Coronavirus, impact on worldwide tourism and the blossom of the boating industry
From Ibiza to Miami, the summer promises to be disastrous for major tourist destinations, hit by the coronavirus pandemic which continues its deadly course, particularly on the American continent. Australia as well imposes new restrictions every day, as in Melbourne, now under curfew and strict lockdown again.
After weeks of containment in the spring, which seemed to have reduced the epidemic, the world is now trying to protect itself against a second wave with disastrous economic consequences.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Saturday that the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed at least 685,780 people worldwide, is likely to be “very long”.
Yesterday, Latin America and the Caribbean, the second most affected region of the world, crossed a new symbolic threshold and counted more than 200,212 deaths, behind Europe (210,487 deaths).
The United States remains the most affected country in terms of both deaths and cases, with 154,449 deaths for 4,620,502 recorded cases, ahead of Brazil with 93,563 deaths for 2,707,877 cases, Mexico with 47,472 deaths (434,193 cases), the United Kingdom with 46,193 deaths (303,952 cases), and India with 37,364 deaths (1,750,723 cases). In Africa, the most affected country on the continent, South Africa, surpassed the 500,000 case mark on Saturday.
The pandemic, which is plunging the world economy into an unprecedented recession, is particularly affecting tourism, whose losses are already estimated at $320 billion for the first part of the year, according to the World Tourism Organization.
So Montreal, which usually attracts about 11 million tourists a year, 80% of whom come from outside Quebec, is looking like a “ghost town” this summer. Deprived of foreign visitors, its Formula 1 Grand Prix, or its world-famous festivals, the Quebec metropolis is trying to reinvent itself to save the summer, but the damage is already considerable.
With half of the approximately 9,000 Covid-19 fatalities in Canada, Montreal and its suburbs have been hard hit.
As a result, all major cultural events, which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every summer, such as the jazz festivals and the FrancoFolies, the largest of their kind in the world, were canceled.
Miami is no better. According to the Miami Herald, tourism in Florida fell 10.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020 from the same period a year earlier, and that estimate may be optimistic. 31.95 million people visited the state during the first three months of the year. That compares to 35.79 million visitors during the first quarter in 2019.
In the United States, restaurants are on the front line. “We were the first industry to close and we’ll be the last to recover,” says Sean Kennedy, the association’s vice president of public relations. “We won’t get back on our feet until the airlines are back, the hotels are back, and tourism is back,” he insists. According to Yelp, as of July 10, more than 26,000 restaurants had closed across the country, 60 percent of which (15,770) had closed permanently.
The Unexpected surprise
However, an unpredictable positive side effect of the pandemic is the crazy and amazing demand for boats.
Boat dealerships in Florida and nationwide are out of inventory. Whether it’s used or new inventory, everything is gone. In a matter of weeks, being a boat has become like getting a last-minute table at a fancy restaurant in NYC!
Boat sales are actually booming because Covid-19 has deprived the public of its summer vacation and boating is the perfect activity to maintain social distancing.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 70 percent of boating dealers had an increase in sales in May, the strongest number recorded since July 2018.
Fox Business states that Google searches for other water-related products like paddleboards, life vests, kayaks, and wakeboards have increased 70 to 100 percent.
People staying home are investing in a personal watercraft or a new boat according to Fortune.
The boat rental business is suffering from the lack of tourists but benefits from amazing popularity during the weekends’ thanks to the locals eager to get out of their confined spaces and enjoy a safe outside activity.
Aquarius Boat Rental is proud to welcome you aboard and promise the boats will be sanitized before and after each client. The Covid-19 restrictions are respected onboard our vessels and masks are mandatory at the marina and during the instructions. Reserve your boating experience today!