There are two kinds of realities that confront us at this point in time. On the one hand is this world, the post-Coronavirus lockdown world where one is trying for things to get normal, where one is desperate to see things get fine. Coping with hardships is the real challenge right now. And, on the other hand, there’s the pre-COVID lockdown world, a part of our reality which is now etched in the past, where things were fine and working at the usual pace.
Back then, things were normal; now is a tough time.
You could say, the difference between the two is pretty much as exhaustive and stern in some ways as is the challenge to go near an old, ancient relic or say, a dilapidated building right at the dead of the night. You just don’t want to go near it; there are always places you simply want to keep off from.
Having said that, this is just the kind of feeling one experiences right now in Paris or Barcelona. The dreaded negative thought and sheer horror isn’t stemming from some gothic building that you just don’t want to get near to. Well, there are always some worries that have a human connection. The big tension is stemming from the fact what if the new rush of tourists arrives at either Paris or Barcelona: what might happen then. What is going to happen in such a case?
And this isn’t some random worry. In the course of the last few months, there have been days where the only trending news from some of the most widely-visited and popular touristic cities has concerned the toll of dead bodies.
In fact, both Spain and France have suffered from an exasperated sense of despair that few would’ve thought would happen for real. Having said so, the dominant picture or news from two of the most buzzing European cities has concerned the destinations sporting a deserted look.
Nothing’s been anything remotely close to being prosperous. With no tourists, hence no thriving activity, no cafes, restaurants, bars, discotheques, or bistros, much of the world whether in the land of the mystical Catacombs and the Eiffel Tower or in the sphere of the Matadors has been ‘locked up!’
You could say, this was a phase where one simply avoided the possibility of finding any human interaction whatsoever. The time for cleansing.
But now, as things gradually become normal and cities begin again- refreshed and anew- there’s an absolute worry creeping in the mind of Spain and France, among the most-visited nations in Europe each year.
The common doubt and in turn, big question is- what happens if the large swathe of tourist returns to the cities that are so often on the top of the list of everyone wanting to go ‘explore?’
What becomes of Paris and Barcelona, then, who’ve already received a massive hit in the recent times?
Meanwhile, here’s a piece of data sourced from the Forbes publication that actually arrests the main cause of worry of both France and Spain, and it states:
Covid-19 has killed more than 27,000 people in Spain, and tourism has been badly affected.
The previous year, 7 million visitors spent €7 billion ($7.8 billion) in Spain.
And whilst Barcelona badly needs its tourists back, its locals have been enjoying walking Las Ramblas, without being asked the way to the cathedral or Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia Basilica, as the latter is still closed.
The mayor, Ada Colau, promised before Covid-19, to limit the airport’s expansion.
Meanwhile, France too is treading cautiously:
Paris is the number one visited city in the world (with 19 million visitors annually) and suffered heavily under border controls, which opened June 15, but haven’t allowed visitors for months.