Barcelona goes from overtourism to no tourism


In recent years, nearly 30 million tourists annually have descended on Barcelona, in northeastern Spain, to savor its sites, beaches, and Catalonian culture. A large number of them (an estimated 3.2 million in 2019) were day-trippers who arrived by cruise ship to the city’s port, the largest in the Mediterranean.

a flock of birds flying over a city: Because of the coronavirus, Barcelona’s Sagrada Família has been closed to visitors since March 13, but a spokesperson for the site finds inspiration in the buliding itself, which “has survived wars and many other obstacles in its time.”

Because of the coronavirus, Barcelona’s Sagrada Família has been closed to visitors since March 13, but a spokesperson for the site finds inspiration in the buliding itself, which “has survived wars and many other obstacles in its time.”

Though tourist spending accounts for nearly a fifth of the revenue generated by the city’s commercial sector, this profit engine has been polarizing, with many of Barcelona’s 1.6 million inhabitants lamenting the negative effects of overtourism.

a large stone statue in front of a building: During the coronavirus outbreak, normally bustling streets like those near the Catalan Gothic-style Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in the El Born neighborhood have been deserted.

During the coronavirus outbreak, normally bustling streets like those near the Catalan Gothic-style Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in the El Born neighborhood have been deserted.

But now everything’s changed, for travelers and locals. Soon after the coronavirus arrived in late February, tourism evaporated and residents began to shelter under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.

So what’s Barcelona like these days?

Mood on the street

a young boy standing in front of a building: A shopper returns from buying groceries, one of the few outdoor activities permitted during the coronavirus lockdown in Barcelona.

A shopper returns from buying groceries, one of the few outdoor activities permitted during the coronavirus lockdown in Barcelona.

On a quiet morning in early April, sunlight illuminates Barcelona’s medieval alleyways. It may sound idyllic, but the silence suggests that all is not well. Squares that a few weeks ago were packed now sit eerily empty. Occasionally a resident hurries by, wearing a face mask and carrying shopping bags, eyes turned downward to avoid attracting attention.

a statue in front of a building: On La Rambla, Barcelona’s best-known boulevard, stacked café chairs await the return of patrons.

On La Rambla, Barcelona’s best-known boulevard, stacked café chairs await the return of patrons.

Spain has been under lockdown since March 14, and the instructions are clear: leave home for anything other than essential work, groceries, or medical reasons, and face a hefty fine of anywhere from 100 euros to a prison sentence. Even more than the legal ramifications, people fear the virus, which has claimed some 15,000 lives in Spain to date, placing its COVID-19 death toll behind only those of Italy and the United States.

a narrow city street with buildings in the background: Despite now-empty streets, such as Carrer de Ferran, above, many Barcelona residents feel hopeful about the post-coronavirus future.

Despite now-empty streets, such as Carrer de Ferran, above, many Barcelona residents feel hopeful about the post-coronavirus future.

(Related: Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes.)

Being confined to their homes is not something people here take lightly. Spain has a high percentage of apartment-dwellers, at about two-thirds of the population. This, combined with a favorable climate and long summer evenings, helps explain why residents spend a lot time en la calle, or in the street. Under the lockdown rules, no outdoor exercise or socializing is permitted. But every night at 8 p.m., people take to their balconies to give a standing ovation to healthcare professionals working in the country’s hospitals, a communal movement that’s spreading across the globe.

Reactions at tourist sites

Lines of visitors normally snake around Sagrada Família, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished basilica and the city’s biggest tourist draw. Since its closure on March 13, the icon stands empty. “While we can’t foresee the future, we’re confident we’ll be able to reopen in a few weeks,” said Oriol Llop, communications and brand director for the site. “Despite the challenges, we’ll remain standing, following the example of La Sagrada Família itself, which has survived wars and many other obstacles in its time.”

At La Pedrera-Casa Milá, another of Gaudí’s famed landmarks, visitor numbers for the month of March were already down 65 percent before it shuttered on March 14.

Marwa Preston, who runs gastronomic experience company Wanderbeak, said her business was on track for its best year ever before the virus hit. Yet she remains hopeful: “Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, where people lost a lot of money, this pandemic has us staying at home, refraining from spending. Once things improve, people will be thirsty for travel and experiences, with money in their pockets,” said Preston, who has already launched a “post-quarantine” wine and vermouth tasting tour to support the comeback of local bars and restaurants.

Her optimism is shared by Inés Miró-Sans, co-founder of Casa Bonay boutique hotel. “This situation has created a sense of community like nothing I’ve seen before,” she said. “People are helping each other in any way they can. Hotels that would normally be competitors are working together as one.”

Questions of identity

Unity has been a central theme of Spanish government statements in recent weeks, a change from the political climate of recent years, which has seen Catalan separatism dominate the news. While some might argue that issues of independence be set aside during the pandemic, others disagree.

Oriol Arechinolaza i Escuer, a lawyer, and Marta Ginebra Domingo, a law and political science student, both have long-standing links to the independence movement. Ginebra says many residents—pro-independence or not—were dismayed by the Spanish government’s refusal to allow Catalonia to isolate itself from the rest of Spain to limit the spread of the disease. “When the central government makes bad decisions, it causes resentment among those who believe an independent Catalonia would have done better,” she said.

Looking to the future, Ginebra and Arechinolaza think the Catalan separatists may set themselves apart through a willingness to invest in better public services. “The COVID-19 crisis could create an opportunity for the pro-independence parties to propose more left-wing economic policies than the Spanish state, thereby garnering more support,” added Arechinolaza.

Reasons for hope

The desire for self-determination is not the only trait for which Catalonia is known. People here tend to place a high value on seny, a Catalan word that translates as common sense and levelheadedness. While the virus is putting seny to one of its toughest tests yet, this mindset may be something that helps the people of Barcelona get through the ordeal.

Xavier Bas, director of public affairs at the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation, which manages visits to La Pedrera-Casa Milá and tackles social issues, echoed the sentiment. “We’re approaching the situation with a sense of calm and responsibility. By joining forces as a society, we’ll overcome this health crisis together, despite having no means of knowing how long it will take.”

The people of Barcelona have a reputation for resilience in the face of adversity, from nearly four decades under Franco’s dictatorship to the terrorist attack in 2017, when residents gathered in Plaça de Catalunya to chant “no tinc por,” or “I am not afraid.”

At Casa Bonay, Inés Miró-Sans is already preparing for the return of tourism to Barcelona. “This is a rare opportunity to slow down, take stock, and think whether we could be doing things differently or better,” she said. “I believe we’ll come out of this stronger, together.”

Isabelle Kliger is a Barcelona-based writer focusing on travel, culture, and lifestyle. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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Free, downloadable play packs so families can still share travel experiences – A Luxury Travel Blog

With both flights and kids grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global travel site Skyscanner has created free, downloadable play packs to enable families to still share travel experiences, discover other cultures and teach children about destinations around the world.

Each week, Skyscanner’s network of travel experts from across the globe will create activity packs that encourage children to be curious about travel, while helping parents by providing activities and craft projects to entertain little ones whilst at home.

The downloadable activity packs for kids aged 5-10 years include:

The first play pack is now available to download from here. Brand new play packs will be launched weekly throughout April.

What’s more, the play packs include ‘at home adventures’ for families to share via social media. Skyscanner families will be setting challenges for kids across the globe, including:

The ethos behind the idea is that travel provides a unique education for children. Whether they are exploring just an hour from home or discovering a long-haul destination, the power of understanding and appreciating others’ lives and cultures is critical to becoming a global citizen. Travel builds tolerance, empathy and awareness, something that we are endeavouring to recreate for families, who currently are unable to let their children truly interact with the world.

Skyscanner is working hard to support travellers through the COVID-19 pandemic with dedicated advice and product support for those searching to get home or for future adventures when the world re-opens. Their recent research revealed that 60% of their travellers are optimistic that they will be able to travel internationally later this year, of which half are very optimistic. The most recent launches from Skyscanner are part of their #WeWill movement, which is designed to focus on the future, ensuring that hope and faith endure during this difficult time.

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Marriott CEO Issues Update for Customers Amid COVID-19

Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson has issued a new update on the company’s ongoing efforts in the community in the time of coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as new details regarding its room cancellation policy and changes to Marriott Bonvoy status and points expiration dates.

“For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival, as long as the change or cancellation is made by June 30, 2020. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences,” said Sorenson.

“For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between March 13 and June 30, 2020, we will allow the reservation to be changed or canceled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.”

Marriott is also finding ways to assist healthcare workers and others on the frontlines amid the pandemic.

“With support from our credit card partners, American Express and JPMorgan Chase, Marriott has committed to provide $10 million worth of hotel stays for healthcare professionals leading the fight against COVID-19 in the United States,” added Sorenson. “The initiative, called Rooms for Responders, will provide free rooms in some of the areas most impacted including New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C. and Newark, New Jersey.”

Sorenson also updated Marriott Bonvoy members on changes to their status and points expiration dates.

“We want you to be able to enjoy the status that you earned in 2019. With that in mind, the status you earned in 2019 will be extended to February 2022,” he said. “To provide you ample time to redeem points, the expiration of points will be paused until February 2021. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.”

Members can also donate their points to COVID-19 relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF and World Central Kitchen via Marriott Bonvoy’s Giving Platform.

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Judge Blocks Government’s Effort to Stop Sabre-Farelogix Deal

A federal judge has blocked an attempt by the United States government to stop the Sabre Corporation from purchasing Farelogix Inc. in a $360 million deal.

According to The Associated Press, U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Stark in Delaware ruled Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department did not provide enough evidence to prove the deal would have substantially reduced competition.

The two companies planned to provide information about airline tickets to travel agents.

The Justice Department filed the lawsuit last summer after it said Sabre made the deal to eliminate a competitor with better technology, which would lead to higher prices and less innovation.

As a result of Tuesday’s ruling, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim announced the government would analyze the decision and develop a plan before responding.

Judge Stark announced he did not consider the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the travel industry when reaching his decision. Sabre officials said they are still waiting on a decision from the U.K.’s antitrust regulator.

For agents and advisors impacted by the industry shutdown, TravelPulse is offering three upcoming webinars to prepare them for when travel restrictions are lifted.

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Bear prosciutto and cave castles – welcome to Slovenia

A hotel where you can listen to classified recordings of secret agents, the largest cave castle in the world – and bear prosciutto: Discovering why Slovenia is a truly unique destination

  • Built in 1971, Hotel Jama is metres from the entrance to the country’s enormous Postojna Cave 
  • When the property was renovated in 2016, workers found surveillance rooms in the basement 
  • Now members of the public can listen to classified recordings of former government agents there

There can’t be many hotels where guests are required to hand over their mobile phones prior to visiting certain areas of the property. But then again, Hotel Jama, 35 miles south of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, isn’t your average hotel. 

It’s the only place in Slovenia where members of the public can listen to national archive-owned, classified recordings of former government agents – hence the ban on mobiles.

Built in 1971, Hotel Jama is metres from the entrance to the country’s enormous Postojna Cave, which has attracted various famous visitors, most notably Tito, the controversial former president of Yugoslavia, of which Slovenia was a part for most of the 20th century. He’d often bring high-profile celebrities and politicians for long weekends.

Predjama Castle – the world’s largest cave castle – sits at the entrance of the jaw-dropping Postojna Cave

Built in 1971, Hotel Jama is metres from the entrance to Postojna Cave. Members of the public can listen to national archive-owned, classified recordings of former government agents there

So perhaps it’s hardly surprising that, when the property was renovated in 2016, workers found surveillance rooms in the basement, believed to date back to communist-era Yugoslavia. Dust covered tape recorders and switchboards were inside, all of which can be seen on a new guided tour. Despite its troubled past, this tiny country – half the size of Switzerland – is now one of Europe’s most popular destinations.

But Tito wasn’t the only high profile visitor. Much earlier, in 1883, Emperor Franz Joseph became one of the first tourists to visit the Postojna Cave, discovered in 1818. His arrival prompted the installation of electric lighting – 15 years before it reached Ljubljana. Back then, visitors sat in carts pushed by guides. Luckily, it’s an electric train which takes me to the starting point for my tour, two miles from the cave’s entrance.

I’m shown stalagmites taller than my house, an underground river (which can be explored in a dinghy) and rock formations I’ve never heard of. This includes curtains – paper thin sheets of rock dangling from cavern walls – and pearl pools, formed where raindrops fall in the same spot for millions of years, creating tiny water-filled indentations and slowly wrapping individual grains of sand in white limestone shells.


Predjama Castle dates back more than 800 years and sits in the middle of an 800ft cliff 

Postojna Cave, the country’s second-largest, is full of vast stalagmites and stalactites

But after three hours underground, I’m keen to explore Slovenia’s wide open spaces. It takes just over an hour to drive to the forest-fringed Jezersko valley, a few miles from the border with Austria. My base is the Vila Planinka, a 23-room chalet hotel where a sign in the lobby proudly reveals the water has the highest magnesium content of any water in Slovenia, and is thought to be especially good for the heart.

On the right of the hotel, at the end of the valley, is a towering slab of granite – a snow-dusted mountain separating Jezersko from Ljubljana, an hour’s drive away. On the left is a patchwork of forests carpeting the lower slopes of mountains dividing Slovenia from Austria.

One day I drive towards the Italian border to tackle a mountainous hiking trail. I’m hoping to spot one of the region’s notoriously shy ibexes – twirly horned, sure-footed mountain goats that cling to the wild flower speckled cliff faces. 

Despite Slovenia’s large caves, much of the country is full of wide-open spaces, like Jezersko Valley

Sadly, the goats don’t put in an appearance, but I’m compensated with other weird and wonderful species, such as jet-black mountain salamanders and rare orchids.

I spot hundreds of marmots, and, unlike the rodents in the French Alps, they’re fearless. I eat my picnic lunch yards from a burrow, under the watchful gaze of a mama marmot. I’m disappointed not to spot a bear – Slovenia has Europe’s largest bear population, a fact which helps offset my guilt that evening when I tuck into a plate of delicious bear prosciutto.

It’s served by a waiter who tells me this part of Slovenia has so many bears that, as a child, he’d roll his eyes when he saw his mother heading out with her shotgun, knowing bear was on the menu again. Slovenia’s bears might have eluded me, but its jagged mountains, river-carved caves and marmot- dotted valleys have more than made up for their absence

TRAVEL FACTS 

EasyJet (easyjet.com) London to Ljubljana from £69 return. Doubles at Hotel Jama (postojnska-jama.eu) from £72 and at Vila Planinka (vilaplaninka.com/en/) from £185 per night. Find out more at slovenia.info. 

 

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JetBlue consolidating flights in New York, Los Angeles and 3 more big cities



a person standing in front of a window

JetBlue Airways will consolidate flights to just one or two airports in five of the nation’s largest metro areas, including New York, Los Angeles and Washington. The changes are part of the company’s latest response to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The New York-based carrier will suspend flights to select airports in the Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, areas that are served by several commercial airports from April 15 to June 10, JetBlue said Wednesday. The consolidation comes as the airline plans to reduce capacity by 80% in April, 10 percentage points more than previously disclosed.

JetBlue will consolidate service in the following areas with planned departure levels in April:

  • Boston: 28 departures from Boston Logan (BOS), suspending Providence (PVD).
  • Los Angeles: five departures from Long Beach (LGB) and Los Angeles (LAX), suspending Burbank (BUR) and Ontario (ONT).
  • New York: 30 departures from Newark Liberty (EWR) and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), suspending Newburgh (SWF), New York LaGuardia (LGA) and White Plains (HPN).
  • San Francisco: two departures from San Francisco (SFO), suspending San Jose (SJC).
  • Washington: five departures from Washington Reagan National (DCA), suspending Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more.

JetBlue retro livery at BWI!

JetBlue retro livery at BWI! A post shared by Ned Russell (@airbus777) on Feb 24, 2017 at 4:36am PST

JetBlue’s plans to consolidate service in the five regions was first reported by PaxEx.Aero.

The suspensions are designed to meet requirements for the funds from federal coronavirus relief bill — formally the CARES Act funds — that JetBlue applied for on April 3. The guidelines require airlines to continue service to all destinations in their network deemed reasonable by the Department of Transportation. However, they allow carriers to consolidate flights to one airport in designated metro areas with several airports.

Airlines are getting creative in how they continue flights to all of their destinations. Alaska Airlines is consolidating service to 12 cities by ending nonstop flights between Seattle (SEA) and six cities and “tagging” them on to existing service to six other cities. American Airlines is suspending many routes to its nine domestic hubs and consolidating service at its two largest bases in Charlotte (CLT) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).

However, more airlines are expected to follow JetBlue’s lead in consolidating flights to just one or two airports in regions served by several gateways as the number of travelers flying in the U.S. continue to drop on a daily basis.

Related: JetBlue backtracks on its strict schedule change policy

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened just 97,130 passengers at airports across the U.S. on April 7. That is less than 5% of the number of travelers screened a year ago, and possibly the first time in the agency’s history the number has fallen below 100,000.

“[This] is the biggest crisis we have ever had in front of us,” International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Alexandre de Juniac said of the impact of the crisis on the world’s airlines on April 7.

The organization has warned that, without government support, half of the world’s airlines could collapse or merge with others. In the U.S., regionals Compass Airlines and Trans States Airlines will or have shut their doors, and RavnAir in Alaska has shut down with hopes of resuming flights under bankruptcy protection.

It is an open question whether JetBlue, or any other carrier that consolidates flights to one or two airports in large U.S. cities, will ever return to their previous service levels. Airlines will be smaller when they rebuild post-COVID-19 with the number of flights on busy routes likely the first casualty, but industry experts anticipate each carrier to carefully evaluate what routes and destinations to resume.

Related: How will airlines rebuild their route maps after the coronavirus?

Featured image by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.

SPONSORED: While travel is limited right now due to COVID-19, you need your everyday purchases to give you flexible, forever useful cash. In general, TPG gives preference to transferable points and using your points to travel, but on some days, cash is king.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Master Luxury Travel With TravelPulse's Virtual Expo

Booking luxury travel clients is more important than ever for travel agents looking to secure their highest commissions in the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).


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Whether new to the industry, looking to expand expertise or aiming to put newfound downtime to good use, TravelPulse’s Luxury Expo is a fantastic way to develop proficiency to help grow your business.

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Agents will learn from successful luxury travel agents as well as travel suppliers and industry experts who will showcase the latest and greatest high-end vacation options in addition to the best ways to optimize market efforts.

Following the informative panel discussions and interviews, users will also have the ability to reaffirm their new knowledge by virtually walking through the trade show floors to access the tools they need to successfully sell luxury travel.

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Boulder threatening to close parks if crowding continues amid coronavirus

Boulder officials on Tuesday put a city open space system closure on the table as a potential step to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements meant to slow the global coronavirus spread locally, but less stringent measures are going to be tried first.

City leaders are also continuing to struggle with dispersing gatherings of sizes against public health recommendations at private residences throughout Boulder, especially among University of Colorado students.

Officials have received requests for an open space closure, as open space visitation is booming in good weather even on weekdays, which is atypical for this time of year.

“Closure is something that on the sidelines we are putting plans together for how it would work and how it would be rolled out,” Boulder open space director Dan Burke said. “It couldn’t be done overnight, it would take a series of steps. There are over 254 access points onto our system, we have a very porous system. What we learned from 2013 (during the flood), even if we did officially decide to close the system, we know we’re going to have a lot of noncompliance with that.”

Officials estimate that 25% to 30% of open space users are wearing a mask over their mouths and noses, as is recommended by the state as the virus remains on the move.

Read more on our sister site The Boulder Daily Camera.

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China to release tourist blacklist after Great Wall vandalized


Officials in China are hoping the threat of public shaming will prevent tourists from defacing the country’s most famous icon — the Great Wall. 

a person standing on the side of a mountain: BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 27: A Chinese boy wears a protective mask as he walks on a nearly empty section of the Great Wall on March 27, 2020 near Badaling in Beijing, China. A limited section of the iconic tourist site was re-opened to the public this week allowing a smaller number of visitors to reserve tickets online in advance and to enter after passing health screening. With the pandemic hitting hard across the world, China recorded its first day with no new domestic cases of the coronavirus last week, since the government imposed sweeping measures to keep the disease from spreading. For two months, millions of people across China have been restricted in how they move from their homes, while other cities have been locked down in ways that appeared severe at the time but are now being replicated in other countries trying to contain the virus. Officials believe the worst appears to be over in China, though there are concerns of another wave of infections as the government attempts to reboot the worlds second largest economy. In Beijing, it is mandatory to wear masks outdoors, retail stores operate on reduced hours, restaurants employ social distancing among patrons, and tourist attractions at risk of drawing large crowds remain closed. Monitoring and enforcement of virus-related measures and the quarantine of anyone arriving to Beijing is carried out by neighborhood committees and a network of Communist Party volunteers who wear red arm bands. A primary concern for Chinese authorities remains the arrival of flights from Europe and elsewhere, given the exposure of passengers in regions now regarded as hotbeds for transmission. Since January, China has recorded more than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 3200 deaths, mostly in and around the city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, where the outbreak first started. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The popular Badaling section of the Great Wall reopened on March 24, after being closed for two months due to the coronavirus outbreak. That very same day, a visitor was reportedly caught on camera defacing the historic site with a key.

The news quickly went viral, enraging Chinese netizens. The hashtag #八达岭长城恢复开放首日被刻字, which translates to “Great Wall vandalized the first day it reopened,” became a trending topic on Weibo, China’s most popular social media platform.

“How could such uncivilized behaviors happen repeatedly?” asked Weibo user Wuhan Luyoujia on a discussion board.”I think these people should be arrested and locked away for five days so they would remember the lesson.”

In response, the Great Wall Office, which is responsible for the administrative and public affairs within the Badaling special tourism zone, has implemented a series of new disciplinary measures against vandalism starting from April 6.

According to the Yanqing County Badaling Special Zone Office’s Weibo account, it “will impose administrative penalties on seven types of vandalism towards cultural relics including carving and other intentional damages.”

Misbehaving tourists will be added to a blacklist that will be announced to the public regularly to “increase awareness and apply pressure [on tourists] with public opinion.”

Offenders will reportedly face restrictions when they attempt to purchase online tickets to the Great Wall in the future, though the announcement doesn’t specify what those are.

Meanwhile, the Information Office of the Beijing Municipal Government said Yanqing County is considering banning blacklisted tourists from entering other tourist attractions in the district. If they’ve committed a criminal offense, violators will also be handed over to law enforcement agents.

Both netizens and media welcomed the new regulations.

“The epidemic has already ‘injured’ the tourism industry greatly, making the defacement of the Great Wall even more unbearable,” said an opinion piece on the state-run Beijing Youth Daily.

“Increasing exposure to the tourist blacklist will put more pressure on the offenders with public opinion, putting a tight chain on the tourists who ignore the rules,” commented another state-run media outlet, Beijing Daily.

Around 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Beijing, Badaling is the most popular section of the wall for tourists. According to the Information Office of the Beijing Municipal Government, the vandal was found and confessed to carving the wall with a key.

It isn’t the first time China has created a tourist blacklist.

Parks in Beijing have also blacklisted “uncivilized visitors” and used face scanners to bar those visitors from entering the park last year during the annual Tomb Sweeping Festival.


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Chable Hotels launches virtual wellness and culinary classes

Luxury resort brand Chable Hotels recently launched a virtual wellness and culinary class program to bring their services into the homes of clients around the world. 

Broadcast via Chable’s Instagram accounts (@chablehotels, @chablemaroma and @chableyucatan), the series features cooking classes with executive chef Luis Quiroz and executive chef Luis Ronzon.

Other features include cocktail and wine tastings, yoga and mediation with wellness director Alva Flores, and a course on crafting your own good luck charms. Virtual tours are also available.

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