by European countries to counter confusion by travellers and holidaymakers. Those journeying to Europe for the first time since travel restrictions began to ease have faced a baffling array of different types of travel rules and advice – with each country across the continent emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic at different stages, which is delaying the recovery.
The Points Guy: Planning to visit Europe this summer? You might want to make sure you’ll be allowed. The New York Times broke some major travel news today, suggesting that the European Union is planning to exclude Americans when they reopen borders on July 1. The news, if true, once again dashes the hopes of those looking for a summer vacation in Europe.
The Points Guy: Several more cruise lines plan to resume departures in the next few weeks. But if you’re a cruise fan living in North America, you shouldn’t get too excited. The trips aren’t really meant for you.
In the wake of last week’s successful resumption of river cruising in Germany by German line Nicko Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, Ponant and at least four other river and ocean cruise operators are planning to resume sailings in and around Europe as soon as next week.
Forbes: Europe is set to lift its border restrictions on international travelers in July. But only starting with countries with low infection levels, which rules out Americans and those arriving from the U.S.
Forbes: Europe’s external borders are “sure” to stay closed to travel after June 15 against the Covid threat, according to the French minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The EU’s external borders are currently shut to international travel until mid-June, waiting further word from Brussels. But “it is likely that they will always be closed after that,” Le Drian told France Inter Radio on Tuesday.
Europe, the world’s biggest tourist destination, is struggling to restart normal life after months of total economic and social lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Straits Times.
In the next few weeks, cafes and restaurants are due to open in most European countries, and hotels and beaches are scheduled to follow suit by the middle of next month.
Still, most European governments acknowledge that their tourism industry will suffer badly this year. It will be some time before Europe can reclaim its place as the destination of choice for about half of the world’s tourists.