I took 5 COVID-19 tests to go to Hawaii, and it was worth it


I took 5 COVID-19 tests to go to Hawaii, and it was worth it

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Kings vs. Timberwolves – Game Recap – April 5, 2021


MINNEAPOLIS — — D’Angelo Russell scored 25 points in his return from knee surgery and Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 116-106 win against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Anthony Edwards scored 19 points for Minnesota and started the Timberwolves’ push in the fourth after the teams went back and forth for three quarters. Russell continued Minnesota’s push ahead with a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth.

Russell came off the bench in his first game since Feb. 8. He missed 26 games.

“It felt good,” Russell said of playing with Towns. “I think when you put players out there that just know how to play basketball and try to take advantage of the opportunity each possession. More likely than not, it’s going to be a nice little vibe out there. So, it was cool.”

Juancho Hernangomez added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Wolves off the bench as Minnesota’s reserves outscored Sacramento’s bench 60-16.

De’Aaron Fox had 31 points for the Kings, who lost their fourth in a row. Harrison Barnes added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Buddy Hield scored 18.

“It’s finding that consistency and how we play, and not playing to our opponent,” Barnes said. “I think every single night we match whoever is on the floor. If we’re playing a good team, we’re going to bring our ‘A’ game. If we’re playing a team that’s even with us in the standings, then maybe our effort is less. Whatever it is, we always come out a different way every single game based off who we’re playing.”

The veteran Barnes helped Sacramento to a strong start with 12 of his points coming in the first quarter. But neither team could pull away.

Minnesota used a 10-2 run to close out the third after the Kings’ looked to take control and kept the running going in the fourth with Edwards continually bulling his way to the rim on drives. Russell, on a minutes restriction, then provided a closing punch and finished with 24 minutes.

“He came in off the bench and does what he does best, be DLo, ice in his veins in the fourth quarter,” Towns said. “He did exactly what he needed to do to show how special he is to us.”

TIP-INS

Kings: Hassan Whiteside returned after missing six games with right knee soreness. Whiteside played 13 minutes and had seven points. … Marvin Bagley III missed his 12th straight game with a broken bone in his hand, but coach Luke Walton said he’s working out and will “rejoin the team soon.” … Hield was fined $20,000 by the NBA for directing inappropriate language toward officials following Saturday’s loss to Milwaukee.

Timberwolves: Coach Chris Finch said Russell’s minutes would be “pretty limited. ” Since acquiring Russell in a trade from Golden State on Feb. 6, 2020, Towns and Russell have played a total of six games together. … Ricky Rubio returned after missing two games with back spasms. … Jaylen Nowell missed the game with a right tibia contusion.

BEASLEY INJURED

Minnesota announced that guard Malik Beasley will miss four to six weeks with a left hamstring injury after he had an MRI reveal a Grade 3 injury. The team said he’ll be assessed in three weeks.

Beasley, who missed 12 games earlier this season due to a suspension, missed the previous game with the injury. He’s second on the team averaging 19.6 points this season.

HELLO, FANS

The game marked the return to fans at Target Center for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The announced attendance was 1,436. Previously, Minnesota had lifted restrictions to 250 friends and family in attendance.

“I was telling somebody last game, I love the Philadelphia fans even though they boo every time,” Edwards said. “I love the fans, they bring energy to the game.”

UP NEXT

Kings: Return home to face the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.

Timberwolves: Travel to Indiana to play the Pacers on Wednesday.

——



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Kings vs. Timberwolves – Game Recap – April 5, 2021


MINNEAPOLIS — — D’Angelo Russell scored 25 points in his return from knee surgery and Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 116-106 win against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Anthony Edwards scored 19 points for Minnesota and started the Timberwolves’ push in the fourth after the teams went back and forth for three quarters. Russell continued Minnesota’s push ahead with a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth.

Russell came off the bench in his first game since Feb. 8. He missed 26 games.

Juancho Hernangomez added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Wolves off the bench as Minnesota’s reserves outscored Sacramento’s bench 60-16.

De’Aaron Fox had 31 points for the Kings, who lost their fourth in a row. Harrison Barnes added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Buddy Hield scored 18.

The veteran Barnes helped Sacramento to a strong start with 12 of his points coming in the first quarter. But, Neither team could pull away.

Minnesota used a 10-2 run to close out the third after the Kings’ looked to take control and kept the running going in the fourth with Edwards continually bulling his way to the rim on drives. Russell, on a minutes restriction, then provided a closing punch.

TIP-INS

Kings: Hassan Whiteside returned after missing six games with right knee soreness. Whiteside played 13 minutes and had seven points. … Marvin Bagley III missed his 12th straight game with a broken bone in his hand, but coach Luke Walton said he’s working out and will “rejoin the team soon.” … Hield was fined $20,000 by the NBA for directing inappropriate language toward officials following Saturday’s loss to Milwaukee.

Timberwolves: Coach Chris Finch said Russell’s minutes would be “pretty limited. ” Since acquiring Russell in a trade from Golden State on Feb. 6, 2020, Towns and Russell have played a total of six games together. … Ricky Rubio returned after missing two games with back spasms. … Jaylen Nowell missed the game with a right tibia contusion.

BEASLEY INJURED

Minnesota announced that guard Malik Beasley will miss four to six weeks with a left hamstring injury after he had an MRI reveal a Grade 3 injury. The team said he’ll be reassessed in three weeks.

Beasley, who missed 12 games earlier this season due to a suspension, missed the previous game with the injury. He’s second on the team averaging 19.6 points this season.

HELLO, FANS

The game marked the return to fans at Target Center for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The announced attendance was 1,436. Previously, Minnesota had lifted restrictions to 250 friends and family in attendance.

UP NEXT

Kings: Return home to face the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.

Timberwolves: Travel to Indiana to play the Pacers on Wednesday.

——



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5 reasons why you should add Moldova to your post-pandemic travel list | News


CHISINAU, Moldova, April 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — We’re writing with good news: over 20 Moldovan hotels, wineries and guesthouses have received a Covid-19 Safe Travel certificate from the World Travel and Tourism Council. So, if you’re looking to discover a new country, all while enjoying fabulous foods and wines, here is why Moldova, the least visited country in Europe — with an 83% drop in tourism since the pandemic — should be on your list once you can travel:

In Moldova, you will taste some of the best wines you’ve ever come across.

A trip to at least a few wineries included in Moldova’s Wine Route should be on any traveler’s bucket list. The country offers remarkable enogastronomic experiences ranging from fine dining and tastings of award-winning wines at fairytale-like chateaus, to artisanal wines paired with home-made traditional food.

You will enjoy beautiful natural scenery and a slower life connected to nature

Moldova charms its visitors with its rich history and unspoiled nature. The Sarmatian-sea canyons at Duruitoarea Veche will make you feel as if you landed on a Lord of the Rings film set, much like the medieval caves and rock-carved monasteries at Orheiul Vechi and Saharna. Moldova is one of the few countries in Europe where people can still experience slow village life — a simpler life, involving sustainable farming, calming for the body and mind.

But if you’re the active kind, there’s enough for you to do here too

Active visitors can undertake a soft adventure activity like kayaking, hiking through centuries-old woods, biking, or participating at marathons in the Cricova Cellars that hold the Guinness Book of World Records recognition as the largest underground wine cellar.

You can also get a glimpse of Soviet architecture and history

This year Moldova celebrates 30 years of independence. Yet, the better part of the complicated Soviet past is still visible in urban architecture, especially in Transnistria.

And why not take a tour of writers’ houses, to discover more of Moldova’s stories?

Discover Moldova’s modern history by visiting writers’ and artists’ houses, turned into museums. The house of Moldova’s foremost contemporary poet Grigore Vieru in the village of Pererâta, is an example of the economical and perfectly composed peasant architecture. Meanwhile, Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s house in Chișinău, where he was exiled, is a sample of early 19th century urban history.

Moldova: A place to find yourself

#moldovaaplacetofindyourself

Video – https://youtu.be/TiJ_aJhDT4s

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1477499/ANTRIM_Orheiul_Vechi.jpg

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/5-reasons-why-you-should-add-moldova-to-your-post-pandemic-travel-list-301258716.html

SOURCE National Inbound Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM)



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Holiday roadmap to be unveiled on April 5


• ‘Traffic light system’ that could unlock holidays

• Which countries could be ‘green’?

• When can I go on holiday?

• The best UK beaches to enjoy the heat wave

• Sign up to the Telegraph Travel newsletter

The UK’s holiday roadmap will be unveiled on April 5, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce was expected to report on April 12, but yesterday evening Boris Johnson confirmed the announcement will be made one week earlier than planned on April 5, with further detail to be given on April 12.

May 17 is the earliest date that foreign holidays could resume, and yesterday a group of forty MPs sent the Prime Minister a letter urging him to avoid delaying the ban on travel any further.

They said that it was “paramount that the restart of international travel provides the opportunity for businesses in the aviation, travel and tourism industries to begin their long journey back to recovery.”

Industry insider Paul Charles said: “I’d read much positivity into the fact we’re going to get one overseas travel announcement on April 5 and then greater detail on the 12th. You don’t announce bad news twice.”

Scroll down for more updates.





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5 Southern California trails that take you to the edge of the ocean | Travel


LOS ANGELES — Here are five Southern California trails that do something most hikes don’t — take you to the edge of the ocean. They’re mostly flat, which is why hardcore hikers often scorn them, and some are busy on weekends. They range in length from a little more than a mile to a little more than 7 miles.

Are these walks or hikes? You decide.

Either way, they’re part of a vast, incomplete project known as the California Coastal Trail. The idea is to link and build coastal trails so that a hiker could cover the state’s entire coast, a journey of perhaps 1,270 miles depending on how you connect the routes.

This is more than a crazy dream. In 1972, voters backed an initiative requiring that “a hiking, bicycle, and equestrian trails system be established along or near the coast” and that “ideally the trails system should be continuous and located near the shoreline.”

Almost 50 years later, the California Coastal Commission, Coastal Conservancy, state parks system and Caltrans have many miles and many years to go on this joint project, with funding cobbled together from public and private sources.

As officials are quick to point out, this trail is not a single line, like the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, but a braided network of paths, some designed for hikers only, some for bicycles, some for equestrians.

“All of the easy things have been accomplished,” said Gregory Fearon, co-chair of the coastal-access group Coastwalk in Sonoma County. “We’re now facing the ones that are harder.”

Among the many gaps remaining: parts of Camp Pendleton in San Diego County and Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara County, where homeowners have waged a legal fight against access advocates for years.

But hundreds of miles of coastal trails have been blazed. Coastal Conservancy officials say that if you add up trail segments from the Mexican border to the Oregon border, the effort is roughly 60% complete.

“With every foot you add, you get that much closer to connections between segments,” said Linda Locklin, public access program manager for the California Coastal Commission.

In the meantime, hikers have sources such as ModernHiker.com, AllTrails.com (or app), SoCalHiker.net and the Coastal Commission’s YourCoast app (which lists access points but not trail systems).

Here, north to south, are five Southern California coastal trails.

Point Dume Cove Trail

Point Dume State Beach, Malibu

Distance: 1.4 mile-loop, 347 feet of gain. No dogs or bikes.

This is a busy but highly satisfactory network of trails. From Cliffside Drive, a slight uphill walk of a few hundred yards brings you to the point’s highest part, a flat-topped hill with a commanding panorama of ocean, beach and coastal bluffs.

I showed up on a brisk day, ideal for a beach walk, and there were dozens of us on the paths. I can picture some nasty foot traffic in the hour before sunset, but I can’t imagine a better place to stand and scan the sea for gray whales, which are common from February through April.

You get a wide view of Santa Monica Bay from the point’s high ground or the 200-yard boardwalk near the top of the hill. As a plaque notes, Point Dume got its name from English explorer George Vancouver, who sailed by in 1793, attempted to name it for Francisco Dumetz, a Franciscan priest at the Ventura mission, and apparently left out the “tz.”

Besides savoring the view from up top, hikers usually can take a side trail down to some tide pools. But it was taped off in February, with a crane parked at the site. Rangers say new stairs to the tide pools will be installed by the end of March.

Northwest of the high point, follow the main trail to a rocky promontory that looks down on Pirate’s Cove Beach and a jumble of black rocks and tide pools. To your right, the broad, sandy expanse of Point Dume State Beach reaches northwest and blends into Zuma Beach.

I covered the entire network of paths at the point in about 90 minutes (with plenty of time for photography). If you like, you can add more steps by strolling north up the beach toward Zuma and doubling back later. It’s all flat sand.

Tip: To start at the beach, take Malibu’s Westward Beach Road to Birdview Avenue, then park at Point Dume State Beach. To start atop the bluffs, head for the 29200 block of West Cliffside Drive, where there are 10 two-hour parking spots. If they’re full, continue to Grasswood Avenue, turn left and look for street parking once it’s legal.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Huntington Beach

Distance: 4½-mile loop, 78 feet of gain. No dogs or bikes on trail.

The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve covers about 1,300 acres. You can make this route longer or shorter, according to taste. If you love birds or if there’s a great sunset, you’ll want to cover the same 4½ miles that I did, and maybe even add the adjacent Brightwater Trail. To add beach mileage, cross Pacific Coast Highway to Bolsa Chica State Beach, which is 3 miles long.

If you’re not big on birds and you’re walking in not-so-dramatic light, this area may prove a bit dull (the scenery doesn’t change much) and loud (cars roar past on Pacific Coast Highway).

I did share some pleasant moments with a great egret, and I liked the boardwalk over the water and the inland portion of the Bolsa Pocket Loop, probably because there were a few tall trees and I was farther from PCH. Trails are a mix of dirt, blacktop and boardwalk.

Tip: There are two small parking areas (each free, with portable toilets). If you park in the one at 3842 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach, start with the Mesa Trail, which segues to the Pocket Loop Trail, the wide path atop the flood control channel and Inner Bay Loop Trail. If you park in the lot accessible from northbound Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll do that backward, beginning with the Inner Bay Loop.

Salt Creek Trail

Laguna Niguel and Dana Point

Distance: 7.6 miles out and back, 849 feet of gain. Dogs on leashes and bikes allowed.

This multiuse trail, in the heart of O.C. suburbia, was mostly empty on a Saturday morning, but it got busier as I made my way west on the wide, paved path curving to follow Salt Creek. (Besides traditional cyclists, be ready for plenty of e-bikes humming past.) I didn’t see snakes or hear frogs, but both are said to show up here and there.

The route begins with a gentle descent and leads through a classic Southern California landscape of chaparral and rolling hills, passing through three tunnels under busy streets (Niguel Road, Camino del Avion and Pacific Coast Highway).

The trickiest bit came after the tunnel under Niguel Road, when a hiker/walker faces three choices. You want the least obvious one — the uphill path to the far right, nearest to Fratello’s restaurant.

Near the trail’s western end, it skirts the Monarch Beach Golf Links and ends at Salt Creek Beach Park, north of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. I happened to arrive just as the morning fog was lifting and a handful of guys were getting ready to take a pair of goats surfing.

In other words, just another beach weekend, right?

Tip: Start at the inland end of this route at Chapparosa Community Park in Laguna Niguel, where parking is free. The trailhead is next to the park’s baseball fields.

Bluffs Beach Trail

San Onofre State Beach, San Clemente

Distance: 3.8-mile-loop, 216 feet of gain. No dogs allowed on the beach.

Think of this hike as a pandemic silver lining. San Onofre State Beach is usually busy with campers. But because the state campground is closed as an anti-COVID-19 measure, you can just about have the trails and beach to yourself, especially on weekdays.

As you drop down to the beach from Trailhead 3, a spectacular coastal panorama will open to the southeast (and if you’re hiking in the morning, the light in that direction might be dramatic). You’ll be surrounded by coastal brush and crumbling cliffs that are at once beautiful and daunting. A sign notes that “more than 80 percent of the cliffs at San Onofre are considered to be actively sliding.”

I headed right up the coast (northeast), toward the twin domes of the idle San Onofre nuclear generating plant. Most of this route is a walk on the beach, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

If you arrive at or near high tide (as I did; bad planning), much of the sand will be underwater, and you’ll need to trudge along on well-tumbled stones, some the size of pingpong balls, some the size of watermelons. They are fascinating to look at (many are eerily round) but taxing to walk on. When the tide retreats over those stones, it makes a great rattle.

It’s just shy of 2 miles from Trail 3 to the Cristianitos fault, a dramatic example of this region’s geologic instability. You’ll know when you’ve arrived: Along the cliff face above you, the spot is marked by the beginning of a big blond band of rock — a layer so abrupt and even that at first I thought it had been put up by Southern California Edison. (The twin domes are less than a mile up the coast.)

On the way back, I took the fairly steep Trail 2 to the top of the bluffs, paused a minute to pant, then followed a dull blufftop path back to my car. In all, I saw five surfers, three hikers, a handful of cyclists and a handful of rangers in their cars. Three calming hours. Next time, I’ll be tempted to explore the territory southeast of Trail 3.

If you try this hike, thank the Marines. The 3,000 acres of San Onofre State Beach are owned by the Marine Corps (along with the rest of Camp Pendleton) and leased to the state of California. The lease expires Aug. 31, but the Marines have tentatively agreed to an extension of at least three years.

Tip: Once you drive into the park (5200 S. Pacific Coast Highway, San Clemente) and pay your $15 day-use fee (open 6 a.m. to sunset), follow an access road that parallels the coast, lined by parking spaces and trailheads, numbered 1-6 from north to south. Start at Trailhead 3 (which is better marked than some others).

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Beach, La Jolla

Distance: 3-mile loop, 300 feet of gain. No dogs allowed on trail and beach.

Botanists will hate me, but for most of us the pines are the least of this place. The rocks, dirt and water rule.

As at San Onofre, this 2,000-acre reserve’s trails cover crumbling cliffs and a long beach, best enjoyed at low tide. But these sandstone cliffs are taller and the trails are mostly on top of those cliffs, offering commanding views. Whenever you go, from 7 a.m. to sunset, there will be plenty of people.

It’s a great family spot, though it does include the challenge of more than 100 sandy stairsteps between beach and clifftop.

I followed the Beach Trail (¾ mile) and took detours to Red Butte and Yucca Point Overlook (½ mile) on the way. The trails, some bordered by cables, cut through coastal sage scrub. From the high points, the fragility of the ravines is clear. From below, so is the power of the sea.

After meandering on the beach and sampling the tide pools, I took the Beach Trail back up top, then avoided crowds by taking the reserve’s longest trail, the Broken Hill Trail’s north fork (1.2 miles) along the clifftop and through the chaparral and sagebrush, with a half-mile walk from the trailhead to my car.

One drawback to this route: You won’t get close to any Torrey pines, which are North America’s rarest pine tree species. For that, take the Guy Fleming Trail to the North Overlook. (And remember, if you hiked all six of the reserve’s trails, it would be less than 10 miles.)

Bottom line: The whole thing is spectacular. When I close my eyes and imagine my favorite Southern California scenery, this place pops up.

Tip: On entering the reserve (12600 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla), pay the $12-$25 day-use fee (demand-based pricing). Then choose option 1: Park near the beach in the South Beach Lot (which fills first) or the North Beach Lot, then hike up the road to the cliff top and down to the shore again. Or option 2: Drive to the Upper Lots atop the cliffs, park at the trailhead, and hike down to the beach and back up again. I chose option 1 to be up high for sunset and avoid walking next to vehicular traffic.



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5 big signs that travel is roaring back


He told CNN’s Julia Chatterley earlier this week that people are beginning to think about their future travel “very quickly.” Reservations on the travel website for some parts of the United States this summer are “all booked up” and he expects Europe will soon follow as the number of vaccinations grow.
Of course, “normalcy” for the travel industry is still a long way off because of the lack of business travel and the continued closure of many international borders. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still urging Americans — even those who have been vaccinated — not to travel.

But leisure travelers itching for a getaway have helped spur demand for US airlines, Airbnb and hotel chains.

Air travel is soaring

Executives from American Airlines (AAL), United (UAL), Delta (DAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) all said this week that they’ve seen strong demand for seats from leisure travelers. Bookings have been particularly strong during the traditional spring-break period and going into the summer.

“The last three weeks have been the best three weeks since the pandemic hit,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said about advanced ticket sales. “We’re getting very close to 2019 levels in total bookings.”

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes echoed the optimism, saying there’s “a lot of pent-up demand.” He added: “As people are getting vaccinated, they’re jumping on airplanes to see people they haven’t seen in year.”

In a note to employees Thursday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said it has “seen positive momentum in recent weeks,” adding that it could break even sometime soon. “This gives me optimism that a return in demand is underway,” he said.

TSA numbers are climbing

That demand is being reflected in data from the Transportation Security Administration.

Air travel is up from a year ago for the first time since the pandemic began. About 1.4 million people passed through US airport security checkpoints on Thursday, according to the TSA, up from the 780,000 who were screened on the same day last year.

More than 8.8 million people have flown in the last seven days, and more than 1 million people were screened each of the last eight days — the longest such stretch of the pandemic.

Still, Thursday’s numbers are still at a heavily depressed level, because it’s roughly 60% of the traffic the same day in pre-pandemic 2019.

Airbnb’s top towns

Bookings for “warm weather locales, small beach towns, and access to state and national parks” are fueling Airbnb. The home-sharing website said this week that it’s seeing more bookings because of “pent-up travel dreams.”

Among the most-searched cities and regions on Airbnb are southern Maine, the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and Montana. The number of people searching for properties with outdoor spaces was 35 times higher compared with the same travel period a year ago.

Big deals

Extended Stay America (STAY)announced this week that it’s being taken private in a $6 billion deal. It’s the latest green shoot for the beleaguered hotel industry, which, to put it lightly, had a dismal 2020.

The budget-minded chain has about 650 hotels across the US. The company fared better last year compared with its competitors because it was attractive to traveling medical professionals and other essential workers who had to work during the pandemic.

Blackstone and Starwood Capital will evenly split the company, with the owners betting that the chain will continue to grow. A Starwood executive told The Wall Street Journal that they expect people in training programs, couples getting divorced or moving might stay at the hotel in the future.

Disneyland is finally reopening

Disneyland and its sister theme park California Adventure announced plans this week to reopen with limited capacity on April 30.

Disneyland is the Disney’s flagship theme park located in Anaheim, California. It has been closed for more than a year because of the pandemic.

“It’s the final sign that things are getting back to normal for the Disney company,” Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, told CNN Business of the reopening. “Having Walt Disney’s original park closed, even with the others being open, was still a reminder that something was amiss.”

For now, only California residents may visit the parks because of state health guidelines, the company said. Safety measures include mandatory masks for guests over the age of 2, social distancing and use of a new ticketing system to help manage capacity.

–CNN Business’ Chris Isidore and Frank Pallotta contributed to this report.



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5 big signs that travel is roaring back


Vacation deprivation is about to be replaced by a travel boom, according to Expedia CEO Peter Kern.

He told CNN’s Julia Chatterley earlier this week that people are beginning to think about their future travel “very quickly.” Reservations on the travel website for some parts of the United States this summer are “all booked up” and he expects Europe will soon follow as the number of vaccinations grow.

Of course, “normalcy” for the travel industry is still a long way off because of the lack of business travel and the continued closure of many international borders. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still urging Americans — even those who have been vaccinated — not to travel.

But leisure travelers itching for a getaway have helped spur demand for US airlines, Airbnb and hotel chains.

Here are some major signs that there’s a travel turnaround:

Air travel is soaring

Executives from American Airlines, United, Delta and JetBlue all said this week that they’ve seen strong demand for seats from leisure travelers. Bookings have been particularly strong during the traditional spring-break period and going into the summer.

“The last three weeks have been the best three weeks since the pandemic hit,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said about advanced ticket sales. “We’re getting very close to 2019 levels in total bookings.”

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes echoed the optimism, saying there’s “a lot of pent-up demand.” He added: “As people are getting vaccinated, they’re jumping on airplanes to see people they haven’t seen in year.”

In a note to employees Thursday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said it has “seen positive momentum in recent weeks,” adding that it could break even sometime soon. “This gives me optimism that a return in demand is underway,” he said.

TSA numbers are climbing

That demand is being reflected in data from the Transportation Security Administration.

Air travel is up from a year ago for the first time since the pandemic began. About 1.4 million people passed through US airport security checkpoints on Thursday, according to the TSA, up from the 780,000 who were screened on the same day last year.

More than 8.8 million people have flown in the last seven days, and more than 1 million people were screened each of the last eight days — the longest such stretch of the pandemic.

Still, Thursday’s numbers are still at a heavily depressed level, because it’s roughly 60% of the traffic the same day in pre-pandemic 2019.

Airbnb’s top towns

Bookings for “warm weather locales, small beach towns, and access to state and national parks” are fueling Airbnb. The home-sharing website said this week that it’s seeing more bookings because of “pent-up travel dreams.”

Among the most-searched cities and regions on Airbnb are southern Maine, the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and Montana. The number of people searching for properties with outdoor spaces was 35 times higher compared with the same travel period a year ago.

Big deals

Extended Stay America announced this week that it’s being taken private in a $6 billion deal. It’s the latest green shoot for the beleaguered hotel industry, which, to put it lightly, had a dismal 2020.

The budget-minded chain has about 650 hotels across the US. The company fared better last year compared with its competitors because it was attractive to traveling medical professionals and other essential workers who had to work during the pandemic.

Blackstone and Starwood Capital will evenly split the company, with the owners betting that the chain will continue to grow. A Starwood executive told The Wall Street Journal that they expect people in training programs, couples getting divorced or moving might stay at the hotel in the future.

Disneyland is finally reopening

Disneyland and its sister theme park California Adventure announced plans this week to reopen with limited capacity on April 30.

Disneyland is the Disney’s flagship theme park located in Anaheim, California. It has been closed for more than a year because of the pandemic.

“It’s the final sign that things are getting back to normal for the Disney company,” Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, told CNN Business of the reopening. “Having Walt Disney’s original park closed, even with the others being open, was still a reminder that something was amiss.”

For now, only California residents may visit the parks because of state health guidelines, the company said. Safety measures include mandatory masks for guests over the age of 2, social distancing and use of a new ticketing system to help manage capacity.

–CNN Business’ Chris Isidore and Frank Pallotta contributed to this report.



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