How Top Travel Destinations Have Been Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Noble Horvath

It’s clear by now that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to international travel, but research from travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth sheds new light on just how hard the impact has been.

a castle like building in a city: Aerial panoramic cityscape view of Paris, France with the Eiffel tower on a fall day (encrier / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

© encrier / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Aerial panoramic cityscape view of Paris, France with the Eiffel tower on a fall day (encrier / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Analyzing travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth over the past year (September 12, 2019 – September 11, 2020) for all future travel and comparing the six months prior to the pandemic (September 12, 2019 – March 11, 2020) to the six months since it was declared (March 12, 2020 – September 11, 2020), the site found that international trips account for only 47 percent of all insured travel over the last six months compared to 86 percent before the start of the pandemic.


Read More

How Top Travel Destinations Were Impacted By the Coronavirus Pandemic

Noble Horvath

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Six months ago, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, impacting travel worldwide.

Data from travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, reveals how travel to top tourist destinations has been affected since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Drastic Decrease in Travel to International Destinations

Prior to COVID-19, international trips made up 86% of all insured travel, but in the six months following the pandemic declaration, international trips account for only 47% of insured travel.


Top 10 Destinations

6 Months Prior to Pandemic Declaration

% Change in Number of Travelers

Post-Pandemic Declaration















The Bahamas




Costa Rica


Accessible Destinations Replace Europe For American Travelers

European countries accounted for half of the top ten international destinations for American travelers prior to COVID-19.

Read More

Facebook Virtual Reality Guru ‘Embarrassed’ by Lack of Social Experiences for Users During Global Pandemic

Noble Horvath

A consulting executive at Facebook’s Oculus unit says he is “embarrassed” by the lack of social experiences offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, which he asserted should have been the “coming of age” for virtual reality.

a woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: An attendee tries out the new Oculus Quest at the Facebook F8 Conference at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, on April 30, 2019.

An attendee tries out the new Oculus Quest at the Facebook F8 Conference at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, on April 30, 2019.

John Carmack, who is the subsidiary’s consulting chief technology officer (CTO), said in a talk during the Facebook Connect developer conference yesterday that the lockdowns enforced by global novel coronavirus outbreaks were a missed opportunity.


Load Error

In a series of frank comments he listed the names of abandoned projects, saying they could have helped VR users connect with friends and family during the crisis.

“This was the opportunity to defy distance, defy reality,” he said, before acknowledging the Oculus Quest VR headsets

Read More

Student parties speak to risky pandemic management

Noble Horvath

The recent parties that have occurred in off-campus housing — despite strict calls for social distancing in light of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak — spell trouble for students living on or near campus, as well as the greater South Central community.

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to rage in full force across the United States — Los Angeles in particular (L.A. County holds the most cases by a large margin with a whopping 240,000) — the questionable choice for many students to return to USC involves several factors. For some, living situations were not conducive to proper learning; for others, apartment leases were locked in and non-refundable.  

Whatever the reason, students arriving at USC for the fall semester now find themselves in a precarious situation — when presented with the option to finally socialize after months of isolation, students are expected to strictly follow social distancing mandates. Disappointingly and, well,

Read More

Hermosa Beach Among Most Expensive ZIP Codes During Pandemic

Noble Horvath

HERMOSA BEACH, CA — The most expensive American ZIP codes during the coronavirus pandemic include Hermosa Beach’s 90254.

Property Club, a New York City-based real estate company, looked at all residential sales nationwide between March 13 and Sept. 7 to determine the 125 priciest ZIP codes of the pandemic thus far.

The top two in the nation are both in California, with Atherton (94027) coming in at No. 1 with a median home sale price of nearly $6.7 million, and Beverly Hills (90210) at No. 2 with a $4.08 million median home sale price.

“The biggest surprise was that no urban city ZIP codes were in the top 10,” Andrew Weinberger, CEO of Property Club, told Patch. “It’s particularly astounding because when looking at historical numbers, you’ll see multiple New York City ZIP codes near the top.”

The 90254 ZIP code, which covers Hermosa Beach, was No. 74 on the

Read More

Despite Covid-19 Pandemic, Africa Still A Prime Investment Destination

Noble Horvath

Participants Affirm At African Development Bank (AfDB) Webinar For Asian Audiences

The webinar noted that the policy recommendations of the African Economic Outlook Supplement could be regarded as important opportunities for investments

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 14, 2020/ — Participants at a webinar to present the African Development Bank’s ( African Economic Outlook Supplement ( to Asian audiences on Monday have endorsed the report as critical for post-COVID-19 Africa.

The supplement revises the growth projections and outlook for Africa for 2020 and 2021 and highlights the impact of COVID–19 on Africa’s socio-economic landscape. It recommends policy responses to safely reopen economies and accelerate growth recovery.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, investment opportunities still abound in Africa,” said Tetsushi Sonobe, the Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). “Global markets are shifting to South Asia and Africa. In a sense, Africa is not very far for Asian investors who might be

Read More

Outdoor recreation industry sees some rebound from pandemic, but says future remains uncertain

Noble Horvath

Business is starting to turn around for parts of the outdoor recreation industry, which has suffered during the pandemic not only from the shutdown of stores and manufacturing plants but also the closure of national and state parks, trails, marinas and other places where people recreate.

In May, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the industry as the second most affected by the coronavirus-induced downturn, behind the food and accommodations sector, said Lindsey Davis, vice president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.

But Davis said a new survey of the national trade organization’s members shows that the financial impacts are starting to ease as more Americans have turned to the outdoors as options for vacations and entertainment remain limited. Sales of recreational vehicles, boats, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles are setting records, she said during a call with reporters Thursday.

The surging sales and the start of a turnaround for many businesses coincide

Read More

Thomas Cook: Chinese owner plots relaunch in eye of pandemic storm | Business News

Noble Horvath

The Chinese conglomerate which bought the Thomas Cook brand after its collapse last year is plotting an imminent relaunch of one of the most prominent names in the British travel industry.

Sky News has learnt that Fosun, which had been a big shareholder in Thomas Cook for several years prior to the company’s demise, is drawing up plans to reinvent it as an online travel agent as soon as this month.

Thomas Cook’s revival will come even as British travel companies face an uncertain future because of the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

An announcement about the relaunch could be made in the coming days, but will depend on Fosun securing the necessary regulatory approvals as well as the introduction of any further quarantining restrictions on British citizens.

If it goes ahead during September, the relaunch would take place around the first anniversary of the collapse of the 178

Read More

Disruptive Global Pandemic Calls for Business Innovations in the Asia-Pacific Energy and Environment Industry, 2020

Noble Horvath

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has brought in new opportunities and business ideas in the midst of economic disruption. The entire value chain in energy and environment industries is affected and it is almost certain that most industry players will register a decline in growth rates in 2020.

Read the full report:

However, some immediate and mid- to long-term opportunities are present, and it is imperative that companies take ownership to thread through such trying times with the available opportunities. The need for various innovative and redefined digital platforms and new business models will be more important in the next 1 to 2 years.Immediate impacts to the energy and environment industries are:
• Overall sluggish growth in 2020
• Local suppliers to benefit due to travel lockdowns
• Post-pandemic to call for safety measures in buildings
• Waste management will prevail due to

Read More

UC system experiences nearly $2B loss as a result of pandemic, seeks federal aid

Noble Horvath

The University of California is pursuing federal funding to alleviate its nearly $2 billion revenue loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UC system has incurred high costs since the beginning of the pandemic and hopes to obtain additional funding if the federal government passes new stimulus packages, said UC spokesperson Stett Holbrook in an emailed statement.

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, which is currently stalled in the United States Senate, could give states a total of $27 billion to help public universities offset costs incurred from the pandemic. These funds would be allocated to institutions based on each institution’s proportion of Pell Grant recipients and total student enrollment, according to the HEROES Act. The amount of funding the UC could get from the HEROES act is not yet determined.

The UC already received $761.1 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act as

Read More