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Walt Disney World Parks Plan to Return July 11 with New Rules

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/27/2020, 12:00 AM

Walt Disney World near Orlando has presented its reopening plan to local authorities, revealing an intention to reopen in stages beginning Saturday, July 11. The gradual process begins on that date (after a few days of soft opening for testing) with the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom opening their gates to guests. Sister parks Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios (site of the new Sta...

Japan Wants to Pay for Part of Domestic Travel To Boost Tourism

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/26/2020, 3:00 PM

Hiroshi Tabata, chief of the Japanese Tourism Agency, announced in a press conference his intention to help revive visitation to his country by discounting vacations there. Tokyo's Summer Olympic Games won't happen in 2020 and may not even be realized in 2021, so Japan is mounting a lavish plan to stimulate tourism through other means. Details are still being sketched out and there is no start ...

Universal Orlando's Theme Parks Reopen June 5 with Strict New Rules

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2020, 4:00 PM

Universal Orlando Resort is bringing Harry Potter back. The resort's post-coronavirus operating plan received government approval this week, so Universal's two theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (including the two halves of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, pictured), will be back in business on Friday, June 5. Mind you, it will be a dramatically different business. ...

The UK Announces New Entry Requirements, And They're Tough

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2020, 2:30 PM

The United Kingdom has announced the first stage of its coronavirus reopening plan—and critics are saying it's no better than staying closed. As of June 8, all arrivals will be required to quarantine for 14 days.  Newly landed passengers must fill out a form and provide an address at which they can be found for the next 14 days. It can be a private address or a hotel, but it must be at the t...

Your Guide to the Airlines' In-Flight Covid Safety Policies

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/20/2020, 8:45 PM

From asking passengers to bring their own masks to blocking seat assignments, here's what the major airlines say they're doing to convince passengers it's safe to fly.

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St. Lucia's Reopening Plan Might Predict the Future of Caribbean Vacations

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/18/2020, 4:00 PM

To date, the mountainous Caribbean paradise of St. Lucia has recorded just 18 Covid-19 cases. Everyone has recovered, and the island wants to get back to business. The problem for this family-friendly isle is that its biggest market, the United States, has the most viral cases on the planet. How can you get back to business if your main customer is so troubled? St. Lucia's authorities have c...

If Americans Want to Travel Again, They'll Fight for On-Demand Testing

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/14/2020, 12:00 PM

Countries around the world are making plans for welcoming international tourists again. Austria: Tourists must quarantine for two weeks—unless they can show recent proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Iceland: Tourists must quarantine for two weeks—unless they can show recent proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Greece: Tourists must present proof of a clean bill of health for entry. As th...

Despite What They Say, Airlines Are Not Enforcing Mask Use

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/13/2020, 4:00 PM

This spring, news about U.S. airlines has followed a familiar pattern. First, the airlines trumpet a new safety measure that the news media repeats, generating a round of praise. Then someone exposes the announcement as a sham. Airlines tell customers they can cancel flight reservations—only to refuse to issue cash refunds. Airlines announce they will leave middle seats open—only to renege o...

Iceland to Reopen June 15 Using Testing and Tracing

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/12/2020, 5:00 PM

Iceland, one of the most popular but least populated European countries, is ready to reopen its borders to outsiders again. On June 15 at the latest, the country's air border (it's an island nation) reopens.  "Iceland's strategy of large-scale testing, tracing, and isolating have proven effective so far," Tourism Minister Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir said in a statement. Iceland,...

Marriott Offers 20% Off a Future Stay if You Buy a Gift Card Now

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/11/2020, 5:00 PM

With their cash flow negative, hotels are getting creative about ways to put some funds in the coffers until this storm has passed. We told you about "hotel bonds," which some properties are selling. With those, if you pay a certain amount now—say, $100—then later on, when you're ready to start traveling again, you can cash in the bond's value plus interest. That way, your investment of $100 no...

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