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I wrote a post last week asking if it’s ethical to travel for the holidays. It’s really something to contemplate because COVID-19 is so out of control and it only seems to be getting worse. But you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the TSA security checkpoint numbers. The numbers went up again on Sunday (Nov 15) and they’re huge, considering that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Obviously it’s in my best interest if people travel because that’s how I make money (from sponsors, affiliates, speaking gigs, etc.) but I’m not going to recommend something that’s doesn’t feel right to me.
After listening to the experts (and not the politicians), I don’t think it’s the right time to travel out of state unless it’s essential. Doctors say that December and January are going to be the United States’ darkest days since this pandemic began, which makes me scared as hell. Hospitals are filling to capacity and the weather is getting cold in most parts of the country so people will be indoors a lot more.
I know most people (including myself) want to go to tropical destinations like Hawaii but after having a conversation with some travel experts and locals I’m not so sure they even want us.
Here’s part of my conversation:
@regolithophile: I say this as a Canadian in Hawaii: how short-sighted do you have to be to think a vacation out here is a good idea right now?
@JohnnyJet: Agreed. It’s not the time to go anywhere unless it’s essential.
@regolithophile: I’m holding back a lot. The state may be welcoming tourists back, but local and national news are quoting residents saying things like “tourism is terrorism” and widespread doubts the relationship between locals & tourists will ever recover. Our tourists are terrible people.
@regolithophile went on to say, “We’ve had a couple of high profile assaults on tourists. Tourists are getting yelled at/harassed regularly. Nobody should be coming here right now.” Then in another tweet he wrote, “Verbal harassment is much more common.”
That’s disturbing stuff and a quick Google search confirmed what he said. There’s this piece in Hawaii News Now: Visitors who took advantage of cheap airfare attacked in Waikiki amid growing virus fears
There’s also this recent article from the NY Times: Hawaii’s Reopening May Be Good for Tourism. Is it Good for Locals?
There are a few different threads and conversations going on but what struck me the most was when @regolithophile wrote: “Yeah, funny the number of people who say this while not mentioning that they never actually looked up how people in their vacation destination may feel about a bunch of entitled tourists plague-shipping themselves to the second most remote place on earth…”
Then an Alaskan friend of mine, who is also the author of a popular Alaska travel book, Alaska On the Go and an Alaska kid adventure expert tweeted me saying, “I have officially left the industry b/c I cannot even begin to tell you how many people were still writing me asking for tips about visiting Alaska. Families. W/ kids! Couldn’t square that w/myself.”
Hawaii and Alaska don’t have the same carefree attitude or laws (or lack thereof) as Florida where practically everything is open, most restrictions have been lifted and they just want tourism dollars. But I sense Hawaii and Alaska are a bit different …
A) Because they’re so remote and;
B) The majority of residents care more about health than dollars
So my tip is that you might want to do some research before going to a destination because there seems to be growing animosity between locals and tourists (especially those who don’t comply with local laws like wearing face masks and social distancing.) You just might not feel welcome.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.