Virus Fear Empties Overcrowded Venice of Tourists

Francisco Seco  / Associated Press

Venice’s usually overcrowded streets are now void of tourists as the coronavirus spreads to Europe, with Italy being one of the worst-hit countries. Francisco Seco / Associated Press

Skift Take: While the virus threat will eventually subside and tourists will throng its streets again, Venice still has to grapple with a long-term, existential challenge that is climate change.

— Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

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Relaxed Rules on Medicinal Marijuana Could Create a Buzz for Thailand Tourism

contentdealer  / Adobe

Thailand’s legalization of cannabis for medicine purposes could launch marijuana tourism in Southeast Asia.
contentdealer / Adobe

Skift Take: Southeast Asia’s biggest changes toward cannabis liberalization continue to unfold in Thailand. Some speculate boom times are ahead for Thailand tourism with medical cannabis now legal. But don’t expect ailing patients to flock there for cannabis treatments anytime soon.

— Yixin Ng

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Battered Asia Travel Sector Exits High Season to Regroup for Eventual Recovery

Sasha Popovic  / Flickr

Asia tourism is bracing for more challenging times ahead as the virus spreads outside of Asia. Meanwhile, operators in countries like Laos have been less affected, in part due to scant media coverage of the country. Sasha Popovic / Flickr

Skift Take: It’s likely to get worse before it gets better for the Asian tourism industry. But forward-thinking players will know to take advantage of the current downtime to meet the pent-up demand for travel once recovery comes — which may not be far off.

— Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

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Finnair Considering Layoffs to Deal With Coronavirus Downturn

Phil Noble  / Reuters

A Finnair jet. The airline considering temporary layoffs. Phil Noble / Reuters

Skift Take: Finnair’s latest response to the outbreak shows how quickly things can change and how difficult it is for a company to quantify the impact of a fast-changing external event. Only a month ago, the CEO was saying that coronavirus would have a “relatively limited” impact on the airline.

— Patrick Whyte

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