In what would appear to be a possible sign of travel optimism, the United States government has lifted its recommendations for American citizens to avoid all forms of international travel during the global pandemic.
Specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted the Global Advisory they implemented in mid-March and is now making country-specific recommendations for travel.
Level 1 represents safe international travel, whereas Level 4 is a VERY strong recommendation to avoid traveling to said country.
The official Travel Advisory website is going to be frequently updated with the federal government’s recommendations pertaining to each country.
So if you’re an American looking to set foot on a plane sometime soon, it would be in your best interest to review that site before making any plans.
All I have to say is this: Despite the surging number of daily COVID-19 cases and deaths in America, we are finally starting to see the curve flatten on a nation-wide level.
The southern states have passed through their spikes in new coronavirus infections, while the northern states have begun to gradually transition their citizens towards a re-opened economy.
This is fantastic news for the tourism industry when you consider that American tourists make up a substantial amount of global revenue. We’re the ones finding any excuse under the sun to take exorbitant vacations and spend as much money as possible.
So let me ask you this: With the new action taken by the CDC, will YOU be traveling on a plane anytime this year? Reply to this newsletter and let us know!
Cruise Ship Workers STILL Stuck at Sea, Avoiding the Coronavirus…
We already know that the overwhelming majority of cruise ship companies will most likely set sail in 2021, as 2020 appears to be a complete and utter disaster. The few companies which allowed their ships to journey out have ALREADY come back with cases of COVID-19 infections.
Which leaves me with just one question: How many cruise ship workers are still stranded out at sea and have yet to return to land? According to the U.S. Coast Guard, that number is 12,000 across 57 separate cruise ships who have spent months not setting foot on land since the pandemic started in early March.
Keep in mind that number was initially at 70,000 workers four months ago, as the U.S. Coast Guard has worked around the clock to safely bring workers back to shore.
It’s not as straightforward as simply arriving at a port and dropping people off. Not all of these workers are Americans, and they most likely face difficulties with returning to their home country. Either the United States won’t let them leave, or their home country won’t take them back.
Like I’ve said before, 2020 is a wrap for the cruise line industry. Write it off as an unexpected disaster and start looking forward to the next year…
The “Las Vegas” of China Starts Handing Out Visas for Tourists
Every region has their own “Las Vegas.” For Asia, that city is Macao, China (sometimes also spelled Macau). They’re about to do something that will help the international gambling industry’s revenue recover from the devastating year-over-year losses (-95%) they’ve experienced so far.
How? Through the re-issuing of new tourist visas starting tomorrow, according to the Macao government. After a trial run with the city Zhuhai, it will gradually expand towards worldwide availability.
This news was music to the ears of American casino operators during yesterday’s trading session, such as Wynn Resorts (+10%), Las Vegas Sands (+7.5%), and MGM Resorts International (+14%). You’ll be surprised to learn that Las Vegas Sands has more properties in Macao than Sin City!
All of these companies are hurting bad right now. Single-digit billions in sales figures per quarter have been reduced to mere tens of millions of dollars, which represents 100x losses in an incredibly short period of time.
But as long as their international properties can regain some much-needed traction, there is hope for America’s most infamous playground.
Covac Global: Emergency International Flights for Infected COVID-19 Patients
Have you been tested positive with COVID-19 or clearly demonstrate the symptoms? Want to get back home on a commercial flight, but can’t hop on the plane for obvious reasons?
The good news is that you won’t have to self-quarantine in the country you’re stuck in for several weeks (if not months), nor get hospitalized in said country.
A startup by the name of Covac Global offers a very unique selling proposition: For an individual membership of $995 for 30 travel days within a year (or higher for additional days of coverage), they will allow coronavirus-positive individuals to fly back from their current location to their home country.
This helps COVID-19 patients solve two problems: The exorbitant amount of money associated with flying private (100-200x the cost of a membership with Covac Global), and finding a private jet pilot who will willingly agree to fly someone who has the coronavirus.
They have plans to expand their offerings for corporations and international conglomerates who are struggling to get their employees home after traveling for work. If they’re serious about it, I’d love to see them expand!
And that leads me to today’s question: If you were infected with COVID-19 while overseas, would you shell out the $1,000 or so to get back home?
Reply to this newsletter with your answer… if the cost is too much, tell us why it’s not worth it!
Americans No Longer Proud to be Americans, Renouncing Their Citizenship
I just came across this story and it’s too unbelievable to NOT share with you…
Bambridge Accountants ran a study American travelers and what they found was a very startling trend of Americans renouncing their U.S. passports:
Between January and June of this year, 5,816 Americans relinquished their U.S. citizenship. That’s more than TWICE the number of Americans who did so in all of 2019 (2,072 former citizens). And 444 Americans did so between January and June of 2019, representing a 1,200% increase in citizenship abandonment.
What’s causing this massive exodus – and consequently leading to an uprise in U.S. expats – are the insanely high taxes that have to be paid, even when living in a separate country for the majority of the calendar year. Not to mention documenting all foreign investments and accounts to the IRS, which in and of itself is a major headache.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has lowered the inherent value of the American passport. Not only is the travel industry facing all-time lows in passenger demand, but several countries won’t allow Americans to enter for non-essential purposes.
There’s no telling if this trend will continue once the coronavirus crisis is over, and indeed this is a VERY small number of people. But it’s reflective of the direction that many successful people see American headed in for the next 10 years…
Why Have Gun Confiscations at the TSA Tripled?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently scratching their heads at a brand-new dilemma they’re facing…
Travel demand is still down, screening 75% fewer passengers in July 2020 compared to July 2019. What’s even more interesting is how the rate of gun confiscations from passenger carry-on bags have TRIPLED in the same month – 15 guns for every 1 million passengers screened. And 80% of the confiscated guns were fully loaded!
The explanation for this odd trend is fairly straightforward: Gun sales have skyrocketed in the past 3 months due to the ongoing street violence, “peaceful” protesting and rampant looting of both small and big businesses. People are increasingly more concerned about their safety and are willing to take firearms with them wherever they go.
Just a friendly reminder: You can ONLY bring firearms in your checked luggage if you declare them at check-in, pack the ammo separately, and ensure the firearm itself is unloaded. Fines for violating the rules ranging from anywhere between ~$2,000-$4,000 (harsher penalties if the gun is loaded, vs. unloaded).
Leave your guns at home, folks. It’s not worth having them taken away from you nor paying an expensive fine.