Published on : Thursday, December 24, 2020
Corona virus has cast darkness over Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem. The biblical town is honored as Jesus’ birthplace; hence, postponement of Christmas celebrations at the height of the normally cheery holiday season has indeed brought in gloom.
Thousands of international pilgrims who usually come to the town are missing this year. Restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops are all closed.
The renowned Christmas tree lighting service is limited to a small group of authorized people, along with church services on Christmas Eve. For a town that depends so heavily on tourism, it is indeed a disaster – but it’s far from unique.
Tourism businesses are suffering due to the pandemic throughout the world. Tourists had started to return to Luxor on the banks of the Nile to gaze at the grandeur and beauty of Egypt’s ancient tombs.
After the 2011 revolutions, the Egypt tourist industry struggled, but slowly visitor numbers had started to scale again after direct flights were reinstated and restrictions on travel lifted. However, Covid-19 cast a shadow over that recovery.
In Japan, border closures mean that once crowded tourist spots are eerily quiet. Although Japan escaped the death toll and worst impact of the virus, its economy did feel the impact. Japan was due to host the Olympics over the summer, but the event has now been postponed.
Japan hopes to hold the games in 2021, but what form they will take and whether overseas travelers will be allowed to attend remains is a concern.
In Israel, two lockdowns over the year have taken their toll on tourist businesses. The Red Sea resort city of Eilat is one of the hardest hit.
Tags: corona virus