Charlotte Street Partners



From overtourism to no tourism

Written by Ralitsa Bobcheva, associate 
Edited by David Gaffney, partner
16 September 2020

Good morning,

Recently, I have caught myself craving that feeling of anticipation that comes with just knowing there’s a trip around the corner. Travel is in our genes – much of the existence of our species has been defined by a nomadic lifestyle – and might justifiably be considered an essential human activity. 

As the coronavirus pandemic struck, though, global overtourism became no tourism overnight. Months of restrictions on global mobility has seen entire economies dependent on foreign travel withering. Travellers have suffered too, with vacations, family reunions, business trips and weekend getaways cancelled.
Some have missed the experience of flying so much that a peculiar trend has emerged: Asian airlines such as Garuda and Santan have started catering in-flight meals directly to customers. Yes, there are people who actually buy a curried fish dish packed in white plastic and served on a tray to recreate the ultimate air travel experience at home. 

There are other ways in which the travel industry has been adapting to our limited freedoms of travel. A handful of forward-looking countries around the world have introduced remote-working visas which, as UCL PhD anthropology researcher Dave Cook argues, will shape not only the future of travel but also that of work and citizenship.

Albeit initially aimed at attracting digital nomads, the new visa schemes are becoming more and more appealing to the rising number of remote workers worldwide. While Bermuda has implemented the programme only this year in a bid to buffer its hard-hit tourism sector, in Estonia, for instance, this new type of tourism is a project already two years in the making. 

It is no secret that even before the pandemic, global tourism was already on an unsustainable path, with significant levels of carbon emissions and damages to local communities caused by overtourism. 

In that sense, the new take on visas by a few countries would turn some tourist locations into remote work destinations and tourists into citizens. And indeed, local economies in some of the countries which have extended their 90-day entry visas are already facing a seismic shift in behaviour, such as visitors joining gyms and booking accommodation for months on end.

With many of us still stuck at home, we have the rare opportunity to pause and ponder the way forward. While the paths are many, the goal should be one: to make the future of travel as sustainable as possible.


Health secretary Matt Hancock has admitted that the Covid-19 testing crisis could take weeks to resolve as it has emerged that tests from hospitals are being deployed for use in the community to make up for shortfalls. This comes after the surge in coronavirus cases has led to increased testing demand of up to 50% in two weeks.

Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have signed historic accords at the White House in a bid to establish formal diplomatic relations with the US. These are set to end a decades-old taboo in Arab diplomacy as power and priorities shift in the Middle East.

Yoshihide Suga has been elected Japan’s new prime minister, following Shinzo Abe’s resignation due to ill health a month ago. A close ally of Abe, the new prime minister is expected to provide continuity for his predecessor’s policies.

Business and economy

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has sought to reassure people that he considers “creative” ways to protect sector specific jobs after end of the furlough scheme. According to The Telegraph, these could include plans for a limited extension of the business rates holiday, which applies to the retail, hospitality and leisure industry and runs until the end of this financial year. (£)

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK unemployment rate rose to 4.1% in the three months to July. Economic hardship has resulted in 695,000 people losing their jobs since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, according to the latest payroll data. 

Experts have said that more than 200,000 jobs could be created across the UK by 2050 if the potential of the North Sea to support the transition to a clean energy system is maximised. The finding comes from a new report by the Wood Mackenzie energy consultancy for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, which maps out a way forward for the key offshore energy sector.

Columns of note

In The Atlantic, Peter Beinart argues that while Joe Biden has addressed climate change in campaigning to date, his response has come too slow as he is obeying the dictats of the Electoral College. While this cautious approach might help Biden get elected, it will make it harder for him to take any dramatic action on climate change as he wouldn’t be able to claim a popular mandate, says Beinart. (£)  

Writing in the Financial Times John Kampfner looks at the hard-learned lessons which Germany has to offer the rest of the world. Germany’s greatest advantage, Kampfner argues, is its realisation long before others that countries cannot be successful if regional imbalances are not tackled. Hence the success with which Germany has dealt with not only this pandemic, but also previous crises. (£) 

Cartoon source: The Telegraph


London stocks closed higher yesterday as the UK published its latest jobs data and China released robust industrial output data. 

The FTSE 100 was up 1.32% at 6,105.54, and the FTSE 250 was 0.78% firmer at 17,815.38. Sterling also climbed 0.4% to trade at $1.2898.

In the US, Wall Street’s main indexes finished in positive territory after new data showed US factory output increased strongly in August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 0.45%, at 28,118.84, the S&P 500 climbed 0.93%, at 3,415.11 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.52%, at 11,224.87.

In company news:

Cruise ship operator Carnival has announced it will post a $2.9bn loss in the third quarter, as part of a travel industry battered by the health crisis.

New Look‘ s landlords and creditors have approved restructuring plans which will see the high street chain switching to turnover-based rents at 402 of its UK stores, aligning rent payments with sales performance.

Hitachi is set to abandon plans for a £20bn nuclear power station at Wyfla in Wales due to worries about spiralling costs. (£)  

What’s happening today?

Pan African

Accesso Tech
Advanced Medical Solutions Group
Boku Inc.
Central Asia
Ocean Out
Ormonde Mining
Science Sprt
Shield Thera
The Pebble

Auto Trader
Eckoh Technologies
Games Workshop
Henderson Alt
Jupiter Gr.
Stenprop Limit.

UK economic announcements
(06:00) Consumer Price Index 
(06:00) Producer Price Index 
(06:00) Retail Price Index

Int. economic announcements
(10:00) Balance of Trade (EU)
(12:00) MBA Mortgage Applications (US) 
(13:30) Retail Sales (US)
(15:00) Business Inventories (US)
(15:30) Crude Oil Inventories (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

You lose up to 30% of your taste buds during an airplane flight. The dryness experienced at a high elevation, as well as low pressure, reduces the sensitivity of your taste buds to sweet and salty foods. So don’t be surprised if those in-flight meals don’t taste quite as good in the comfort of your own home.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions

Prime Minister’s Question Time

Ten Minute Rule Motion
Remote Participation in House of Commons Proceedings (Motion) – Geraint Davies

United Kingdom Internal Market Bill: Consideration in Committee (Day 2)

Misogyny in sport – Alex Davies-Jones

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Case for an upper limit on the membership of the House of Lords – Lord Grocott

Oral questions
Ensuring the new planning system will improve building standards, safety, environmental impacts, and the well-being of residents – Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Oral questions
Seriousness of the pollution of England’s rivers and its different causes – Lord Harries of Pentregarth

Oral questions
Biodiversity loss in the UK and meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Targets – Lord Teverson

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – Committee stage (day 4) – Baroness Williams of Trafford

Scottish Parliament 

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

Portfolio Questions

Scottish Labour Party Debate: Sustainable Aviation Beyond COVID-19

Business Motions

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

Approval of SSIs (if required)

Decision Time

Members’ Business — S5M-22614 Stuart McMillan: Museum for Human Rights

Share this post

Copyright© 2020 Charlotte Street Partners