Many tourists are now wearing masks due to coronavirus

Tourists from an Air China flight from Beijing wear protective masks as they arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France.

26-01-2020REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Dear Sir,
I have written before suggesting that tourism to the islands has chiefly been taken for granted and unless it is properly managed, a perfect storm could badly affect the islands economy.

We have seen how when other tourist destinations are subjected to terrorist’s attacks the island introduces a tourist tax and raises it the following year to cash in.

The loss of Thomas Cook who provided 1.25 million tourists to the islands, those tourists who relied on this company may now be guided elsewhere by new tour operators, Thomas Cook were already redirecting flights to the islands to other destinations where the demand was greater.

The islands have been subjected to a number of storms that have led to devastation to tourist resorts, whilst the arguments rage as to who will pay for the reinstatement, the holiday season creeps closer, will the storm damage be rectified in time.

The Euro is rising against the Turkish lira and Egyptian pound both giving more purchase power to tourists from Europe, if tourists find these resorts more desirable will they then return to the islands.

And then we have Coronavirus which we are advised is likely to do more harm to the elderly than any other genus of the population and who are a large proportion of the UK tourists to visit outside of schools term time.

With bookings already down and likely to remain so how are the islands now going to attract tourists both new and old back to the islands.

One dread for tourists will be any airport, here they have to queue and pass through passport control and security, the close proximity of people and the handling of security trays is the opportunity to spread viruses.

The Balearic islands have been charging tourists for the pleasure of coming to the islands and spending their hard earned money and in doing so benefit also from increased VAT revenue, so is it not time that the islands spent some of this tourists tax on tourists.

There is ultraviolet lighting called ‘far-UVC’ that can destroy viruses and air borne viruses and is safe to use in public areas, various lamps and tubes are manufactured and could be retrofitted in various existing fittings.

Would it not make sense to install these lamps and fittings to create sterile zones in airport security, passport control and even waiting areas, this would ease the concerns for any traveller that these areas are a honeypot for the transmission of viruses.

Is it not about time that Airports ‘woke up and smell the coffee’, so as to speak, over the years we have seen Sars, various Flu viruses each evolving each year. If we accept that the human race will be subject to cyclic and seasonal viruses then why do we not do something about it. Ultraviolet lighting may not cure viruses but it would help in the rapid spread in transport centres.

B. Rowe

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