Greetings from Thailand!
I took a short trip around Andaman coast of Thailand recently to see how other parts of Thailand are doing and what kind of preparations are being made for when the country reopens to tourism.
Generally speaking, things are still running in low gear everywhere, but there are signs that hotels and tour operators are in prep mode. One of the hotels we stayed at has already put into place mandatory rapid tests for all guests - here's what my negative test looked like:
Apart from testing there is of course a lot of talk about vaccines, which is going better in some places than others. I made a short video this week sharing some thoughts about the gradual roll-out of the vaccines and developments toward vaccine 'passports':
All in all, the trend mostly continues to move in the right direction, though after a promising global dip in cases it would appear things are on the rise again. While that in itself is not good news, I think we can maintain our optimism while also remaining vigilant and cautious for a bit longer.
Last year in the spring & summer there was a huge drop in transimissability, and while it's certainly more widespread this year than it was back then, the combination of the vaccines plus seasonal change should mean we are able to stamp it out completely in pockets around the world, allowing for the road to normalcy to begin again.
There's a link in the World Stories section in your newsletter about Taiwan's experience this whole pandemic, where there was never a lockdown and coffee shops, bars & restaurants, shopping malls etc have remained open, and life has generally been pretty normal. That they have been able to do that through the worst of it everywhere else suggests it's entirely possible for there to be more places like Taiwan by the end of the summer.
We'll have to work together to create such a situation in Canada, but I think it's absolutely possible.
I'll finish with a few quick notes about things upcoming - in the week ahead we've got our webinar about the next iteration of our LiveAways programs, where we'll take a look at what a month in Bali, Tuscany, Colombia, and Malta might look like. That will be followed by our April 1 (re)launch webinar for our Porto & the Azores program, which will be happening in the spring of 2022.
As always, I'd love to hear your feedback on vaccines, our trips, or anything else on your mind. Stay safe and stay tuned for more trips and webinars...we'll be ready when the time is upon us!