The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has restricted people to the confines of their houses. Attempts to slow or stop the spread of coronavirus has led to the closure of international borders, unless for essential travel. This has also led to a restriction on interstate travel.
Thus, the tourism industry all over the globe is struggling. Popular tourist spots have undergone a drastic change, from being overrun by tourists to being eerily empty.
Locals from 5 tourist spots all over the world describe what their hometowns are like without tourists.
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WHAT DO TOURIST SPOTS FEEL LIKE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?
Yago Hortal, a painter from Barcelona, spoke to Andrew Ferren.
“The other day I walked by the city’s cathedral, which is very close to my house, and realized I could actually stop in front of it and see it. No one bumped into me or pushed me out of the way. There were no street musicians competing with each other for tips, and I didn’t have to be conscious of my wallet and who was around me. I could just look.”
“With exercise qualifying as a reason to go out, Barcelona suddenly has become very sporty — though seeing people running with masks on is a novelty.”
Anna Lopriore, who lives in Amsterdam with her husband and two children, spoke to Andrew Ferren.
“To avoid gatherings that the police couldn’t easily control, boats were banned on the canals in the city center. With weather this nice, Dutch people feel almost obligated to be outside in the parks or on the water. But for the last two months, instead of the hubbub of boating parties, we sometimes saw solitary paddle boarders gliding across the otherwise still waters of the canals.”
Ayu Rasmini, the owner of Pondok Masa Depan cottages and wellness retreat in Sidemen village, spoke to Dave Seminara.
“Now, there are no tourists here except for one American from Seattle who has been in our village since February and doesn’t want to leave because he loves the energy here.”
“It is so quiet here now. I would say it is like hibernation. Bali is almost in a coma. Now we spend so much time with our families and we realize how important family is. Now we can see inside ourselves and realize what is really important in life.”
“Without our travelers from other countries it is very difficult for us now. It’s like we have lost our energy. After this is over, we will go back to being who we are.”
Darko Perojevic, who owns the Azur restaurant, spoke to David Farley.
“The Old Town of Dubrovnik, where I’ve lived most of my life, hasn’t been empty like this since the war and the eight-month shelling of Dubrovnik in 1991 and ’92. We all have had some lingering sadness because the emptiness of the city is a reminder of that time.”
“Kids are playing on the streets just like I did when I was a kid. Back then there were not many restaurants occupying public spaces and squares, so the whole city was our playground. For a moment it feels like we got the city back for ourselves.”
“We all know here that the notion of quarantine began in Dubrovnik — as a 14th-century act to prevent outsiders from bringing the black plague into the city — so my friends and I are often joking about how quarantine has returned to the place where it started. It gives us more confidence these days. We’ve dealt with this before — it’s in our DNA — and on some level, we know we’ll overcome this plague just like our ancestors did over 600 years ago.”
Gianluca Boscolo, a web developer who has been living in Rome for three years, spoke to Tariro Mzezewa.
“I used to wade through the crowds entering and exiting the Coloseo Metro station to get to the ancient amphitheater and the Roman Forum. At first it was bizarre to be there without all those people, but as it sank in, it became a beautiful, new experience.”
“Exploring our city these days is like discovering a new city. Even the mundane things that we once took for granted like getting gelato or having a coffee outside now feel special.”
“Rome is a living museum and it is a privilege to have it all to ourselves.”