I just really hope borders open soon, no matter what it takes.

I just really don't think it's going to happen.

Let's hope for the best...

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Mar 19, 2021Liked by Stuart McDonald

This is exactly the sort of thing you should be writing about remind us of the joys of travel. Stuart can not help but think as I read these posts that you could turn them into a fabulous book with your stories and accompanying pictures.

We all worry about those wonderful local hosts, restaurant, bars, guesthouses and guides and how if they will survive the pandemic

Just keep up the good work, you bring back good memories for me and even when you go to places I have not been to still has me itching to be able to travel again. As I was half way through responding got a Facetime video call from some friends in Chi Phat reminding me again of just what I am missing. the good news is that they appear to be surviving but I am somewhat confused as they tell me that they get fined for not wearing masks outside and then see pictures of parties and local weddings with hundreds and not a mask in view

As for the future of travel publishing then I too worry and share Antonia's views to a certain extent in that yes there will always be a market for those who wish to deviate off the banana pancake trail BUT the question is how do you cover the costs of being able to research these places. One idea might be voluntary contributions with info on guesthouses, transport and things to see and do from "trusted friends" as they travel around to supplement the work of the likes of David, Nicky and yourself

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Mar 19, 2021Liked by Stuart McDonald

Unfortunately these questions rather assume that travel publishers are still around when Covid recedes. Considering how small the profits were before Covid, and the downward trend of the past decade or two, I rather suspect the remaining traditional publishers will have folded, and the only ones to reopen will be the digital-only ones, without the fixed costs of permanent offices and distribution. And how many of the digital publishers have paid travel writers (apart from TF)?

So I think Covid will have further accelerated the trend away from guidebooks and traditional travel writing, towards people planning their trips on Instagram. There will always be some demand for deeper research, of course, for the part of the population who wants to go where the crowds aren't, or wants to understand more about the places they go, but that has always been a minority. So TBH I don't think the travel writing industry has much of an impact any more (sorry!).

So my feeling is, give it a few years, and the overcrowding into trendy spots and the challenges of over-tourism will be right back to where it was pre-Covid.

I guess I'm just a massive cynic....

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