Elements of a new model for small island tourism promotion

This article from the Washington Post <https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/these-countries-are-accepting-american-travelers-remote-work-trips/?utm_campaign=wp_by_the_way&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_bytheway > may offer ideas for small islands with low Covid-19 infection rates.

These 4 countries are accepting American travelers for remote-work trips
Digital nomads don’t have many options during the pandemic, but a few nations are welcoming working travelers.

By Natalie B. Compton
July 27

The pandemic has proved challenging for digital nomads, people who travel the world working remotely. With countries closing their borders and air travel heavily restricted, working abroad has become extremely difficult if not totally impossible for Americans.

And as some destinations begin to allow foreign visitors, travelers from the United States may still be banned because of the America’s escalating number of coronavirus cases.

But there are exceptions. While the State Department and health officials still recommend Americans avoid all international travel, some countries are welcoming working travelers, including Americans, back again despite the pandemic’s continuing spread.

[With the pandemic shutting borders, digital nomads find it harder to roam]
Estonia

Launching on Aug. 1 after years of development, the Republic of Estonia’s digital nomad visa will allow foreigners to stay in Estonia for up to a year.

Applicants must have a gross monthly salary of 3,000 euros (about $3,530) or more from a remote work job to be considered for the visa, which is an extension of Estonia’s e-Residency program for foreign entrepreneurs.

“We saw that there was kind of a lack of opportunities for [digital nomads], so we wanted Estonia to solve the problem,” Ott Vatter, the managing director of e-Residency, told The Washington Post. “Estonia aims to be the hub for these kinds of new entrepreneurs that we see trending globally.”

Since the Estonian Parliament authorized the program in June, international applicants mostly from the United States, Canada, Russia and Asia completed the online request for either a Type C short stay visa, or a Type D long stay visa.

At this time, Estonia is not allowing Americans to visit the country for tourism, but they are allowed in for the purpose of work or study. On arrival, foreigners must quarantine in self-isolation for 14 days.

[Thinking about a remote-work trip? Consider these tips first.]

Barbados

Shortly after reopening its borders to international travel, Barbados launched a program that allows visitors, including Americans, to stay on the Caribbean island visa-free for up to one year.

Called the “Barbados Welcome Stamp,” the program was created to bring remote workers to the country.

“The aim is to attract remote workers, with a bill to be introduced in Parliament by the government that will remove the local income taxes that normally kick in after six months,” The Post reported.

The online application fee is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for families. Applicants must certify they earn an annual income of $50,000 or have the means to support themselves during their time in Barbados.

Those traveling to Barbados for remote work or pleasure during the pandemic must follow new travel protocols.

[Where can Americans travel to in the Caribbean?]

Georgia

On July 16, the country of Georgia announced a new program for foreigners to work remotely from the country.

“Georgia has the image of an epidemiologically safe country in the world and we want to use this opportunity,” the country’s minister of economy, Natia Turnava, said in a statement. “We are talking about opening the border in a way to protect the health of our citizens, but, on the other hand, to bring to Georgia citizens of all countries who can work remotely.”

Applicants must provide proof of employment and give their consent to quarantine in self-isolation for 14 days to be considered for the program. Applications should be available soon.

American travelers are not allowed into Georgia at this time unless they’re granted a long-term visa of at least six months, traveling for business with a special permit or are the spouse of a Georgian citizen.

Jamaica

Travelers from the United States are allowed to visit Jamaica. However, the entry requirements vary depending on their home state.

All Americans must have an approved Travel Authorization ahead of their trip, or they won’t be allowed to travel to Jamaica.

At this time, visitors from Florida, Arizona, Texas and New York are classified as high-risk states by the Jamaican government and are required to provide a proof of negative covid-19 PCR tests from an accredited lab to receive a travel authorization.

People who identify as business travelers in their Travel Authorization application will be given a test for the novel coronavirus on arrival to Jamaica.

“We have worked with IATA to ensure that it is a part of the airline check-in protocols that if you’re coming to Jamaica you have to produce this authorization,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism.

White says that while most travelers are given a 30-day visa on arrival, they can apply for a longer stay visa to enjoy more of what Jamaica has to offer digital nomads.

“There’s so much history and folklore around Jamaica. Anyone who is a nomad traveler … will be able to write a storybook about spending an extended time in Jamaica,” White said.

Posted in Fun

What Small Islands Can Do, in a Post-Covid World

This article from the on-line Washington Post <https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/these-countries-are-accepting-american-travelers-remote-work-trips/ utm_campaign=wp_by_the_way&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_bytheway > highlights the kind of niche marketing that islands should be working to develop, given the relative safety of small islands.

These 4 countries are accepting American travelers for remote-work trips

Digital nomads don’t have many options during the pandemic, but a few nations are welcoming working travelers.

PCQZLPNC3VBERBPCVBZ2E2TJEQ.jpg

(Washington Post illustration)
By Natalie B. Compton
July 27

The pandemic has proved challenging for digital nomads, people who travel the world working remotely. With countries closing their borders and air travel heavily restricted, working abroad has become extremely difficult if not totally impossible for Americans.

And as some destinations begin to allow foreign visitors, travelers from the United States may still be banned because of the America’s escalating number of coronavirus cases.

But there are exceptions. While the State Department and health officials still recommend Americans avoid all international travel, some countries are welcoming working travelers, including Americans, back again despite the pandemic’s continuing spread.

[With the pandemic shutting borders, digital nomads find it harder to roam]

Estonia

Launching on Aug. 1 after years of development, the Republic of Estonia’s digital nomad visa will allow foreigners to stay in Estonia for up to a year.

Applicants must have a gross monthly salary of 3,000 euros (about $3,530) or more from a remote work job to be considered for the visa, which is an extension of Estonia’s e-Residency program for foreign entrepreneurs.

“We saw that there was kind of a lack of opportunities for [digital nomads], so we wanted Estonia to solve the problem,” Ott Vatter, the managing director of e-Residency, told The Washington Post. “Estonia aims to be the hub for these kinds of new entrepreneurs that we see trending globally.”

Since the Estonian Parliament authorized the program in June, international applicants mostly from the United States, Canada, Russia and Asia completed the online request for either a Type C short stay visa, or a Type D long stay visa.

At this time, Estonia is not allowing Americans to visit the country for tourism, but they are allowed in for the purpose of work or study. On arrival, foreigners must quarantine in self-isolation for 14 days.

[Thinking about a remote-work trip? Consider these tips first.]
Barbados

BO7C3PGOAUI6VGNQQQTOE3JAHM.jpg

Shortly after reopening its borders to international travel, Barbados launched a program that allows visitors, including Americans, to stay on the Caribbean island visa-free for up to one year.

Called the “Barbados Welcome Stamp,” the program was created to bring remote workers to the country.

“The aim is to attract remote workers, with a bill to be introduced in Parliament by the government that will remove the local income taxes that normally kick in after six months,” The Post reported.

The online application fee is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for families. Applicants must certify they earn an annual income of $50,000 or have the means to support themselves during their time in Barbados.

Those traveling to Barbados for remote work or pleasure during the pandemic must follow new travel protocols.

Georgia

(iStock)

On July 16, the country of Georgia announced a new program for foreigners to work remotely from the country.

“Georgia has the image of an epidemiologically safe country in the world and we want to use this opportunity,” the country’s minister of economy, Natia Turnava, said in a statement. “We are talking about opening the border in a way to protect the health of our citizens, but, on the other hand, to bring to Georgia citizens of all countries who can work remotely.”

Applicants must provide proof of employment and give their consent to quarantine in self-isolation for 14 days to be considered for the program. Applications should be available soon.

American travelers are not allowed into Georgia at this time unless they’re granted a long-term visa of at least six months, traveling for business with a special permit or are the spouse of a Georgian citizen.

Jamaica

6ASRMYGOAQI6VGNQQQTOE3JAHM.jpg

Travelers from the United States are allowed to visit Jamaica. However, the entry requirements vary depending on their home state.

All Americans must have an approved Travel Authorization ahead of their trip, or they won’t be allowed to travel to Jamaica.

At this time, visitors from Florida, Arizona, Texas and New York are classified as high-risk states by the Jamaican government and are required to provide a proof of negative covid-19 PCR tests from an accredited lab to receive a travel authorization.

People who identify as business travelers in their Travel Authorization application will be given a test for the novel coronavirus on arrival to Jamaica.

“We have worked with IATA to ensure that it is a part of the airline check-in protocols that if you’re coming to Jamaica you have to produce this authorization,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism.

White says that while most travelers are given a 30-day visa on arrival, they can apply for a longer stay visa to enjoy more of what Jamaica has to offer digital nomads.

“There’s so much history and folklore around Jamaica. Anyone who is a nomad traveler … will be able to write a storybook about spending an extended time in Jamaica,” White said.

Posted in Fun

The (Very) Sad State of Local Newspapers

In a state capital and county seat for 570,000 people, the Annapolis Capital-Gazette can barely manage to publish a 16-page edition, and of that, 1.5 pages are puzzles and 1 page is comics.

Doesn’t seem sustainable.

Posted in Fun

How to Read the News

Walgreens: Looting Cost $75 million — as reported by Bloomberg News

Walgreens: Looting Cost Five One-hundredths of 1 percent of 2019 Revenue or One-tenth of One Percent of Assets — the way we “communists” (otherwise known as Democratic voters) might describe it. Poor babies are bleeding to death.

Posted in Fun

Too Often We Overlook the Extended Time Factors in Small Island Disaster Recovery (BVI)

from the BVI News < https://bvinews.com/three-years-later-loose-mongoose-re-opens-in-trellis-bay/ >

Three years later |
Loose Mongoose re-opens in Trellis Bay

on July 10, 2020 at 8:07 AM /

Amid a global pandemic and roughly three years after it was severely impacted by the weather events of 2017, local hot spot De Loose Mongoose has re-opened with improvements in Trellis Bay on Beef Island.

Human Resources Manager at Loose Mongoose Rochelle Lawrence told BVI News on Thursday that patrons can expect the same great food and a revamped ambience with added amenities.

“We have completely renovated the property, and I think it is about six times the size it was before. We were just left with the original structure, which was a one storey building. Everything else was completely gone,” she said referring to the hurricane damage to the facility.

“We now offer the amenities of a restaurant, an outside bar, an inside lounge, the upstairs is an open-top bar, we also have a boutique and a coffee shop. In addition to that, we will also have docks that we will be serving our marine customers with fuel. So everything that you will need in this little area,” she added.

Lawrence said that after a few unavoidable delays, the structure took roughly eight to nine months to complete and will officially re-open this coming Sunday.

“We are going to be full-blown open,” she stated, adding that they have been partially opened since last Tuesday.

In the meantime, Lawerence said the establishment offers employment to 14 staff, and that figure is expected to increase soon.

“Things are still a little bit slow coming out of the pandemic and maintaining social distancing has been quite a bit of struggle for us, so we have a bit of a skeletal staff. But we do wish to increase it very soon. We used quite a bit of staff that we had from before too,” she said.

Food, service

Meanwhile, well-known executive chef Neil Cline said patrons can expect to be delighted with their food offerings.

He said the restaurant has had “great reviews” on its cuisine so far.

“We are trying our Caribbean fusion. We are trying to offer a service to our people that is comfortable and a taste of what the BVI has to offer. It was a hefty investment, but it was an investment that was worthwhile. It will be even more worthwhile to see our people supporting,” he stated.

Posted in Fun

Note to self —

Spend more time studying ducks than funnies

Bruce

Posted in Fun

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected global poverty?

From The Washington Post — free from the paywall . . .

<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/07/03/how-has-coronavirus-pandemic-affected-global-poverty/ >

World

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected global poverty?

By
Siobhán O’Grady
July 3, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EDT

The novel coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy, upending entire industries and leaving scores of people around the world without work, child care and — in many places — enough food on their tables.

The economic upheaval has exposed and intensified deep-seated inequity, thrusting many of the world’s most vulnerable people into more precarious situations and pushing others into poverty. More than 10 million cases of the virus have been confirmed globally, but even in places where the official case count remains low, the ripple effects of the economic crisis have left many families on shaky financial footing.

Previous economic crises have taken devastating tolls. During the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, poverty increased in some countries and the rate of poverty reduction slowed in others. Countries suffered persistent losses in output. And researchers documented close associations between spikes in unemployment and excess mortality.

The pandemic is an external factor, not directly comparable to the problems within financial markets that led to the Great Recession. But regardless of cause, economic downturns affect human health and well-being, all the more so when a public health crisis is the cause of the downturn in the first place.

Here’s what we know about how international economic turmoil is playing out and what may come next.

What do economic forecasts tell us?

In April, the International Monetary Fund projected that the global economy would experience a 3 percent downturn in 2020, its sharpest contraction since the Great Depression. Last week, the IMF revised those forecasts, saying that the global recession will be far worse than originally thought. New projections suggest output will drop by 4.9 percent.

Justin Sandefur, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, told The Washington Post that the projections can only tell part of the story.

“We are still mostly relying on forecasts of what’s happening, not actual numbers,” he said.

Some new data is trickling in via phone surveys, which allow interviewers to ask questions about how individual households are coping and can offer a better sense of how the economic crisis is playing out on the ground.

So far, evidence in some places suggests the impact has been “really severe,” Sandefur said. “But we don’t yet have a systematic picture of that. It’s still sort of just a collage of small pieces.”

It may take several years, he said, to gain a full understanding.

How is the economic turmoil affecting global hunger?

The World Food Program announced Monday that it will dramatically escalate its food assistance to serve up to 138 million people this year as more people go hungry due to lockdowns and job losses during the pandemic. That marks the highest number of people that WFP, the United Nations’ hunger relief arm, has ever served in a single year since its inception in 1961.

“It’s making the poorest poorer and the hungriest hungrier,” Steve Taravella, senior spokesman at WFP, said of the pandemic. “A lot of what we’re talking about really is the impact of the socioeconomic fallout from the virus more than the health impact.”

Hunger could be more deadly than coronavirus in poorer countries

For people facing food insecurity, the choice to stay home without money or food may feel more dangerous than the risk of the virus. David Beasley, WFP’s executive director, said in April that the world “could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.”

Countries that were already facing food insecurity before the pandemic began are particularly at risk for being pushed over the brink.

WFP has not yet seen evidence that famine is happening, Taravella said this week, but he added that the organization fears “that if we don’t receive the resources to help meet this dramatic need very quickly, we could see famine in multiple countries.”

How does economic instability affect women and girls?

Experts have warned that globally, women and girls often bear the brunt of economic downturns, which can impact schooling, health and career opportunities.

By late March, more than 1.5 billion children had their schooling disrupted due to the pandemic, and a report in April from the Malala Fund projected that the pandemic will terminate or seriously delay secondary schooling for 10 million girls. Case studies from the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa found that during that deadly outbreak, large numbers of girls quit school and never returned.

When countries started to lock shut down, women’s health organizations warned that restrictions on movement could limit women’s ability to access lifesaving medical care and contraceptives, which could affect their ability to plan their families and control their finances. Some groups estimated that millions of women would experience unplanned pregnancy due to the effects of the shutdown.

Nahla Valji, who serves as senior gender adviser to António Guterres, the U.N. secretary general, told the New York Times in May that past crises show that although economic upheaval can affect anyone, it is women who are less likely to bounce back from fiscal damage wrought during a crisis. Globally, women perform most of the world’s unpaid labor. And when women and girls are forced out of school early or experience unplanned pregnancy, it can have long-term effects on their finances.

Globally, “women earn less, they save less, they’re more likely to be in precarious jobs with little security or protections if they do work, or in the informal sector, with no protections at all,” Valji told the Times. “And that means that they have less buffer to economic shocks, such as the ones we are experiencing.”

Stay safe and informed with our free Coronavirus Updates newsletter

How do travel restrictions and lockdowns affect the global economy?

In March, as the coronavirus spread, airlines started cutting flights and furloughing staff. Some shut down entirely. Border restrictions put in place to keep people from spreading the virus meant even travel between many neighboring countries became impossible.

Now, experts are trying to measure the full impact tourism losses will have on the global economy.

On Wednesday, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) warned that the global tourism industry is on track to lose at least $1.2 trillion due to pandemic-related disruptions. If travel continues to be affected for an entire year, the losses could reach $3.3 trillion.

Millions of jobs rely on tourism, which connects to sectors including food and entertainment. UNCTD warned that because so many women work within the tourism industry, many in informal jobs, as well as in service jobs tied to related industries, they are at particular risk of losing work due to the impact of shutdowns.

Countries that rely on tourism for crucial income are at serious risk of fiscal trouble. Jamaica, for example, looks set to lose 11 percent of its gross domestic product from losses in the tourism industry, even in the best-case scenario, UNCTD said in its report. Thailand would lose 9 percent.

“The global contraction in tourism arrivals could have devastating economic consequences as some developing countries are highly dependent on tourism,” the report said. “In some countries, such as several small island developing states, tourism accounts for more than half of the GDP.”

The jobs will affect workers in formal and informal sectors, and the lost wages could push workers who previously enjoyed steady work into dangerous financial uncertainty.

Lockdowns can also take a disproportionate toll on the most vulnerable. Strict shutdowns “carry a much higher human price in the developing world,” where the absence of social safety nets can make survival without work nearly impossible, economist Julian C. Jamison said in an essay published by The Washington Post.

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Welcome from Europe ?

Bruce Potter443-454-9044

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Why I Have Trouble Taking “Openers” Seriously.

From the Capital Gazette, p 1, 26 June 2020

Co-founder of ReOpen Maryland says he has COVID-19, but won’t help contact tracing efforts

Photo caption: Tim Walters, chair of Reopen Maryland, speaks at the Reopen Howard County rally beginning at the Howard County courthouse and ending at the bottom of Main Street in Ellicott City. Walters has said he has tested positive for coronavirus. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

A co-founder of the ReOpen Maryland movement has said on social media that he tested positive for coronavirus this week but won’t work with public health officials trying to track the spread of the pandemic.

Tim Walters, a two-time Republican candidate for the General Assembly from Linthicum, said in a series of Facebook videos starting Tuesday that he has come down with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

“I was diagnosed yesterday at the ER with COVID-19 and here I am months after not wearing a mask at rallies, churches and so on and so it’s funny how capricious this thing is,” he said.

Walters helped organize ReOpen Maryland protests in Annapolis, on the Eastern Shore and elsewhere in Maryland to challenge state and local measures put in place by Gov. Larry Hogan to slow the spread of the virus.

The group describes itself as pursuing “peaceful, law-abiding advocacy for public health measures that respect Marylanders’ civil rights, economic well-being and educational access.”

In the first of what Walters described as a series of planned daily videos about his illness, he described himself as a 53-year-old man with diabetes who hasn’t maintained good health habits since he left the Navy.

He said he has had a dry cough since March, that in recent days has worsened and expanded to include a headache, fever and loss of focus in one eye.

Walters urged people who have come in contact with him in the past two weeks to pay attention to the symptoms he described but he said he would not provide any information to public health officials trying to trace the spread of the disease.

Anne Arundel County Health Office Nilesh Kalyanaraman has described contact tracing as the most effective tool public health officials have in slowing the spread of the virus.

By retracing the steps of people who are confirmed positive, contact tracing becomes key for containing the deadly coronavirus’ spread and lowering hospitalization rates. It’s a routine procedure that epidemiologists and infectious disease detectives have done for decades, but tracking coronavirus requires an unprecedented intensity compared with other infectious diseases.

The county did not see a spike in positive test results after protests Walters helped run in Annapolis this spring, in spite of state and local restrictions on the size of gatherings. Kalyanaraman said they were too small to have much of an impact on the spread of the virus.

Anne Arundel County was among the first counties in Maryland to establish a robust tracking system. The state of Maryland has also set up a contact tracing program.

Walters was having none of it.

“I will not share anybody’s information with the government. I will not do it,” he said.

In a second video posted Wednesday, Walters said he had been contacted by the state contact tracing team and decided to have his wife and members of his family tested.

Anne Arundel County added 29 coronavirus cases but no additional deaths Thursday, state health data shows, as the county continues to show a downward trend in cases. Maryland added 440 new coronavirus cases and 23 deaths.

Numbers released Thursday morning show the county now has 4,985 confirmed cases and 193 deaths. An additional nine people may have died from the disease, but a lab test was never performed.

Across Maryland, at least 603,597 tests have been conducted, an increase of more than 11,000 in the past 24 hours, bringing the statewide rate of positive cases to 5.05%. Anne Arundel’s rate of positive cases is 3.88%.

Statewide, 511 people are currently hospitalized, with 209 patients in the ICU and 302 patients in acute care.

Walters frequently posts videos on social media, often daily worship commentary based on his reading of the Bible.

Even though he said he would not work with state or county public health officials, he urged those who follow him to speak with their doctors if they have symptoms similar to his: a dry cough, severe headache and fever.

‘I just want to educate people,” Walters said. “Don’t live in fear, chances are that everyone is going to get this.”

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The Washington Post: Heath Freeman says he wants to save local news. Reporters call him a ‘vampire. ’

Another great example of how unbridled capitalism serves the public interest — thank you Mr Freeman for saving us.

Heath Freeman says he wants to save local news. Reporters call him a ‘vampire.’
How a former Duke place kicker took control of one of the biggest newspaper groups in America — and what it means for democracy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/heath-freeman-is-the-hedge-fund-guy-who-says-he-wants-to-save-local-news-somehow-no-ones-buying-it/2020/06/11/9850a15c-884a-11ea-8ac1-bfb250876b7a_story.html

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