Day: September 6, 2020

The Conversation: Religious tourism has been hit hard in the pandemic as sites close and pilgrimages are put on hold

Religious tourism is among the oldest forms of planned travel and to this day remains a huge industry.

About 300 million to 330 million tourists visit the world’s key religious sites every year, according to a 2017 estimate. Some 600 million national and international religious trips are made around the world, generating around $18 billion (U.S.) in global revenues. It makes up a sizable chunk of an overall tourism sector that has been significantly affected by the spread of the coronavirus, with 63.8% of travelers reducing their travel plans as a result.

As COVID-19 evolved to become a global pandemic, governments across the globe closed sacred sites and temporarily banned religious travel.

It has affected popular destinations of all faiths. Jerusalem, Vatican City and Mecca — which attract millions of Jewish, Christian and Muslim visitors annually — are among the worst affected.

Likewise, Buddhist sites such as Nepal’s Lumbini Temple

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Planes, pizza and Cher: Biden resumes campaign travel


Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives with pizza as he visits Pittsburgh Local Fire Fighters No. 1 in Pittsburgh, Pa., Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.


Joe Biden opened the first week of the general-election campaign with a morning flight to a must-win battleground state where he delivered a blistering speech against his rival, President Donald Trump. He dropped off pizzas at a local firehouse, took photos with first-responders and swung by a private fundraiser headlined by Cher before catching a return flight home.

For a moment, traditional campaigning — complete with chartered airplanes, unannounced visits and sometimes awkward celebrity moments — returned to America.

But Biden’s Monday trip to Pittsburgh, his first substantial travel in months, was anything but normal. Local rules designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus meant that voters in this swath of western Pennsylvania who could decide the election

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Israel’s hotel sector expected to bounce back within five years

Israel’s hotel industry is expected to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic to it’s 2019 peak within five years, thanks to the country’s resilience and ability to recover at an accelerated pace, industry professionals have said. The tourism industry worldwide took a broadside hit in the second quarter of 2020, as the coronavirus lockdown grounded flights and closed borders to visitors. Israel’s hotel industry was no exception, with occupancy dropping from nearly 70% in late February to less than 5% for much of April. But industry insiders are pointing to a swift short term recovery as evidence that Israel’s hotel industry will return to the 2019 peak by 2025, and are advising investors to follow the money. A report by tourism market analysts STR showed that seven day rolling occupancy rates had already returned to a reported rate of 65% by late August, outperforming Europe, the Middle East and the
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Increase In Outdoor Recreation In Idaho Could Increase Wildfire Risk Due To Abandoned Fires

From grabbing a drink to going to the theatre, COVID-19 means city activities are risky. Now, many people are going to the great outdoors for recreation, which could mean a potential increase in wildfire risk.


The Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center in Idaho Falls has put out more than 60 unattended or abandoned campfires this summer. The term “abandoned campfire” means anything from fires producing flames to something that gives off heat— even if it looks like ash. 

“There’s a large portion of folks that it’s their first time camping,” said Sarah Wheeler, spokesperson for Caribou-Targhee National Forest. “So, just kind of give a little bit of research, google how to do first-time camping and figure it out before you head out.”

She said new campers might not know how to properly extinguish their fire, which can take up to two hours. And that could spell trouble, considering Idaho’s high

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New group aims to build New Mexico outdoor recreation industry | Business

Businesses and government sectors have laid the foundation for New Mexico to join the race among Western states to cash in on the outdoor recreation economy.

The state last year established the Outdoor Recreation Division within the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The private sector on Aug. 24 launched the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Business Alliance, which is being promoted as endeavOR.

New Mexico lags behind the other Four Corners states with its economic clout in outdoor recreation, but Outdoor Recreation Division Director Axie Navas firmly believes the state’s $2.3 billion in outdoor recreation wages and salaries can multiply to reach Colorado’s $9.7 billion.

“I see no reason New Mexico can’t beat that,” Navas said.

New Mexico also trails Utah’s $3.9 billion in wages and salaries and Arizona’s $5.7 billion, according to data from the Outdoor Industry Association. The trade group also pegs consumer spending in outdoor recreation at $9.9

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