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Domestic tourism is a global trend of 2021 – News

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This trend could shape the future of international travel, which will take longer than expected to recover.

According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the number of international tourists dropped by 83% in the first quarter of 2021 due to widespread travel restrictions.

According to the organization, with a 73% drop in arrivals, 2020 was recognized as “the worst year in the history of the industry.”

Unable to travel abroad, tourists stayed in their countries of residence, often encouraged by governments seeking to support local economic recovery.

According to the expert on socio-cultural trends Cecile Poinan, in China, “the younger generation has long appropriated Chinese culture, and there is a government willingness to repatriate money” from tourism.

With the pandemic, the Chinese have traveled across a “vast territory,” “between Tibet, Hainan, Xishuan, there are many interesting places to visit,” and “travel agencies are developing in that direction,” according to Xishuan.

To stimulate domestic tourism, the Chinese government has authorized, for example, duty-free shopping in the island province of Hainan, an initiative that is popular with young people with more resources.

In a study earlier this year that showed the domestic market will be the engine of recovery, McKinsey Consulting highlighted “China’s growth”, which has already regained “80% of its tourism activity,” highlighting “finding destinations in nature” among the richest young customers. …

“lasting phenomenon”

According to the World Trade and Tourism Council (WTTC), which brings together major travel operators, in the United States in 2020, local tourists generated 95% of tourism revenues, up 10 points from 2019.

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In Europe, authorities are also encouraging local travel, such as to France, where the government talks about “summer blue, white and red,” or Luxembourg, where shopping coupons are handed out. The journey will also be intra-European.

“The real movement that we have seen and that we will see again this summer is the sum of domestic tourism. This is a long-term phenomenon, ”said Sebastian Manco, tourism specialist Roland Berger, in an interview with AFP.

In general, according to the WTO, 60% of experts expect the growth of international tourism in 2022. Half of them estimate that it will not return to 2019 levels until 2024.

“This crisis has greatly favored domestic tourism,” confirms AFP Didier Arino, head of the consulting firm Protourisme. According to Arino, this is something “very good”.

“You cannot reduce the impact of tourism on the environment and not be happy with the development of local or domestic tourism. The arrival of foreign clients is responsible for 70% of the CO2 emissions from tourism, ”he adds.

“The creation of domestic markets for two years leaves traces, but positive ones,” insists Sebastian Manco, for whom “caring for the environment is becoming more and more important”.

According to a study by a consulting company, 58% of Europeans take environmental criteria into account when organizing their stay.

“The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the transformations taking place in the tourism sector: something that would have taken five years or more took only a few months,” added Manco.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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