Dear COTRI Weekly readers, this week you will have to make do with an Editorial only. Several members of the COTRI Weekly team are down with CoViD-19, so no collection of the best articles for you this week, sorry.
Despite CoViD-19, tourism is back in force. Here in Northern Germany the Kiel Week took place with three million visitors and several thousands sailing boats competing in races. A parade of big sailing boats (minus the Russian ones) on Saturday, led by the Gorch Fock of the German Navy, was the main highlight. Visitors were enthusiastic that after two years of break the event was back without masks, distance or any other restrictions. “The psychological damage of not having such events”, the speaker of the organisers said, “is bigger than the damage from Omicron B.A.5 in case you catch it.
The major producers of vaccines, Pfizer and Biontech are both announcing for August the roll-out of a new vaccine which is very efficient also against B.A.4 and B.A.5, so hopefully the next winter will not see a new wave of hospitalisations triggered by SARS-2-CoV.
In China in the meantime small signs of opening are appearing, even though the basic pandemic policy has not been changed yet. More air connections are re-established, it has become easier to enter Chinese as a foreigner with a job or a spouse in China, quarantine times have been shortened and even Xi Jinping dares for the first time in 2 ½ years to leave China, albeit only to the SAR Hong Kong to celebrate a quarter of a century under Chinese rule.
By the way, no ruling Chinese emperor even set foot into Hong Kong or Guangzhou. Lin Zexu, the Imperial Commissioner send by the Daoguang Emperor south in 1838, was the highest ranking Central government official until that date who saw Guangdong with his own eyes.
Lin was tricked in 1839 by the Scottish Opium smugglers into “attacking the British flag”. In fact, the destruction of large quantities of opium by Lin Zexu, with the help of sea water and lime, had not resulted in any hostile reaction from London. Only the news of military threats against defenceless British civilians including women and children, arriving a few months later and being somewhat embellished and well publicized by the smugglers, turned public feelings into anger and resulted in the decision by the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, to take military action, resulting in turning Hong Kong Island into a colony with the Treaty on Nanjing in 1842.
After enjoying the meetings and conversations during the Mediterranean Tourism Forum at another previous British colony, Malta, two weeks ago, your humble editor is looking forward to the next trip to Manila to speak at the AGB ASEAN Gaming Summit (July 25-27). It will be a pleasure to have a four hours pre-conference workshop on Monday, 25th of July. The masterclass is entitled “Bringing Back Tourists” and the panel is expected to discuss the trajectory of tourism recovery in Asia, reveal untapped markets, and analyse how tourist behaviour and preferences have changed. Beside your humble editor, Gary Bowerman (Check-in Asia), Dr. Jaeyeon Choe (Swansea University), and the practicioners Takeki Furukubo and Joji Kokuryo, will be part of the panel.
Registration can be done here: https://aseangaming.com/registration . The full pass costs 2,395 USD, but the Summit is a not-to-miss event for everybody involved in gaming resorts and casinos.
As always, all best wishes from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the whole COTRI WEEKLY team!