Each year more than 15 million people travel to the United States to enjoy the art and culture in New York, the most famous city in the North American country and one of the great metropolises in the world.
This city is so large that its metropolitan area practically occupies the entire territory of New York State, located in the extreme northeast of the United States and which shares a border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
The main boroughs of New York are Manhattan, Harlem, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Coney Island. Each one has numerous attractions that will surprise the most demanding tourist.
In advance, we advise you to try to hire guided tours to be able to take advantage of your time and get to know the most interesting places in this city of more than 8 million inhabitants as well as possible.
The statue of Liberty
Without a doubt the first point you must visit to enjoy the art and culture in New York It is the famous Statue of Liberty, a gift from France for the first century of American independence in 1876.
It is located on Liberty Island, on the Hudson River and its torch is a viewpoint that offers an impressive view of New York and its skyscrapers.
You can complete this visit by taking the ferry to neighboring Ellis Island, famous for being the entry point for hundreds of thousands of immigrants between 1892 and 1954, who contributed to build and shape this multicultural city.
There is the Museum of Immigration, where you can learn many details of the history of those who came to this land seeking the “American dream.”
New York art and culture: Manhattan and its secrets
The Manhattan area is known as the economic center of New York, where America’s richest families live and do business. But it also houses much of the best art and culture in New York.
An example is the famous catacombs on which the old Cathedral of Saint Patrick stands. There are hundreds of ancient crypts of Catholic families that since the 1700s were part of New York society.
And in this area it is mandatory to visit Times Square, the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Seventh Avenue, today converted into a pedestrian plaza. With its hundreds of billboards, restaurants and bars, it tops the list of most visited tourist places in the world.
Nearby, on Fifth Avenue, you can see the Empire State Building, which was the tallest skyscraper in the world for many years.
Gastronomy in Brooklyn and gospel in Harlem
Brooklyn is another of the most visited areas of New York and offers an excellent opportunity to taste the best food you can find in the United States. The best way to get there is by walking from Manhattan through the Dumbo neighborhood and then crossing the historic Brooklyn Bridge.
There you will find ethnic restaurants that will offer you the best Asian, African, European, Latin American and of course, American dishes. But the specialty of this area are the pizzas, made with the best secrets brought by Italian immigrants.
Another of the areas linked to the best art and culture in New York is Harlem, a district with an African-American population that in the mid-twentieth century was considered a high crime area and full of social problems.
Today it is a place that must be visited to understand the cultural essence of the Afro-American population of this city. Sunday masses with gospel choirs are one of its hallmarks, as well as its “soul” style food.
The 9/11 monument, the essence of the city’s rebirth
On September 11, 2001, the city was rocked by the terrorist attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center, which left thousands of victims and hit the morale of the inhabitants of this great city.
The site of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers is known as “ground zero” and several monuments and monuments were erected there. memorial museums you must visit to learn about this event that marked a milestone in the history of the city and the world.
Nearby are the New York Stock Exchange and the famous Wall Street, the epicenter of the financial and banking power of the Big Apple.
Cycle through the great Central Park
Not only skyscrapers, restaurants and museums make up the best of the art and culture in New York. So is its Central Park (central park), a large area of 341 hectares of forest located in the center of Manhattan, which contrasts with the mass of buildings that surround it.
In addition to walking or jogging on its 92 kilometers of internal roads, you can hire a guided bike tour that will take you from the Bethesda Fountain to Strawberry Fields, passing old building where beattle John Lenon lived, one of the 34 iconic points that can be seen in this area of the city.
Finally, we advise you to prepare a visit to SoHo, one of the oldest places in New York where thousands of Irish, German and Polish blacksmiths and craftsmen made what was necessary to erect the first buildings.
And in the famous Bronx, you can’t miss the joker movie stairs, which have become the biggest attraction in this area today undergoing renovation.
Of course, you should know Little Italy and walk the streets where the Italian-American mobster John Gotti made history. Finish this visit to New York with a tour of Chinatown, the neighborhood that reflects more than 200 years of presence, gastronomy, culture and effort of Chinese migrants in this great city.
Travel restrictions can now be viewed on Real Time Map
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic that affects the entire planet, many countries imposed strong travel restrictions, especially by air.
For several months, only humanitarian flights, food and medicine cargo, repatriation of passengers stranded in other countries or diplomatic flights were authorized.
However, commercial flights were closed practically all over the world for the restrictions imposed to stop the advance of the coronavirus.
Currently some European countries, as well as the United States and others are raising the travel restrictions to the extent that the contagion curve flattens.
The lifting of restrictions from June 21 announced by the Pedro Sánchez government generated a huge wave of hotel reservations in Spain for this summer.
But in many other nations they will remain closed, which has confused thousands of people who want or need to travel outside of their country.
The Timatic system, the basis of the travel restrictions map
The International Air Travel Association (IATA for its acronym in English) decided to create an interactive map that shows in real time which countries have travel restrictions and what are the air routes affected.
It also allows knowing the requirements for travelers on routes that have been reactivated.
So far, it is clear that each country applies different criteria to protect itself against the entry of tourists sick with Covid-19.
The map is managed through the IATA Timatic platform, a large database with information shared by the affiliated airlines about the documents and requirements required for international travel around the world.
But in addition, the map is also fed with information provided by the different governments.
This includes restrictions imposed on travelers according to their nationality, place of residence and place they have recently visited.
Restriction map is updated 200 times a day
Among the data shown highlights which destinations apply travel restrictions totally, partially or even none.
Also shown are places where restrictions current are under observation and could change at any time.
IATA highlights that a work team is responsible for updating this map up to 200 times a day, with the latest information available.
Which countries apply travel restrictions according to the IATA map?
According to the IATA map for mid-June, most countries in the world apply travel restrictions total, which means that non-residents cannot enter their territory.
But there are some variants: Russia, China, India and Argentina apply restrictions total for non-residents, but New Zealand allows the transit of travelers bound for Chile and Brazil.
The United States, the country with the most Covid-19 infections in the world, applies restrictions total to travelers from about 30 European and Asian countries.
At the same time, it forces travelers from a list of 20 countries to enter only through specific airports distributed throughout the United States.
In the case of Mexico, and despite the fact that in this country the pandemic is at the peak of the first wave, there are no type of travel restrictions.
Countries affected in particular
France will delay the opening of its borders with Spain in reciprocity to the Spanish delay in doing its thing.
But others, like Ukraine, reopened their international connections a few days ago, although they quarantine whoever wants to visit them.
Turkey eliminated all travel restriction on June 12, but mandatory medical examination is applied to crews and passengers when getting off the plane.
The case of North Korea stands out, a country already closed to all contact with the outside world, but which usually receives many tourists from China and Japan.
For now, no tourist can enter the country but those who travel for business with the government or state companies are allowed to enter.
In this case, a mandatory 14-day quarantine must be complied with.
For its part, the map shows that there are no defined rules regarding air entry to Syria, Yemen, Niger and Libya.
Pandemic Alert Service
Simultaneously to the map of travel restrictions, IATA launched a subscription service to receive information on the health situation in each part of the world.
To subscribe, you just have to go to the IATA Travel Center page and look for the affiliation section to the health bulletin and enter our email.
You will immediately begin to receive notifications and daily alerts about the number of cases, restrictions health or any data of interest related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Where can I consult the interactive restriction map?
The interactive map of travel restrictions can be consulted on the web, visiting the page IATA Travel Center from a computer or mobile device.
The IATA also points out that this information “is provided during the Covid-19 crisis as a service to the industry.”
This means that given the impact of Covid-19 on the world tourism and air transport sector, IATA accepted the calls of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to all countries of the world.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, ICAO has asked governments and operators to agree on policies and actions to protect travelers against contagion and guide them in the midst of this global health crisis.
The importance of knowing the restrictions before traveling
According to the assistant director of Timatic and deputy director of IATA, Anish Chand, travelers need to know in time which countries have their borders open.
They also deserve to know which ones travel restrictions apply, before planning your flights for business or pleasure.
Chand said that this map is very important at a time when “the aviation industry prepares for its safe restart.”
In this regard, it indicated that 80% of travelers surveyed by IATA-affiliated airlines expressed fear of catching Covid-19 during their trip to certain destinations.
But in addition, they also complained about not having a reliable way of knowing the restrictions and quarantines that countries impose on travelers.
Thanks to the IATA interactive (and free) map, tourists from around the world will be able to better plan their next trips in the midst of the coronavirus contingency.
Playa del Carmen News: Millennial Aquifer Causes Sinking!
Residents of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo are surprised by the latest news from Playa del Carmen, one of its main tourist destinations.
And it is that the collapse of a section of the road between Playa del Carmen and the famous Tulum beach has uncovered an underground cave with a lake that is thousands of years old.
The first news reported by local television indicated that it was a simple sinkhole due to the action of filtered waters from a nearby stream.
These waters, theoretically, had eroded part of the roadbed causing it to sink.
However, news from Playa del Carmen today They changed when it was concluded that it was something much older, a cavern formed millions of years ago.
A very old cavern becomes the center of the news of Playa del Carmen
Speleology experts were called in to go down to the cave and explore its interior.
In no time they ran news from Playa del Carmen about the discovery of conduits and tunnels that connect the cavern with other caverns, grottos and balconies.
They quickly ran news on the discovery of fossils of bivalves, cave crustaceans and sea snails.
It is estimated that most of these spaces and the aquifers within them were formed during the Pleistocene and Holocene periods, that is, 2.5 million years ago!
This type of caves with lagoons is typical of this region and attracts many explorers.
What’s more, they compete with beautiful “open-air” lakes such as the amazing Australian lake, also close to the sea, whose waters are pink.
Un Cielo de Caracoles, another news from Playa del Carmen today
The studies were carried out at the request of the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change of the Solidaridad Mayor’s Office, Quintana Roo state.
Archaeologists, biologists and speléologists participated, as well as divers Mónica Torres and Michel Vásquez.
From the first moment, they realized that it was not a simple sinkhole due to erosion, but that it was all due to the collapse of the roof of a large underground cave.
A peculiarity of the formation is that the ceiling of the cavern was full of remains of fossil mollusks, which is why they called it “Heaven of Snails”.
New news highlights its relationship with the local flora
Other news disclosed by the exploration team indicate that fossils of so-called “brain” corals were found.
This shows that the current cave floor was once exposed to ocean currents.
In addition, the aquifer in its interior nourishes a large number of species of trees, palms and shrubs, whose roots descend several meters from the surface to the bottom of the cave.
In total, 16 varieties of jungle trees were identified, as well as 14 species of the “Palo de Lana” tree and a species of palm tree among the species that take water from this natural formation.
A system untouched by man, for now
The president of the Círculo Espeológico del Mayab (indigenous name of the Yucatán region), Roberto Rojo, added that he revealed more news from Playa del Carmen.
He assured that the aquifer inside is totally “transparent”, which means that it has been contaminated or affected for thousands of years by any external agent, be it animal or mineral.
But one of the news most interesting revealed is that unlike other underground lagoons or cenotes present in this area, the water inside is brackish.
This indicates that there is penetration of seawater somewhere, so it could be vulnerable to the entry of contaminated water from hotels and tourist beaches located nearby.
More news: the cave looks like a squashed balloon
Other news from Playa del Carmen today
disclosed is that the cavern has a “flattened” globe shape with a long, narrow beak at one end.
Inside there is a “beach” 60 meters long by 20 meters wide (1,200 square meters).
In addition, it was discovered that the cavern completely crosses the Playa del Carmen-Tulum highway and that the peak at its end may be the remnant of a connection with another yet undiscovered ancient cave.
As for the lake inside, it is 4 meters deep, while from the “beach” to the roof of the vault there are another 4.2 meters high.
The Mayan Train, a risk to the cave and its aquifer
Rojo expressed the concern of Mexican experts about the future of this magnificent cave, as it is located in the place where the “Mayan Train” project is being carried out.
This is a large government project to strengthen passenger and cargo vehicle and rail transportation systems throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.
This region is famous for the Mayan pyramids and the ancient city of Chichén Itzá is one of the three wonders of the world to know if you travel to Latin America.
This project, which began in 2018 and is due to finish in 2024, has generated many disputes between politicians and environmentalists, as reflected in the news in the Mexican media.
This project may now be the main enemy of the newly discovered cave.
In fact, using typical Mexican humor, the cavers gave the cave the name “” The Train takes me “before the possible fate it will suffer if measures are not taken to protect it.
Vehicles and the train, a risk to the stability of the cave
This fear is not unfounded, because during the inspection made to the cave the group of experts could hear the noise of vehicles passing by on the road above the cave.
“This led us to think about the effects caused by large road and rail developments in the region,” he declared.
The news On the subject, they focused on the recommendations of the group of experts to reinforce the area around the collapse so that it does not yield to the continuous passage of heavy vehicles.
He also recommended locating and protecting the water sources that feed the aquifer to avoid contamination by human action.
But the most logical recommendation is to divert the path away from the place occupied by the underground cave.
He also warned against the proposal of some unscrupulous contractors to “fill in” the cave in order to repair the road.
It asserted that it would destroy a natural formation protected by the Regulations for Caves, Cenotes and Caverns in force in the municipality of Solidaridad.
Causes of the collapse
Since April and despite the Covid-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping Mexico, the authorities ordered the continuation of the Mayan Train works on the road between the beaches of El Carmen and Tulum.
These are two of the most famous beaches in the state of Quintana Roo and are visited by millions of national and foreign tourists throughout the year.
As reported by local TV channels in the last news from Playa del Carmen, workers piled up lots of heavy material and equipment over and over again.
This could weaken the ceiling of the cave causing its collapse
Tourism of Madrid and Barcelona falls to Covid-19
The trips to Spain In the summer season they suffered a sharp fall due to the coronavirus crisis and thousands of foreign tourists canceled their trips due to border closures and fear of contagion.
But now that the trips to Spain from the rest of Europe, things are not flowing as well as expected.
The worst thing is that domestic tourism, a lifeline in times of lean cows, has also been hit hard and does not seem to recover in the short term.
Madrid and Catalonia will see less influx of national tourists this summer than many other regions.
Instead, trips to Spain and within it they seem to have as their preferred destination the regions of Galicia, Asturias and Andalusia.
This has been reflected in the II Report #Loving Torism, which makes it clear that fewer Spaniards want to visit Madrid and Catalonia in the remainder of the year.
Travel to Spain, the fall of domestic tourism
The report was produced by CastroConsulting Marketing & Strategy as part of the #Loving Tourism initiative to support domestic tourism.
Under the name Study on the Travel Intention of the Tourist Resident in Spain during the De-escalation Phase, a universe of 6,936 Spaniards over 18 years of age was surveyed.
These people were interviewed between May 11 and 24, at a time when the country was advancing the de-escalation of confinement due to the pandemic.
The most striking result is that only 40% of national tourists intend to travel this summer.
In addition, 67% have plans to travel 2 or 3 times between July and December 2020, although it is not something already decided.
Tourism in Spain: a shrinking domestic demand
The most striking thing about the study is that it was clear that the pandemic continues to leave its mark on tourism in Spain, one of the economic sectors that generates more jobs in the country.
In itself it is very negative that trips to Spain by foreign tourists are still below normal as a result of the pandemic.
But the worst thing now is that domestic tourism may decline by 21% with respect to the normal if all those who assure that they will travel this summer really do.
In the event that Spaniards who haven’t made a decision yet end up staying home this summer, the contraction of tourism in Spain could reach 59%.
Such a scenario would put thousands of operators, hoteliers and service providers in check.
In fact, in April Barcelona was already without tourists due to the pandemic and this seems to be going on for a long time.
Are there still those who can do tourism in Spain?
Many people maintained a level of personal or family income during the health crisis that would hypothetically allow them to do tourism in Spain, if they wish.
According to surveys carried out during the de-escalation phase, a 48.3% of the interviewees were able to work relatively normally despite the health crisis.
Another 25% of those surveyed did suffer economic consequences from the pandemic, either falling into some form of ERTE, losing their job or ceasing their activities.
The rest of the respondents stated that they had not suffered changes in their economic and labor situation as a result of the pandemic.
16.5% indicated that they were not active because they were students or retired and another 9% were already unemployed when the situation broke out.
The “seasonal adjustment” of demand
Another trend that will emerge as a result of the pandemic is that there will be a change in the preferred dates to travel during the summer and end of the year.
This process of “seasonal adjustment” implies that most of the tourist movement will not be seen during August, as has been the tradition for decades, but rather many will now travel in July and September.
In this regard, 57.5% of national tourists are expected to travel in August, while 40.3% will do so in July and 38.5% in September.
Who wants to travel out of peak season?
National tourists residing in Valencia, Castilla La Mancha, Cantabria, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are the most likely to travel outside the high season of August.
Among them, those who are older or who were unemployed or retired before the pandemic stated that they would travel in September and October.
For their part, more young people showed a tendency to prefer August or December to go on vacation.
Travel to Spain and within it: the car will be the preferred means
The pandemic also left a kind of collective paranoia regarding social distancing.
This is reflected in an obvious distrust of Spaniards to travel by train or bus, at least for now.
For this reason, car will be the means of transport of the Spanish tourist this summer, as it will be for many foreigners on their trips to Spain.
Contradictorily, many do not know the measures to apply when traveling by car in times of pandemic, so they will not be as protected as they think.
In terms of preferred accommodation, most will use the hotels of a lifetime, but there has been an increased interest in renting apartments, seasonal homes or country houses.
Those who have a second property at the destination do not hesitate to use it, even if they lack some of the comforts that a hotel could provide.
I want a hotel room, but one that is disinfected
Many hotels were used as temporary accommodation for Covid-19 patients or foreigners in quarantine, but this does not seem to worry the majority of national travelers.
79% state that I would use hotels that have served for the health emergency, but provided that they have been properly disinfected.
Only 21% were reluctant to use these facilities, mostly families with children and young people.
One thing to applaud in all of this is that Spaniards learned the lessons of the pandemic well.
The vast majority of respondents stated that will demand the disinfection of their hotel rooms, that staff wear masks and that there is disinfectant gel within reach in bathrooms and common spaces.
Nor would they see badly the arrival of bubble hotels and screen restaurants, which are proposed to protect customers and employees against contagion.
As well showed a willingness to let themselves take their temperature
before entering a restaurant, terrace or entertainment place.
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