Here & There - June 5, 2020

Well, it looks like we're opening

Here & There is a weekly email from Kyle Frost about travel/tourism, remote trends, and other stuff. If you’ve been enjoying these updates, please forward it to a friend, or share with your network. If you’re reading it for the first time, consider subscribing (it’s free!).

We’re opening, whether that’s a good idea or not.

As it feels like our unease about COVID has taken a backseat to more important and tragic events over the last week, we’ve also been seeing places around the country starting to open up again.

  • Vegas re-opened this week to packed casinos and gamblers who have been waiting 78 days to lose some money.

  • Major national parks like Zion, Rocky Mountain, Arches, Acadia, and Yellowstone have all opened with varying degrees of restrictions.

  • Yosemite began a staged re-opening today — allowing backcountry wilderness permit holders to access the park. It’s expected that a more “complete” opening will happen around June 11th. Restrictions will include limiting day passes to ~1,700. With the ~1,900 that have existing lodging reservations, this is still expected to be about half the normal daily traffic from last year.

But when can I *travel*?

Even as many municipalities and countries are relaxing internal restrictions, there continue to be significant unknowns around international travel. While destinations that depend on tourism dollars are desperate for travelers to return, policies around visitation will play a big part in where (and if) travelers return this summer.

  • Many airlines, while still struggling and operating at reduced capacity, are choosing to push domestic travel in July/August, in an acknowledgement that the uncertainty around international travel may last through the summer.

  • In the US, both United and American are specifically marketing flights to outdoor adventure oriented destinations like Aspen and Jackson Hole.

  • Countries like Cyprus (where tourism accounts for 15% of the economy) are taking drastic measures — offering to refund your trip and pay for all medical expenses if you catch COVID-19 after visiting. Right now, visitors are still limited to a set of European countries (sorry US travelers), but that might change as soon as July.

  • In both the UK and France (the most visited country in the world last year), travelers will be subject to a compulsory 14-day coronavirus quarantine, which will probably (read, definitely) deter a few travelers this summer.

  • International flights to Greece will resume July 1, and restrictions will be relaxed — although some international travelers arriving from outside of Europe may still be subject to a COVID test or quarantine.

So, long story short — no one really knows. But particularly if you’re based in the USA, I wouldn’t get your hopes up about easy international travel anytime soon. As I’ve said before, the theme of the summer is road trips, road trips, road trips. And if early stats are any indication, people are embracing that. Rentals of campervans and RVs are up significantly, and short-term rentals are beginning to rebound as travelers gravitate to “controllable” spaces rather than bigger lodging options.

Around the web

Given the gravity and importance of the conversations and unrest around the country this week, I wanted to share a couple links regarding #BLM and the representation of Black and other underrepresented communities in the outdoor industry.

At The Outbound, we’ve been working on #EveryoneOutside with the help of a group of fantastic community partners — last year we released 4 films that highlight the perspectives of underrepresented folks in the outdoor industry. You can find them all on Youtube — more to come.

Now is Not The Time to Post Your Adventure Photos - a great article by Gloria Liu for Outside Magazine.

Right Where I Belong - @allmountainbrothers is an online community of people of color in the outdoors, and this feature from Patagonia centers around Black mountain bikers in a very white-dominated sport.

“That comfort, the ability to feel like you’re not stepping outside some boundary. It’s not like, ‘Do I belong here?’ No, this is where I’m supposed to be.”

Raequan Wilson

No Pain, No Change - On the way toward a more diverse outdoor community, mistakes will be made. But one 30-year veteran of the industry sees progress where others see only problems. (via SNEWS)

74 BIPOC Outdoor Instagram Accounts to Follow - Much of our personal world views are often shaped by the limited silos we put ourselves in via social media. Field Mag put together a list of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) accounts to follow on instagram.

At the end the the day, the best way to really support is to show up. Hire Black photographers and models, *actively* seek diversity in your hiring and executive leadership (the outdoor industry is often terrible at this), and donate and invest in the cause (here’s a great list). There were a lot of black squares and heartfelt messages shared by the outdoor industry on Tuesday — I hope that we’re not just back to 100% outdoor porn next week.

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