Vaccinated Americans will be allowed into all 27 European Union countries starting this summer, according to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, in an interview with The New York Times.
Trivia time? The EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. >>> Remember, the U.K. (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) isn’t an EU member any longer.
Level Four: Do Not Travel
This sure is confusing when the EU says, “Come!” and the State Department says, “Nope, off-limits.”
Did the State Department just issue a worldwide travel ban? It sure feels like it. For Americans, the vast majority of the countries in the world are now off-limits. More than 100 countries were recategorized as Level 4 last week, including popular destinations such as Canada, France, Mexico and the U.K. The U.S. Department of State has put these countries, as well as Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Israel and others onto the “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list.
That makes about 150 countries, 80% of all countries worldwide. To be clear, U.S. State Department advisories are not mandatory, and do not ban Americans from traveling.
Meantime, “Millions of people in England could be provided with so-called Covid passports by 17 May to let them take holidays abroad this summer and potentially avoid quarantine when they reach their destination,” The Guardian has reported.
In 2019, the number of visitors from the UK to the US was 4.78 million.
Billions of Bugs
Maybe the British aren’t coming, but the cicadas are. Ugh. In swarms. By the billions. All over 15 states across the East and South, plus Washington D.C.
See those holes in your backyard? Brood X cicadas emerge from their homes one foot underground every 17 years when the soil reaches 64º. Billions of the noisy insects will flood sidewalks, backyards, playgrounds, parks, and other outdoor spaces from mid-May to mid-July. Just when we need our outdoor spaces!
This is loud. A ‘tsunami of cicadas’ is fast approaching as people across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia begin spotting signs of Brood X. Dr. Gene Kritsky, professor of biology at Mount St. Joseph University, called this “a generational event.”
FACTS FROM FAIRFAX :: STEAL THIS IDEA :: VISIT FAIRFAX HAS ALL THE FUN
Who had cicadas on their bingo card?
Ali Morris, Destination Marketing Manager at Visit Fairfax, Virginia isn’t letting a few bugs get in the way of a digital opportunity.
She shares a fun marketing project to coincide with the impending cicada invasion, introducing a little lightheartedness by creating a Cicada Bingo card. “This particular brood of cicadas only comes once every 17 years, so we’re encouraging folks to come visit Fairfax County and look for cicadas at our historic sites, our breweries, our trails and parks, and our outdoor public art,” she said. “Those that see them, snap photos and upload to our image library, have a chance to win a Cicada Prize Pack which includes a custom cicada face mask.”
A Visit Fairfax blog post provides amazing cicada facts and a press release got media hits, including local TV coverage and a national magazine, Inc.
- This particular brood only happens once every 17 years and is the biggest insect emergence on the planet.
- Gathered en masse, the males’ “songs” can reach 100 decibels and can be heard by female cicadas a mile away.
- Animals AND people can eat them – they taste like shrimp.
Lincoln, Nebraska gets the last word on destination promotion this week. What started last year as an internet joke by an Arizona guy named Josh Swain turned into a very real event attended by hundreds of people named Josh, their pals, and a wide swathe of media. On Saturday, they gathered with colored pool noodles and a wicked game of scissors, stone, paper to battle it out for the right to be the “One True Josh.”
Nebraska Wesleyan student Ryan Wall made a TikTok about the “Josh Fight”. It got more than a million and a half views. Twitter views are surpassing a million as well.
Eager for an insider statement, we sought out Josh Collins, Zartico’s Head of Product, Community & Education to go on record. “I’m happy for the little guy — #therecanonlybeone,” he said.
One Twitter observation, “The fact that the #JoshFight winner, 4-year-old Josh Vinson Jr., was not only crowned the champion of the fight but also had received treatment at the children’s hospital which the event raised around $8,000 for, is an incredible display of the positive power of the internet.” Swain’s fundraiser benefitted The Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, canned food items were requested to benefit the Food Bank of Lincoln.
And the other winner was…Lincoln, Nebraska!
Apple v. Spotify podcast war is intensifying, reports The Wall Street Journal. Spotify plans to allow content creators to set their own pricing. Apple’s podcast subscription service is launching next month, charging podcasters a $19.99 annual fee to enable subscriptions, taking up to a 30% cut of subscription revenues for the first year and a 15% cut thereafter. Don’t count out Amazon Music, say some observers.
BTW, Episode 1 of The Travel Vertical Podcast is out. Episode 2 is available on May 5. Which channel are you subscribed on?
|Co-hosts Adam Stoker and Laurie Farr talk about the week that was, the week that’s coming and what will be covered in upcoming episodes. Today, there’s swimming with alligators in Winona, Minnesota and how Visit California spelled out the state’s name into a mini-campaign.|