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COVID When the Camino once again has Pilgrims Part II...

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
Thanks everyone for the great contributions to my original question. Your thoughtful input has changed, informed, and molded my thinking. Through the process I’ve decided it best to let go of any idea of walking in 2020. Like everything about this virus crisis it’s been an unfolding path of understanding.

Ok, my next question for you to ponder is this: in what ways do you imagine the Camino will be changed once again people are walking?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I can see that many of the businesses along the way will not survive. So there will be less infrastructure until it builds up again. My gut feeling is that it will take a few years before international travel gets back to pre-corona virus days. So there will be less international pilgrims.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Ok, my next question for you to ponder is this: in what ways do you imagine the Camino will be changed once again people are walking?
Just some of my gut feelings, I haven't thought through these potential scenarios in greater depth:
  • Everything will quickly return back to normal (end of the year, next year?) although travellers from further away will be hesitant to travel to Spain for camino walking for much longer than Spanish and European travellers.
Or:
  • There will be travel restrictions for visitors to Spain for a long time, either blanket restrictions, or quarantine restrictions after entry into Spain, or requirements for health certificate. Travellers will receive a paper or a stamp in their passports and compliance will be controlled each time you check into an albergue or a hotel.
Or:
  • Dormitory-style accommodation or at least large dormitory-style accommodation will no longer be allowed.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
After seeing how small businesses coped here during the last recession I think that family owned albergues will be the ones to survive, most would own their own properties and have family members as staff. On the other hand those that bought properties and spent a lot of money doing them up are less likely to survive.
If pilgrims start to return in growing numbers over the next few years the infrastructure will slowly build up again.
 

RennieArchibald

New Member
Just some of my gut feelings, I haven't thought through these potential scenarios in greater depth:
  • Everything will quickly return back to normal (end of the year, next year?) although travellers from further away will be hesitant to travel to Spain for camino walking for much longer than Spanish and European travellers.
Or:
  • There will be travel restrictions for visitors to Spain for a long time, either blanket restrictions, or quarantine restrictions after entry into Spain, or requirements for health certificate. Travellers will receive a paper or a stamp in their passports and compliance will be controlled each time you check into an albergue or a hotel.
Or:
  • Dormitory-style accommodation or at least large dormitory-style accommodation will no longer be allowed.
IMO..there will be no normal until a vacine is develped and distributed
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
It took nearly three years for airline travel numbers to get back to what they were before 9/11. Though these two events are obviously very different, it does suggest that it will be a very long slow road. I would think the impact of the pandemic on the world economy will be much harsher, by a large factor, than 9/11. I know that the travel industry was already bracing for the end of the baby boomer generation in the next 20 years or so — as the last generation in the US with guaranteed pensions, many predictions were that the bottom would fall out of retiree travel, which is a huge part of the US traveling public.

A friend of mine has joked that the coronavirus was Mother Nature‘s way of sending us to our room because of our bad behavior, and it will be interesting to see if we get the message.

My initial reaction was that in terms of camino impact, the “return to normalcy” would likely see a spreading of peregrinos across some of the less traveled caminos, where social distancing comes from the nature of the camino itself. But those are also the caminos with a lot less infrastructure, so maybe their future is more precarious.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I can see that many of the businesses along the way will not survive. So there will be less infrastructure until it builds up again. My gut feeling is that it will take a few years before international travel gets back to pre-corona virus days. So there will be less international pilgrims.
That's a good call Kanga, I feel you might be right there. So it's up to us who live here in Spain and Portugal to get out there when we can and try and support a little and encourage any short haul/low cost friends and family to join us. I'm going to do a bit this year if I can, albeit not a complete Camino, but we can support some of the Camino infrastructure with whatever we spend along the way in bars, shops and albergues plus any museums etc.
There might be some good air travel deals going to try and stimulate early takers, so maybe think of 1 or 2 week Camino journey instead of the more usual 4 to 6 weeks. Just an idea
 

MitPunkten

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2018
Camino Frances 2019 until Fisterra
I think next year will help the albergues to reopen. Dont forget, it‘s a holy year again! I really hope it helps the albergues to survive.
 

Rex

Pilgrim Trekker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
via Francigena (1st Half ~ 6/2021)
There will be fewer albergues/hostels and fewer eating establishments along the Way, at least for a while. No way to recover quickly in the short term. Several US economic pundits are suggesting this will be a deeper global recession than we've seen at any time since the US Great Depression of the 1930's. A bit sobering to consider.
There are discussions underway in some US States about issuing some sort of "immunity passport" for those who have tested negative or have the antibodies to COVID. It seems quite possible that by 2021, there could be some return to international travel, as most countries will be eager to restart the tourist trade, as long as they can test and confirm that incoming visitors are not bringing the virus with them, or are susceptible to getting the virus while visiting.
Our thoughts and prayers for the safety and health of all the albergue owners and families, whom we look forward to seeing again in the not too distant future.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
The albergue owners will definitely be impacted as described, but I think @Kanga is also right that the small businesses -- the small tiendas and bars -- may have a tougher time.

I also suspect that the casa rurals and other small reservation-based sleeping options may be impacted. Maybe I am generalizing too much, but I suspect that the "down to basics" pilgrims -- the campers and albergue stayers -- will be faster to begin re-populating the route. Businesses that cater more to folks who are nervous about staying in albergues or who have physical and health concerns that make albergue living difficult, will be slower to come back -- they were already concerned or had risk factors before -- now? Then again, maybe people will flock to the casa rurals because they are more nervous about communal albergue living.

One thing I do agree with is that until there are effective anti-viral treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, things are not going to return to normal. I am a caregiver to my 88 year old mother in law. While I might be willing to travel, I can't take the risk of exposing her to anything I pick up. I think I am not alone in this. Some will be able to return earlier, but many will not.
 

Mark L

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planned : Le Puy to Saint Jean de PdP in 2020 then Saint Jean to Santiago in 2021
I’m in France so would travel when we could, I doubt I’d be keen to be in a packed hostel anywhere till ther is a vaccine though ... which is in part and issue for the thing for me ... because I’d like to have that “group feeling”, but once I can I will. Having said that, I’m used to wilderness expeditions with bikes and canoes so it isn’t too hard for me to make that doable with isolation too

i honestly doubt there will be open group hostels anytime this year anyway.
travel may be possible but from limited destinations this year.
i was actually due to be completing the French side today ... that went well then ... but it doesn’t matter, I’ll do the rest when I can and could think of nothing I’d like better now than being out on this.

best wishes to all and stay safe till you can pick this up again
 

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