The death of the city vacation

Around the world, cities are taking a pounding from Covid-19 as travelers are avoiding visiting large conurbations during the global pandemic. In turn, tourism numbers in metropolises have plummeted. In Madrid, tourist arrivals dropped by 63.8% during the first half of 2020.



a person in a wet city street in the rain: With Broadway closed through May 2021 and NYC's Times Square looking very different these days, many travelers are passing on the urban vacation.


© Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
With Broadway closed through May 2021 and NYC’s Times Square looking very different these days, many travelers are passing on the urban vacation.

The components that usually make for a great city escape are now the very reasons travelers are staying away. Crowded museums, restaurants and public transportation aren’t appealing in the time of Covid-19 when we’re encouraged to socially distance ourselves to lower the risk of contagion.

Avoiding the big city

“Many cities have been hit hard by the pandemic, so it’s not a good look to go gallivanting around while people are dying,” says New York-based travel writer and editor Teddy Minford.

Minford canceled a trip to Mexico City in March but is eager to visit as soon as it’s safe to do so. “I’m hoping to travel there as soon as I’m welcome in order to support one of my favorite travel destinations with tourism dollars,” she says.



a bird sitting on top of a sandy beach: Due to the pandemic, travelers like Patricia Estrada are opting to visit Italian towns like Calabria (pictured) instead of large European cities.


© Alfonso Di Vincenzo/KONTROLAB/LightRocket/Getty Images
Due to the pandemic, travelers like Patricia Estrada are opting to visit Italian towns like Calabria (pictured) instead of large European cities.

Mexico has been hard hit by the virus with 761,665 reported cases and 79,088 deaths. The population of Mexico City is estimated at nearly 22 million people making it difficult to avoid crowded places. Trips to Mexico’s capital usually include visits to world-famous museums, street-side taquerias, and day trips out to ancient Indigenious sites such as the Teotihuacán pyramids.



a man sitting on a rock next to a bus: Staying in a big-city hotel is out; RV travel is in.


© Airstream
Staying in a big-city hotel is out; RV travel is in.

Mexico is open for American tourists but as Minford doesn’t yet feel it’s responsible to visit Mexico City she’s been visiting family in rural areas of the US. “A remote visit feels safer. The chances of accidentally getting somebody sick feels lower simply because you’re barely seeing anybody.”

What’s even open?

The decline in city vacations is a result of people heeding advice regarding avoiding crowds, indoor activities and high-risk attractions. Travelers are also deterred by the fear of getting stuck in a city that’s liable to go back into quarantine.

There’s also uncertainty about which attractions are open for visitors as many major cities are under partial lockdown. “We haven’t booked a single city-focused vacation. Fear of the virus has a lot to do with it, but, it’s about missing out on the actual experiences,” says Sarah Groen, owner of Bell & Bly Travel. For her clients, trips to Chicago, London, Beijing and New York are off the table.

Coronavirus has halted the urban retreat. Hotel occupancy declined 77.6% in municipal markets. Rural counterparts are performing better. For example, the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn in Auburn, NY (pop. 26,000) told CNN Travel that the hotel’s occupancy rates are leading the top 2% of

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Chinatown shooting: Police investigating after grandmother, grandson found shot to death at hotel in Chinatown

CHICAGO — Police are investigating after a 61-year-old grandmother and her grandson were found fatally shot Sunday at a Chinatown hotel.

Officers found the pair dead with gunshot wounds to their heads around 2:35 p.m. after responding to a well-being check at a hotel room in the 200-block of West Cermak, Chicago police said.

Detectives believe the woman fatally shot her 24-year-old grandson before shooting herself sometime Friday, according to police spokesman Michael Carroll.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office said the incident happened at the Jaslin Hotel, 261 W. Cermak Road.

Police on Monday initially said the man was the shooter before clarifying later in the morning that investigators believe the woman fired the shots.

Their names and autopsy results have not been released at this time.

Area One detectives are conducting a death investigation.

50 people have been shot, four fatally since Friday at 6:00 p.m. in weekend shootings across Chicago, according to police.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire – Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2020.)

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