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Americans Show Strong Willingness to Travel Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

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A currently trending topic is Americans’ strong willingness to travel amid the looming number of COVID-19 cases all within the country and all over the world. A recent survey of 746 US residents asserts that 72% plan to travel in 2020 while 91% of them aim to take either domestic or international trips. The said survey shows that despite the present travel bans imposed on Americans bound for Europe and other countries around the world, overseas travel is both due to preference and necessity for many of the respondents.

According to the same survey, 64% profess that COVID-19 has heavily affected their travel capacity in the coming months. They mention that some of the consequences of the COVID-19 situation are the following:

  • Quarantine protocols;
  • Health risks;
  • Prioritization of basic necessities;
  • Unemployment issues;
  • Depleted savings;
  • Travel restrictions/bans

In a separate June study, it was found out that 46 million Americans plan to travel via a recreational vehicle (RV) within the next 12 months—a sudden increase from the 2019 survey that cites only 25 million planning to do the same.

Most US residents mention that they want to visit several places including Colorado, Wyoming, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont this coming winter. Included in the same list are California, Hawaii, Nevada, South Carolina, and Utah.

Most of the states mentioned currently have the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths:

  • Hawaii has only 2 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants;
  • Wyoming records 4 deaths per 100,000 residents;
  • Oregon has 6 deaths for every 100,000 individuals; and
  • Utah has 8 deaths per 100,000 people.

The data shows that most American travellers seem to research the COVID-19 situation in their intended travel destination before finalizing their vacation plans.

When asked about when they plan to travel, just 14% of the respondents mention that they would want to take either an international or domestic trip right now. Similarly, 41% express the desire to travel as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, while 35% say that they plan to take a trip when a viable vaccine becomes available.

Summary

Despite the ever-increasing threat of COVID-19 infection worldwide and the ever-tightening travel restrictions imposed by various national and local governments, many Americans still express a strong desire to travel inside and outside the United States domestically and internationally. Nonetheless, the above-mentioned findings assert that many Americans desire to visit areas with few COVID-19 deaths.

Alongside the on-going race to find a potent vaccine to eradicate and prevent COVID-19 infection is the consistent and famous American pursuit of freedom and fulfillment—a poignant, yet inspiring, characteristic that must be perpetuated amid the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths within the country and all over the world. The pervading hope that everything eventually returns to normal is something that keeps everyone going despite the drastic changes due to this unprecedented catastrophe.

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Destinations

10 Best Casinos Outside Las Vegas

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The United States has other casinos outside Las Vegas. Here is a list of the top 10 casinos that you can visit even without going to Crescent City.

There are more than 1,500 casinos spanning the entire US. Aside from the casinos that are located inside Las Vegas, gamblers can easily visit various casinos near their area. If you like playing a game or two—or three, it’d be nice to know the different casinos that might be near you. In this article, we decided to feature the 10 best casinos outside the Big Easy.

Mohegan Sun

Located in Uncasville, Connecticut, Mohegan Sun boasts of three casinos. These are Casino of the Sky, Casino of the Wind, and Casino of the Earth. To provide you with even more entertainment choices, the three floors in between these casinos feature about 5,000 slot machines, 42 poker tables, 275 table games, a race book. If you like playing Asian table games like Pai Gow Poker, Baccarat, and Sic Bo, you can also visit the Sunrise Square. You can even find a couple of smoke-free areas, sections that are dedicated to non-smoker visitors.

Pechanga Resort and Casino

Branded as California’s largest casino, the Pechanga Resort and Casino measures 188,000 square feet. It has over 4,000 slot machines, a 700-seater Bingo area, 154 table games, and a non-smoker poker section.

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City

You can also visit the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City that’s located in New Jersey. It has 2,172 slot machines, a 3,800 square feet sportsbook, and a daily poker tournament.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa

If you’re in Florida, this can be your new hangout as it boasts of over 4,000 slot machines, 46 poker tables, and a multitude of table games.

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino

If you’re tired of Las Vegas but still want to visit a casino within Nevada, you can check out the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino that’s located in Reno, Nevada.

Casino Del Sol

For Tucson, Arizona gamblers, you can visit Casino Del Sol. Players can enjoy various table games for the minimum expense of $3 per game.

Ocean Casino Resort

Another Atlantic City gambling destination is the Ocean Casino Resort. Aside from its multiple slot machines and Sportsbook, it has the biggest Topgolf Swing Suite in the whole United States.

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Another casino that’s located in Reno, Nevada, the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa has 1,400 slot and poker machines. It even provides guests with a tropical-themed experience.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City

Another popular destination is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. This New Jersey casino has 2,115 slot machines and various poker and play tables to check out. It also provides customers with an Asian gaming area that allows visitors to play Baccarat, Asian Poker, and Pai Gow.

Foxwood Resort Casino

Ranked as the best casino outside of Las Vegas, the Foxwood Resort Casino is located in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Offering around 4,500 slot machines and numerous gambling amenities, visitors will surely enjoy the place. The place even boasts four hotels to choose from and more than 30 restaurants, as well. If you’re looking for your new staycation and gambling destination, the Foxwood Resort Casino is a must-try.     

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Destinations

Tourist Experiences Bad Luck, Returns Pompeii Artifacts

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A Canadian woman returned Pompeii artifacts, 15 years after they were stolen from the Pompeii site.

Prof. Massimo Ossana, the Archeological Park of Pompeii’s temporary director released a statement last Tuesday confirming the return of five stolen artifacts that were sent back via a travel agency. The said agency, then, contacted the Carabinieri police regarding the matter.

The artifacts, which were accompanied by a letter, were brought back to the archeological park. However, they cannot be returned to their specific, original spots within Pompeii’s old ruins. “Obviously they cannot be relocated because their precise origin is not known,” Osanna shared.

According to The Guardian and CNN, the Canadian tourist’s missive narrated her experiences of bad luck right after she took the Pompeii artifacts back in 2005. She mentioned that she went through financial and health problems because of them. “We are good people and I don’t want to pass this curse on to my family,” the woman explained.

In relation to the incident, Ossana mentioned that stolen artifacts get frequently sent back to the archeological park that features the ruins of an ancient Roman city that got destroyed by the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Many of these items are returned due to the same reason—that the artifacts are accompanied by a curse, bestowing ill luck to those who take them from their resting place.

“For several years, the Archaeological Park of Pompeii has been receiving letters from visitors who, on the occasion of their visit, had taken small objects (we are talking about mosaic tiles, small shards, stones, pieces of plaster, lapilli), of little value, but part of unique archaeological heritage, and that they decided after years to return, claiming to have derived only bad luck from that act,” the Archeological Park of Pompeii’s statement said.

Consequently, the statement also mentioned that the supposed curse that accompanies the artifacts found at the park serves as an effective deterrent for anyone who wishes to take or steal other Pompeii items in the future. “But we hope that an international civil awareness towards cultural heritage in general will increase, regardless of the fear of a bad luck that could affect those who make such gestures,” Osanna continued.

Stealing items from famous archaeological sites and tourist destinations is a rampant activity. However, visitors to these heritage areas must be aware of the necessity to preserve these artifacts because they serve as actual, historical objects that provide current and future generations with the means to understand how our ancestors lived in the past. Preserved artifacts are living testaments to the people who came before us, offering us a glimpse into their lives—how they lived, how they interacted with one another, and how they died.

Knowing what happened in the past—how people survived in the past—provides us with the necessary knowledge to improve our present lives and the lives of future generations. Hence, it is essential for everyone to preserve these archaeological and historical sites—and understand the significance of their continued presence in our modern existence.

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Destinations

Thailand Plans to Welcome Back International Tourists by October

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Hope is knocking on the door of travelers who are anxious to spend their Christmas holidays in Thailand. However, provided that they are willing to spend a few weeks in a kingdom with limited areas.

During a public forum held in August 2020, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism, said that the country is planning to allow foreign tourists to enter the country under the program, Safe and Sealed. He claims that he has already asked the prime minister to approve the expected date of opening on October 1. Ratchakitprakarn says that he has already requested Phuket as a model and has gotten approval from the Center for Economic Situation Administration. Upon launching the program, tourists will be able to enter Thailand’s largest island, Phuket. However, travelers will need to stay in quarantine in a selected resort for not more than 14 days upon arriving.

 According to Phipat, the famous Patong Beach is an excellent example wherein three to four resorts are set up there. Keeping the tourists in the area would allow them to spend time on a beach, given that they would stay in their designated areas. Travelers are also required to get tested for COVID-19 at the beginning and the end of their allotted quarantine period. However, the minister says that tourists who want to travel outside of Phuket would have to undergo a third COVID-19 test and have an extension of seven days under quarantine. Besides that, hotel staff who work in the designated areas aren’t allowed to leave the premises without taking a COVID-19 test and going into quarantine. 

Governor Yuthasak Supasorn of the Tourism Authority of Thailand has told CNN that the government has approved the travel plan. The next phase would be holding a public hearing to obtain the residents’ approval. 

The Step for the Future

Like most countries who have always relied on tourism, Thailand has been hit pretty hard by the pandemic. Aside from having all international commercial flights being banned, the residents on returning flights would have to be put into quarantine for 14 days. Gratefully, Thailand hasn’t had a locally transmitted COVID-19 case for more than three months now, which gives travelers a sense of relief as they go on trips for the weekends. Managing director Bill Barnet of the Asia-focused consulting firm C9 Hotelwork claims that welcoming international travelers is the right step.

According to Barnet, COVID-19 is different compared to other events like 9/11 and the restart of traveling. He claims that the Safe and Sealed program may not be a silver bullet, but a step forward against “the deer in headlights position.”

He diminishes any form of criticism that says the project may be too restrictive. Barnet claims that Phuket has proven its appeal as a destination for people looking to escape the winter season. Barnet notes that Russians, Britons, Germans, and Scandinavians have always returned to Phuket yearly and stay long-term guests. He claims that the moment the temperature drops in Europe, the people will quickly mark Phuket as one of their destinations. 

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