Hotels Around the World Share the View From Their Windows for Everyone Stuck at Home

You’re staying at home and doing your part to halt the spread of coronavirus. Along with many millions of Americans, you’re heeding the advice or orders of professionals and officials. But right about now, you might be getting a bit tired of TV, books, cleaning closets, or whatever has been occupying your newfound spare time.

a view of a pier next to a body of water: At a time when we're all on the inside looking out, Travel + Leisure's World From a Window series offers a change of scenery, courtesy of some of the world's most beautiful hotels.

Museums, performers, chefs, and others have generously created tours, classes, and shows for you to watch. Hotels have invited you to look beyond your block by tuning into their webcams to see what’s happening out there without you.

You know that eventually the time will come for you to travel again, but in the meantime if looking out your own windows is no longer entertaining, we’re sharing window views from hotels around the world to inspire your imagination and maybe even your future travel plans.

Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge – Ridgedale, MO

a wooden table: Courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge

This Camp Long Creek glamping tent looks out over the lush greenery and sparkling waters of Table Rock Lake. One of 19 glamping units, it includes a canopy bed, wood stove, heat, air conditioning, fire pit, and wooden deck.

The Prince Waikiki – Honolulu, HI

a table with a cake in front of a palm tree: Courtesy of The Prince Waikiki

All guest rooms and suites at The Prince Waikiki offer floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, marina, and city skyline.

Turneffe Island Resort – Belize

a tree in front of a window: Courtesy of Turneffe Island Resort

This peaceful scene is Turneffe Island’s private beach and dock, complete with swinging love seat, set in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of mainland Belize.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba – Riviera Maya, Mexico

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Banyan Tree

This all-pool-villa resort features meandering lagoons, white sand beach, the Caribbean Sea, and private pools, as seen in this view from a spacious bedroom.

Ocean House – Watch Hill, Rhode Island

a close up of a street in front of a mirror: Courtesy of Ocean House

This window at Ocean House offers an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean at dusk.

Tierra Patagonia Adventure Spa Hotel – Torres del Paine, Chile

a view of a pier next to a body of water: Courtesy of Tierra Patagonia Adventure Spa Hotel

This stunning view from the indoor pool at Tierra Patagonia Adventure Spa Hotel is Lake Sarmiento in Torres del Paine National Park.

The Moorings – British Virgin Islands

a close up of a boat next to a body of water: Courtesy of The Moorings

This The Moorings charter is sailing from the airport on Beef Island to the Virgin Gorda Baths, Cooper Island, Angeda, then to Jost Van Dyke to explore White Bay, Sandy Cay, for an overnight stay in Great Harbour.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort – Maui, HI

a bedroom with a bed and desk in a room: Courtesy of Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

The Awili Spa & Salon at Andaz Maui offers treatments with ocean views of the coastline along Mokapu Beach.

Capella Lodge – Lord Howe Island, Australia

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Capella Singapore

The Lidgbird Pavilion room at Capella Lodge boasts views of the sparkling Tasman Sea and a lush-green Mount Gower.

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa – Palm Desert, CA

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of JW Marriott

This luxurious room at the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort & Spa offers a view of one of the hotel pools with a backdrop of the San Gorgonio Mountains.

The Cove – Eleuthera, Bahamas

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of The Cove

Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and the blue Atlantic, this stunning private island resort offers guests exclusive access to two white sand beaches.

Il Salviatino – Fiesole, Italy

a bedroom with a large window: Courtesy of Il Salviatino

Il Salviatino, set in lush surroundings only 15 minutes from Florence’s city center, offers stunning views of the Florentine skyline and Tuscan pines on the hills.

Casa Palopo – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

a bedroom with a large bed in a room: Courtesy of Casa Palopo

This 15-room boutique hotel overlooks Central America’s deepest lake and three majestic volcanoes across the shore, with colorful accommodations that are outfitted by local artisans, complemented by inspiring views.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco – Cusco, Peru

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of JW Marriott

The Imperial Suite in this 16th-century convent turned luxury hotel offers views of Cusco’s charming rooftops and the Andean hills beyond.

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino – Palm Beach, Aruba

a hotel room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Marriott Resorts

Wrap-around windows at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino provide stunning views of Aruba’s turquoise waters, beaches dotted with palapas, and the lively pool scene.

Matakauri Lodge – Queenstown, New Zealand

a vase of flowers sits in front of a window: Courtesy of Matakauri Lodge

Set on the banks of Lake Wakatipu just outside Queenstown, the Matakauri Lodge includes 12 luxury suites and a four-bedroom Owner’s Cottage.

The Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa – Bora Bora

a bedroom with a bed in a room: Courtesy of The Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

The Brando Suite at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa boasts 180-degree views of Bora Bora’s island and famous Mount Otemanu. The two-bedroom overwater suites frame the surrounding turquoise lagoon, outdoor terrace, and infinity pool.

Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang – Siem Reap, Cambodia

a building next to a window: Courtesy of Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang

Set within eight acres of lush gardens, lemongrass meadows, and rice paddies near Siem Reap, the Sunset Lounge at Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang is the place to watch the sun melt into the horizon over the paddy fields.

Marina del Rey Hotel – Marina del Rey, CA

a boat sitting on top of a table: Courtesy of Marina del Rey Hotel

This Marina del Rey Hotel suite view overlooks the marina, the world’s largest man-made harbor and idyllic Los Angeles waterfront paradise.

AKA West Hollywood – Los Angeles, CA

a view of a large body of water with a city in the background: Courtesy of AKA West Hollywood

Enjoy views of downtown Los Angeles from a fully furnished suite in this luxurious long-term living property.

Portola Hotel & Spa – Monterey, CA

a bedroom with a large window: Courtesy of Portola Hotel

This guest room at Portola Hotel & Spa overlooks Central California’s picturesque Monterey Bay, near Carmel-by-the Sea.

The Louise – Barossa, South Australia

a chair sitting in front of a window: Courtesy of The Louise

One of the Luxury Lodges of Australia, The Louise offers stunning views of some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vines in the idyllic Barossa Valley wine region.

Kangaroo Island Stays – Kangaroo Island, South Australia

water next to the ocean: Courtesy of Kangaroo Island Stays

Offering views of the beautiful, yet wild Southern Ocean, dream away on Kangaroo Island, known as the wildlife mecca of South Australia.

Sequoia Lodge at Mt. Lofty – Adelaide Hills, South Australia

a bench in front of a window: Courtesy of Sequoia Lodge at Mt. Lofty

South Australia’s newest six-star property in Adelaide Hills offers striking views of Piccadilly Valley and local wildlife including koalas and kangaroos.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort & Spa – Carlsbad, CA

a herd of cattle standing on top of a wooden fence: Courtesy of Park Hyatt

This five-star hotel offers views of coastal Batiquitos Lagoon, golf course, and rolling foothills.

Green Spa Resort Stanglwirt – Tyrol, Austria

a view of a large window: Courtesy of Green Spa Resort

This wellness resort is surrounded by the majestic panorama of the Wilder Kaiser Mountain range.

Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho – Tokyo, Japan

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Marriott International Hotels

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel, looks out over the Shinjuku Park and central Tokyo.

Daios Cove – Crete, Greece

a chair sitting in front of a body of water: Courtesy of Daios Cove

The deluxe sea view room offers unobstructed views of Daios Cove private cove and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Shanghai Edition – Shanghai, China

a view of a city at night: Courtesy of The Edition

This spectacular view from the Shanghai Edition takes in the historical Bund area of Shanghai Puxi, against the backdrop of Pudong’s modern skyscrapers.

The Bodrum Edition – Bodrum, Turkey

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of The Edition

Located on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast just steps from the bay, the Bodrum Edition offers views of the Aegean Sea from most guest rooms.

The New York Edition – New York City

a bedroom with a large bed in a hotel room: Courtesy of The Edition

The elegant design of Ian Schrager, along with its Madison Avenue location, offers comfort, convenience, and spectacular views of the city’s iconic skyline from the New York Edition.

Locke at Broken Wharf – London, England

a bedroom with a large mirror: Courtesy of Locke at Broken Wharf

This newly opened apartment hotel offers views of the Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge, and Shakespeare’s Globe from its location on the north bank of the river Thames.

Castle Hot Springs – Castle Hot Springs, AZ

a vase of flowers on a table next to a window: Courtesy of Castle Hot Springs

This window at the Castle Hot Springs Bar 1896 lets guests view the Bradshaw Mountains while they enjoy one of the bar’s unique and creative cocktails.

The Conrad New York Midtown – New York City

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of The Conrad New York Midtown

The one-of-a-kind Atrium Suite provides stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park. The main living room is set within a glass domed atrium for panoramic views of the sky.

The DeBruce – Livingston Manor, NY

an island in the middle of a table next to a window: @PierreWikberg/Courtesy of The DeBruce

The glass-walled dining room at The DeBruce overlooks the rolling mountains of the Willowemoc Valley. In summer, the glass walls open to create a suspended open-air dining experience.

Hotel Hendricks – New York City

a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table: Courtesy of Hotel Hendricks

The new Hendricks Rooftop, a stylish bar and lounge perched atop Hotel Hendricks, offers craft cocktails and light bites along with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.

Thyme in the Cotswolds – Southrop, England

a vase of flowers on a table next to a window: Courtesy of Thyme

Thyme is an English country destination, nestled in the heart of the Cotswold village of Southrop, with views of the garden and local farm.

Suncadia Resort – Cle Elum, WA

a living room filled with furniture and a fire place: Courtesy of Suncadia Resort

Located 80 scenic miles from Seattle on the sunny side of the Cascade Mountains, this all-season resort offers views of mountains and lush green slopes.

Bodega Bay Lodge – Bodega Bay, CA

a living room filled with furniture and a fire place: Courtesy of Bodega Bay Lodge

Located on California’s iconic Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay Lodge offers spectacular views of the rugged coastline and sparkling Pacific Ocean.

Malibu Beach Inn – Malibu, CA

a room filled with furniture and a pool of water: Lisa Romerein/Courtesy of Malibu Beach Inn

This five-star boutique hotel is set on the coast along a strip nicknamed “Billionaire’s Beach” with panoramic views of the ocean, shoreline, and Malibu’s most recognizable landmark, the Malibu Pier.

Fforest – Wales, United Kingdom

a large bed in a room: Courtesy of Fforest

This unique glamping property with three locations offers views of the tranquil mid-Wales countryside from the large bay window.

Roch Castle – Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom

a view of a living room with a large window: Courtesy of Roch Castle

This five-star hotel offers luxurious accommodations and panoramic views of St. Bride’s Bay and the Preseli Hills.

Ojai Valley Inn – Ojai, CA

a living area with a building in the background: Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn

Lush green hills and the Topa Topa mountain range create a perfect escape from Los Angeles at the Ojai Valley Inn, just an hour and a half away.

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa – Champagne, France

a hotel room with a large window: Courtesy of Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa

From the hotel’s hilltop setting, guests enjoy panoramic views of the vineyards of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa – St. Bart’s

a chair sitting in front of a window: Courtesy of Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

Guests at Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa wake each day to sunshine and views of the Caribbean and white sand beaches.

LondonHouse Chicago – Chicago, IL

a chair sitting in front of a window: Nicholas James/Courtesy of LondonHouse Chicago

This downtown Chicago luxury hotel overlooks the city skyline and the Chicago River that flows out to Lake Michigan.

Holland Peak Ranch – Condon, MT

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Holland Peak Ranch

Set on 1,000 private acres among the Swan Mountain Range on the banks of the Swan River, Holland Peak Ranch offers views of ice lakes, mountain tops, and wildlife.

The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel – Kennebunkport, ME

a bedroom with a large bed in a hotel room: Courtesy of Bodega Bay Lodge

Set on the Kennebunk River steps from Dock Square, the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel overlooks the harbor side of the river.

The Resort at Pelican Hill – Newport Beach, CA

a vase of flowers sitting on top of a wooden table: Courtesy of The Resort at Pelican Hill

This two-bedroom villa offers spectacular views of Newport Beach, Catalina Island, and the Pacific Ocean.

Moxy Chelsea – New York City

a large white bed sitting next to a window: Courtesy of Moxy NYC Chelsea

Floor-to-ceiling windows provide the perfect view of Manhattan’s skyline from the Moxy Chelsea.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof​ – Pontresina, Switzerland

a view of a large building with a mountain in front of a window: Courtesy of Grand Hotel Kronenhof​

This luxury hotel is located in the heart of the idyllic Engadine village of Pontresina, surrounded by the Alps, just a few miles from St. Moritz.

Viceroy Los Cabos​ – San Jose del Cabo, Baja California, Mexico

a room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Viceroy Los Cabos

Located on the Baja California coast, this beachfront property offers views of the Sea of Cortez from floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Langham – Chicago, IL

a large white tub sitting next to a window: Courtesy of The Langham

This 5-star hotel is located along the Chicago River offering fascinating views of the river and Lake Michigan.

Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards – New York City

a bedroom with a large window: Courtesy of Equinox Hotel

Guests at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards enjoy sweeping views of the Hudson River, Hudson Yards, and the New York City skyline.

Canyon Ranch – Woodside, CA

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

View of the vast redwood forest from a “treehouse” room at Canyon Ranch.

Capella Singapore – Sentosa Island, Singapore

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Capella Singapore

View of the Sentosa Island forested area and the South China Sea from a Premier Garden Room at the Capella Singapore.

Harbor View Hotel – Edgartown, MA

a chair sitting in front of a fence: Courtesy of Harbor View Hotel

View of the ocean, lighthouse, outer harbor, and Chappaquiddick Island from the Presidential Skyhouse at the Harbor View Hotel.

Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como – Lake Como, Italy

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Guests at the Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como enjoy a 180-degree view of Lake Como from La Residenza Living Room.

Mandarin Oriental New York – New York City

a large white sink sitting under a window: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Guests at the Mandarin Oriental New York are treated to this bird’s-eye view of Central Park from the luxurious bathroom.

Trunk House – Tokyo, Japan

a vase of flowers sits in front of a window: Tomooki Kengaku

This serene courtyard view is a pleasure at the Trunk House, a 70-year-old geisha house turned boutique hotel.

Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel – Bangkok, Thailand

a large white tub sitting next to a window: Courtesy of Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel

Guests enjoy this panoramic view of Bangkok and the legendary Chao Phraya River at Avani + Riverside Bangkok Hotel.

Ashford Castle – County Mayo, Ireland

a living room filled with furniture and a window: Courtesy of Ashford Castle

This 13th-century castle hotel in western Ireland is set on 350 acres of land overlooking the scenic Lough Corrib.

Angama Mara – Maasai Mara, Kenya

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Angama Mara

This luxury safari lodge, set in the famed Maasai Mara, overlooks the Great Rift Valley, home of the annual Great Migration of wildebeest and zebras.

The Silo – Cape Town, South Africa

a bedroom with a large window: Courtesy of The Silo

At The Silo, guests are enveloped in the Cape Town skyline with incredible views that include Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and the city below.

Schloss Elmau – Bavarian Alps, Germany

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Schloss Elmau

This luxurious spa resort set in the heart of the Bavarian Alps boasts breathtaking views of the soaring Wetterstein Mountain and the rushing Ferchenbach Creek below.

Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé – Le Grand-Luce, France

a person standing in front of a window: Courtesy of Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé

The Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé’s gardens, inspired by the gardens at Versailles, feature finely manicured boxwoods, topiaries, expanses of green grass, and eight extraordinary statues that were gifts from King Louis XV.

L’Auberge de Sedona – Sedona, AZ

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of L’Auberge de Sedona

L’Auberge de Sedona hotel offers panoramic views of Arizona’s stunning Red Rocks and the waters of Oak Creek.

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown – Los Angeles, CA

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

The tallest building west of Chicago provides sweeping vistas of Los Angeles from the coastline of the South Bay to the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Sign.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal – Los Cabos, Mexico

a chair sitting in front of a pool of water: Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

Set on the southernmost tip of Baja California where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez, the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal provides stunning views from every guest room.

Inn at Perry Cabin – St. Michaels, MD

a white sink sitting next to a window: Courtesy of Inn at Perry Cabin

This charming luxury retreat is set along the Chesapeake Bay overlooking Miles River on the edge of St. Michaels, a town steeped in the region’s crabbing and oystering traditions.

Bungalows Key Largo – Key Largo, FL

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Courtesy of Bungalows Key Largo

Located on the northernmost of the Florida Keys an hour south of Miami, this waterfront resort offers private bungalows with sea views and garden outdoor showers.

The Spectator Hotel – Charleston, SC

a hotel room with a bed and a window: Courtesy of The Spectator Hotel

The Deluxe Queen Suite provides a view of historic St. Philip’s Church, one of the attractions and landmarks within a short distance of the Spectator Hotel.

Ritz-Carlton Perth – Perth, Western Australia

a hotel room with a nice view of the ocean: Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

Located in the heart of Perth, the Ritz-Carlton Perth offers views of Elizabeth Quay, the Belltower, Swan River, and the Perth Skyline.

Urban Cowboy Lodge – Big Indian, NY

a room filled with furniture and vase on a table: Courtesy of Urban Cowboy Lodge

Guests enjoy views of the Catskills and Slide Mountain, the highest peak in the range, from Urban Cowboy Lodge.

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa – Koh Samui, Thailand

a view of a garden: Courtesy of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa

From Villa 44 at Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary, overlooking the Leisure Pool and the Gulf of Thailand.

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W Mexico City: Youthful, Earthy Energy

Upon arrival into my gorgeous room at the W Mexico City, I found a note from Diego, my W Insider, with a Lady Gaga lyric.

“Hot like Mexico, rejoice,” it read, appropriately. Inside was the ticket for the National Museum of Anthropology we’d been e-mailing about.

That’s one of the brand touchpoints of W hotels. The W Inside is like a “super concierge,” a neighborhood expert who cultivates neighborhood relationships so the hotel’s guests have a—well, an insider—in their corner.

I myself am not after the hottest nightclub or most exclusive new coffee bar, but in Mexico City’s tony Polanco neighborhood, that’s all to be had for certain. The hotel is across the street from a Bentley dealership a stone’s throw from Chapultepec Park and Avenido Paseo de la Reforma.

Just north of the hotel is the leafy Lincoln Park, where a statue of Abraham Lincoln stands sentry, locked eyes with another statue of Martin Luther King Jr. across the avenue. The surrounding neighborhood is bursting with pasty shops, restaurants with global cuisines and high-end fashion retailers—all with a global sensibility, although I could still get a pack of four hot, fresh churros in cinnamon sugar with hot chocolate from a storefront called El Moro that’s been serving them up since 1935.

Mexico City, for all its notoriety, is one of my favorite places in the world to visit. The vibe here is of a Mexico that’s worldly, cosmopolitan, and eager to enjoy days filled with savoir-faire. I watched families excitedly poring over the exhibits and played in the fountain at the anthropology museum on a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon, and on my walk back to the hotel through the park, I happened upon a single young man who had staked out a place in a dusty clearing, standing stiffly upright, practicing long, sweeping circles with a capote, the magenta and gold cape used in a bullfight.

Any hotel in such an enchanting place would be charming by necessity, but the staff here easily pass the high bar Mexico sets for hospitality, whether they’re pouring sophisticated mescal cocktails in beveled highball glasses at the lobby bar or serving Mexican cuisine with pre-Columbian styles sand flavors upstairs at 25DOS, the hotel’s signature restaurant.

It’s there that I try dogfish empanadas and a lovely chicken broth poured atop piping hot chicken taquitos, and finish the evening with a black sesame cake with dulce de leche, dining alfresco, cooled by the alpine evening.

AWAY Spa worth checking out, if for no other reason than the temazcal, a Mesoamerican sweat lodge heated by volcanic stones and smokey embers over which is poured mint-and-chamomile infused water for an earthy aromatic steam. Well, perhaps the expansive hot tub with city views or the top-notch massage is also reason enough to check out the spa.

25DOS does a lovely breakfast spread in the mornings with fresh fruit and country favorites like eggs with tomatoes, fried cheese and cactus, but I’m told there’s a lovely brunch next door at the JW Marriott Mexico City. A mimosa, an embarrassing number of glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice and countless tacos of salmon and rib eye grilled to order outside next to my table, plus selections from the raw bar rang affirmative that the recommendation wasn’t to be overlooked.

The hotel’s rooms and suites have lovely views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Rooms are brand standard and well maintained, but it’s the suites that are truly jaw-dropping, from the Cool Corner suites to the Marvelous One-Bedrooms which are loft style with a staircase and an upper-level bedroom.

I’m lucky enough to snag the Extreme Wow Suite, which has sweeping views of the city from three directions and a separate butler’s pantry and dining room, a wet bar, two balconies and a cheeky round bed. But the real winner for this suite is the soaring two-story marble bathroom with jetted tub in the center. The glass-walled shower upon first glance appears to be lit by a chandelier, but upon closer inspection that also turns out to be the four separate showerheads, in addition to the four coming from the wall.

It’s the perfect place to cap off a perfect day in this exciting city—a hotel that feels like the pinnacle of luxury in a city that feels like the center of the world.

The Takeaway

W Mexico City’s location, heartfelt hospitality, and art ethos will attract sophisticated, energetic travelers seeking to explore vibrant neighborhoods with youthful vigor.

The Math

I’ve seen rooms as low as $158 USD per night, which varies according to occupancy, season, and exchange rate.

Instagrammable Moment

Lobby art, craft cocktails, views from rooms and suites, and the collection of sugar skulls at 25DOS all rate an Insta-mention.


Marriott Bonvoy

Good to Know

Allow extra time for walking due to the elevation – Mexico City is over 7,000 feet.

When arranging transport, inquire with the hotel staff about travel times—the journey to the airport can be as little as 30 minutes or as long as an hour and a half.

Accommodations and meals were furnished by W Mexico City in preparation for the story.

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What Will US Travel Will Look Like After COVID-19?

Industry leaders are presaging that the face of the travel industry, as well as the ways in which people choose to travel, will be forever changed once we’ve reached the other side of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Opinions and forecasts cite several, sometimes disparate, sentiments believed to be brewing among the public while people remain confined to their homes under self-isolation orders.

Unsurprisingly, safety and a solid sense of security are assumed to be top-of-mind as travelers begin to venture out into the world again, post-coronavirus.

Some suppose that travelers may “test the water” cautiously, while others predict that, coming out of this lengthy isolation, people’s desire to shake off cabin fever will spur them to spring for more adventurous bucket-list-type getaways.

The prevailing opinion among the travel industry leaders we surveyed is that, initially, Americans will opt for experiences closer-to-home, concentrating on getting out-of-doors, seeking off-the-beaten-path locations, avoiding modes of mass transportation and traveling with small groups of trusted companions.

“We’re already beginning to see new trends take shape. For example, travelers will be wary of public transportation and plane travel, choosing to drive via their own cars to explore nearby destinations,” said Lisa Burns, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council. “We also predict there will be a larger emphasis on outdoor, open-air attractions and destinations as social distancing phases out slowly.”

Dan Yates, Managing Director of agreed, “Even if the government gives the green light before summer, many will be reticent to travel and will choose remote, domestic locations like campgrounds over densely populated areas, certainly avoiding transport hubs like international airports.” Yates pointed out, “We also anticipate an increased interest in low-cost travel given the economic impact Coronavirus has inflicted on so many.”

Mary Quinn Ramer, President of VisitLEX, echoed the expectation, “We anticipate many travelers will still play it relatively safe by traveling in smaller groups and choosing closer-to-home, more familiar domestic travel after restrictions are lifted.” She said, “Following this long period of social distancing, we’ll find many people revisiting the places and experiences that fill them with joy.”

Phil Hospod, owner of Rhode Island’s The Wayfinder Hotel, also believes people will largely stick to traveling via private automobile, saying, “We expect to see families, friends, and couples jumping into their cars and hitting the open road. We also predict we’ll see more travelers choosing convenient, nostalgic vacation destinations.”

Despite these near-term trend forecasts, Ramer also predicts that people will be also eager to set things in motion for trips in the farther-off future.

“After being cooped up, people will start to put plans in place for destinations that have always been on their bucket list,” she said, “and they may even be more apt to try adventure-filled experiences with their renewed sense of freedom.”

Those who do travel internationally are expected to take steps to avoid crowds, opting for off-the-beaten-path locales and also booking during shoulder season.

Tomohiro Murakami and Mika White, Founders of Tourism Exchange Japan, said that they expect Japan-bound travelers to seek out smaller, lesser-known prefectures, rather than spending the majority of their stays in over-populated cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

Reflecting upon the effects that our collective, pent-up wanderlust is having on society in lockdown, Paul McGowan, Founder of Study Hotels, said, “Above all, we must remember that travel is an antidote to all this: providing positive, aspirational feelings in the wake of our current confinement.”

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Caesars Temporarily Closes All North American Properties

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, also known as “The Company,” will temporarily shut down its properties in North America.

“It has become clear that we must take this extreme action to help contain the virus and protect the safety and well-being of our team members and guests,” said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio.

The Company will furlough roughly 90 percent of employees and corporate staff, with the remaining 10 percent needed to maintain basic operations. It is not certain how long the closures will last; however, the furloughed staff will remain employees of Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

Furloughed employees will be paid for the first two weeks of the closure period. They can use their paid time off afterward. Employees enrolled in the Caesars health benefit plan will receive 100 percent of health insurance premiums until June 30 at the latest.

“Given the closure of our properties, we are taking difficult but necessary steps to protect the company’s financial position and its ability to recover when circumstances allow us to reopen and begin welcoming our guests and employees back to our properties,” said Rodio. “The Company entered this crisis with strong operating performance, which, combined with the steps we are taking now, are critical to the future of our company.”

All Caesars reservations during the closure period will be automatically canceled. Guests will be refunded within a few days after the closure of the property. All game tournaments and live entertainment events will be suspended at least until April 30.

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Cancun’s 50-Year Evolution

A mere half-century ago, Cancun comprised virtually nothing more than a deserted strip of land with mangroves, jungles and gorgeous virgin beach.

What a difference 50 years make.

In April, the destination is celebrating its 50th anniversary and until the coronavirus crisis, it welcomed an increasing number of arrivals each year.

In 2015 for instance, Cancun welcomed 4,622,286 tourists (overnighters) and 3,829,987 visitors – travelers such as cruise passengers who do not stay overnight. In 2019, those numbers swelled to 6,006,763 tourists and 7,247,606 visitors.

While arrivals numbers have slowed to a trickle in wake of the coronavirus, tourism officials noted that scheduled anniversary celebrations are expected to be rescheduled later in the year.

Cancun, after all, is nothing if not resilient.

“Its strength was tested … when Hurricane Gilbert struck back in 1988 and later in 2005 with Hurricane Wilma,” said Dario Flota, tourism director of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board, adding that the “visible marks of these natural disasters are nowhere to be found,” thanks to “the strong character of its inhabitants, who quickly put the destination back on its feet twice.”

Resort development took root in 1970, albeit at a very slow pace, until FONATUR, Mexico’s National Fund for Tourism Development, stepped in with a tourism master plan for the destination in 1974.

One of the destination’s pioneers, Club Med, began welcoming guests at Club Med Cancun Yucatan upward of 40 years ago.

“For 70 years, Club Med has had a history of uncovering now-popular vacation destinations, and back in the 1970s, Club Med was searching for the perfect spot to open its first resort in Mexico,” said Sabrina Cendral, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Club Med North America.

The company, she added, “found an incredible parcel of land that would allow our guests access to three private beachfront spaces and today, our resort is still the only one in Cancun with private beachfront areas and a quick swim to the world’s second-largest barrier reef.”

Suffice it to say such coveted parcels are a thing of the past. As a case in point, FONATUR is assessing the possibility of limiting growth in Cancun and possibly new complexes in the Hotel Zone.

Indeed, Cancun has come a long way.

“The first time I was in the area was on a family trip in the 1970s, and it was otherworldly,” said Ben G. of FROSCH, a Mexico specialist. “There were very few gas stations and very narrow roads through the jungle.”

One thing that has remained a constant is the destination’s wide-ranging appeal.

“Cancun’s popularity is the result of the perfect combination [of] its tourist attractions: blue sea and white sand beaches; great weather; the Mayan culture and communities; archaeological sites; and [excellent] air connectivity,” said Flota.

And its success has spurred the development and subsequent popularity of the Riviera Maya and beyond.

“To the south and north of both destinations the growth has been steady; an example is the recent development of the exclusive Costa Mujeres destination, which houses the most luxurious resorts of the Mexican Caribbean,” Flota said.

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Venice abandons tourist fee due to coronavirus devastation – but will free entry last?

Italian holiday hotspot Venice has put its obligatory entry fee for tourists on hold after the devastating effects of coronavirus. The controversial fee was due to come into action on June 1 2020, however, following a global lockdown, the city’s officials have decided to press pause on changes for now as part of a budget rethink.


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Originally due to come into action on July 1 2020, the charge would see tourists paying between three and eight euros per day to visit the city.

It would only apply to those heading into the canal filled region for day trips, no those staying overnight.

Plans stated that the council would levy the entry fee, which would start at a standard rate of €3, rise to €6 on busier days, and peak season entry would cost €8.

Those entering on boats or ships would pay €5 per day.

If visiting during “critical” periods including summer weekends they will have to pay €10 (£8.90) to access the World Heritage site which encompasses the city centre and islands of the Venice Lagoon.

However, as the city has been forced to close to tourists amid a global lockdown to tackle the pandemic, local officials have deemed the fee an unwise move to kick start their tourist season.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said that introducing the fee now would be “ill-timed”.

Despite the timing, though, Brugnaro remains positive about the future and said the administration has plans to bring “ a different kind of tourism in Venice” with a battle against overcrowding remaining at the forefront.

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The tourist charge will still go ahead in the future to help aid the local council’s plans, but will not begin on April 1, 2021, instead, a year later than initially planned.

Venice will continue to charge a tourist tax to those who visit the city once the pandemic has eased, but is allowing hotels and other tourist accommodation centres more time to declare it.

The budget also took into account other taxes which may be affected during the city’s closure.

A city that relies upon and thrives because of tourism, Venice has been hit hard by the impact of coronavirus.


  • Coronavirus lockdown turns Venice’s canals clear

The Italian government has been called into action to help keep the city afloat.

This includes extending help to cover debts incurred by businesses as a result of forced closures and to maintain local public transport which has seen a major decrease in revenue with the lack of foot traffic.

he council remain positive about regaining their popularity in the future though, with Brugnaro saying “Venice is Venice.”

In recent years Venice authorities reported a number of antisocial situations with tourists at the centre, one of the main instigators for a change in tourism.

Last summer alone local police handed out 100 fines to tourists for anti-social behaviour in two months.

While the fee may not be on hand to tackle some of these issues initially, the government remain firm that they will continue to combat some of the problems brought about by tourism, and encourage positive tourism for the city.

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Amazing past entries from the Landscape Photographer of the Year comp

Think YOU could win Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020? These amazing entries show just how tough the competition is

  •  The Landscape Photographer of the Year competition has extended the deadline for the 2020 contest
  • The competition is split into four main categories: Classic View, Your View, Urban Life and Black and White 
  • The winners will be announced on October 18 and will be featured in a book and a touring exhibition

Do you think you have what it takes to scoop a prize in the prestigious Landscape Photographer of the Year contest?

If you’re a keen snapper and you’ve yet to enter, there’s still time. The competition – which has a £20,000 prize pot – has had its entry date extended by just over a month due to the coronavirus breakout.

The competition is split into four main categories: Classic View, Your View, Urban Life and Black and White. There are also special awards for Landscapes at Night, Changing Landscapes, Lines in the Landscape and Historic Britain.

The winners will be announced on October 18, 2020, and will be featured in the 13th edition of the Landscape Photographer of the Year book as well as being part of an exhibition that will tour the UK, starting in London in mid-November.

The entrant who creates what’s judged to be the single best image, taking into account all four adult categories, will become the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020 and will win £10,000, with additional cash prizes, from £500 to £1,000, for category winners and runners-up.

The competition is open to anyone of any ability and entrants can submit their content here: Here we take a look at some of the incredible past entries.

This image was taken at Birling Gap in East Sussex in 2016. Photographer Rachael Talibart said: ‘This was taken on a trip to the coast to meet up with fellow members of photography collective Parhelion. When we walked onto the beach, the sunshine was harsh but, as evening approached, the light just kept improving. I wanted a simple foreground as a foil for the dramatic sky so composed to exclude the beach and waited for an isolated wave’

This is an award-winner from 2018, taken by Darryn Kemper at Durdle Door in Dorset. He said: ‘After seeing snow predictions on the forecast, I made the trip to Durdle Door the previous night from Surrey to avoid possible road closures in the morning. I slept the night in my car in minus temperatures in the hopes that I would wake up to something truly magical, and get an image of the iconic location in conditions that may come once in my lifetime. It was all so worth it!’

This stunning image was taken by John Finney in the High Peak of Derbyshire and was an award-winner in 2018. He said: ‘After a difficult journey in the snow, I made it to the top of Mam Tor [a 1,696ft hill], I could hardly stand upright for the blizzards. I decided to make my way down onto the Great Ridge. As the clouds got darker the blizzards got more extreme. I placed the tripod and camera at just the right angle to avoid snow getting onto the lens, and I used a flash gun and a relatively slow shutter speed to highlight the fast motion of the blizzard’

This beautiful image was taken in Honley, West Yorkshire. The photographer said: ‘This was taken in my favourite local woodland. I had been waiting for some time to photograph the heather in the fog. As soon as the conditions were right I headed down there to capture this scene’ 

This incredible image shows St Paul’s Cathedral crowned by the Blue ‘Super’ Moon of January 2018. The photographer said: ‘There were two full moons in January 2018. The second is known as “Blue Moon” and because it was closer to earth than normal also a Super Moon. I decided to try and get it rising over St Paul’s Cathedral from Waterloo Bridge, and found it moving so quickly that I soon abandoned my tripod and had to support the 500mm lens on the railings as I moved quickly back and forth along the bridge – trying to catch the angle as it passed behind the cross above the famous dome’

This captivating image was taken by Rob Oliver in Newbury, Berkshire. He says: ‘I go walking through the woods and fells and often climb the odd hill or two just for the love of being outside and making images that mean something to me’

This striking image was the Urban View, adult class, winner in 2017 and was taken by George Robertson in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire. He said that he waited for a cold, clear and breezy winter evening to allow him to capture the structures lit up against the early evening sky

This image scooped Neil Burnell first prize and £1,000 in the 2017 Your View category. It was taken at Osea Leisure Park in Essex. Neil said: ‘These unique beach huts on the Blackwater Estuary are a minimalist landscape photographers dream. The stylish huts on stilts are finished in soft pastel colours and are perfect for a clean long exposure, especially on a misty morning’

This image is called Serenity in the Snow and was taken by Jay Birmingham near Tamworth. It received a ‘commended’ from the judges. Jay said: ‘When heavy snow arrived this winter, I knew the shot that I wanted to take. A lone tree I had often passed stands on the ridge of a small hill on farmland not far from Tamworth, my home town. After having to abandon my car because of the slippery roads, I walked the rest of the way and found the conditions I was hoping for, with elements of the ploughed field just visible through the snow creating lines up to the tree, which was silhouetted against the white snow-filled sky. I took a number of pictures, but as I was cleaning snowflakes from my lens, a gull swooped into the shot. I swiftly removed my hand and fired off a few shots. When I looked back, I smiled. The position of the bird was perfect and helped capture the peace and tranquillity of the scene’

This image of raindrops on a washing line, taken with a smartphone in Hertfordshire, was highly commended in the 2018 Your View category. Photographer Peter North said: ‘I was fascinated by the concept of submitting a landscape photo where the main component of the image occupies about 90 per cent of the frame, is completely out of focus and needs a macro approach to make sense of it all! This was one of those chance shots we all encounter from time-to-time and, because I did not have my DSLR with me, was captured with my iPhone’


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'Do not come to Brevard': Florida county bars tourists from hotels to help stop coronavirus spread

Brevard County, Florida, on Thursday implemented a temporarily ban on hotel room rentals to tourists to help guard against the spread of the coronavirus. The ban takes effect Friday, reports Florida Today, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network.

a man sitting in front of a laptop: Commissioner Bryan Lober. A special meeting in Viera of the Brevard Commissioners and officials was held at noon on Tuesday, March 31, to address updates concerning COVID-19.

The Brevard County Policy Group — a 10-member panel that convenes when the county is in a state of emergency — unanimously approved banning tourists from renting rooms at local hotels, motels, recreational-vehicle parks, campgrounds or vacation rental facilities for the next 30 days. The restriction also applies to other short-term rentals and other transient rentals, such as time-shares, vacation rentals by owner and Airbnb rentals.

Exceptions will include business travelers who can produce a note from their employer;  those who are working in Brevard County; local residents; and residents who need to isolate away from a family member with coronavirus. Those people still would be allowed to rent such lodging facilities.

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Hotels and motels could continue to operate under those restrictions.

The Policy Group action late Thursday follows a recommendation made earlier that afternoon by the Brevard County Commission, in a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner John Tobia opposed.

Tobia voted no, contending that there is no provable link between tourists renting hotel rooms in Brevard and local coronavirus cases. Tobia said the county could be opening itself up to a lawsuit by imposing restrictions on private businesses like hotels.

He said he based his views on legal concerns expressed by County Attorney Eden Bentley about whether there is a link that could be proven between tourists and the spread of coronavirus to Brevard residents.

“Benjamin Franklin once said that ‘those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” Tobia said after the County Commission meeting. “When confronted with this decision, I asked the director of the Brevard County Health Department whether this taking of liberty was based in science, and she was unable to definitively state that it was. At a time of massive unemployment that will result in devastating consequences, I will not vote to shut down businesses without a compelling and factual basis to do so.”

The Policy Group also unanimously approved a 30-day ban on people being on the county’s spoil islands or sandbar areas along the rivers. Relatively large groups of people congregated on some spoil islands in recent weeks.

The county’s action was taken to help comply with “social distancing” recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the Florida Department of Health

County commissioners had approved the spoil island restriction by the same 4-1 vote, with Tobia opposed. The Policy Group added sandbars to the restriction, fearing people who could not frequent spoil islands would move their parties to the sandbars.

“There is no reason for people to go there and congregate,” County Commission Chair Bryan Lober said during a Facebook Live video message after the County Commission meeting.

Tobia felt that, because the state already is ordering that there not be groups of 10 or more people congregating, it was not the county’s place to ban individuals from the spoil islands.

The Policy Group includes county and municipal government, health, school, public safety and law enforcement officials.

Lober — who also chairs the Policy Group — said violators of the county’s action could be subject to up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, “so it really is not something to be trifled with.”

The county action supplements Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statewide stay-at-home executive order, which takes effect Friday and which the governor is terming “Safer at Home.” 

In a presentation to the County Commission, Florida Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, encouraged commissioners to take the local steps it took — and more. Fine called his proposal “Brevard Stay at Home; Visitors, See You Real Soon.”

Fine said anything the county can do to stop the spread of the cornanvirus should be done.

Fine cited national estimates that indicated the best-case scenario is that 100,000 to 200,000 people will die from the coronavirus in the United States, with the worst-case scenario showing 2.2 million deaths.

Extrapolating those figures to the population level of Brevard, Fine said that could mean 200 to 400 deaths in this county under the best-case scenario, and 4,000 deaths in the worst-case scenario.

“Those numbers are very sobering,” said Fine, who was speaking on behalf of Brevard County’s six-person delegation to the Florida Legislature.

Fine also proposed closing Brevard’s beaches to nonresidents or closing them for a few hours a day to everyone; as well as closing the county’s boat ramps to nonresidents.

Brevard now is the only county on Florida’s East Cost where the beaches are open. Brevard has closed its beachside park and beachside parking areas, but the beaches themselves remain open.

Last weekend, five beachside communities implemented 11 a.m.-to-4 p.m. closings of the beaches. Beaches in unincorporated Brevard remained open throughout the weekend.

Now, six beachside communities — Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic and Melbourne Beach — have implemented more wide-ranging restrictions.

They will limit beach activities to walking, jogging, biking, fishing, surfing and swimming during Florida’s 30-day “safer at home” order amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

Activities such as sunbathing, sitting in chairs, organized sports or lying on blankets will not be permitted on the beaches in those communities.

County commissioners took no new action related to the beaches during their 2½-hour meeting on Thursday, but are likely to discuss the issue again in the coming days.

Commissioners also took no action related to a proposal to restrict use of the county’s boat launches to Brevard residents.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey had proposed not formally implementing the restrictions on hotels renting to tourists.

He suggested instead that he and his Brevard County Sheriff’s Office team prepare an announcement to tourists, telling them that they should refrain from coming to Brevard County for the time being.

But county commissioners decided that they wanted something more formal from the commission and the Policy Group.

“The key point here is that it is our intent here to effectively close Brevard County to tourists,” Ivey said during the Facebook video message after the County Commission vote. “Right now, we are asking those that were planning to come here from a tourist perspective to please refrain from doing so. Do not come to Brevard County.”

Dave Berman is government editor at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 or [email protected] Twitter: @bydaveberman

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: ‘Do not come to Brevard’: Florida county bars tourists from hotels to help stop coronavirus spread

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Emirates airline to resume limited repatriation flights to select European cities

Emirates to resume limited passenger flights to European cities

Cleaning and disinfection of the planes will take place after each flight and they will not carry passengers on return journeys to Dubai, the statement added.

Emirates airline said Thursday it is to resume a limited number of outbound passenger flights from April 6, less than two weeks after its coronavirus-enforced stoppage.

“Emirates has received approval from UAE authorities to restart flying a limited number of passenger flights,” its chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said on Twitter.

“From April 6, these flights will initially carry travellers outbound from UAE,” he said.

A statement issued by the company later Thursday specified that flights would “resume from Dubai to London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels and Zurich, with four flights per week for London and three for the other cities”.

Cleaning and disinfection of the planes will take place after each flight and they will not carry passengers on return journeys to Dubai, the statement added.

Dubai-owned carrier Emirates, the largest in the Middle East with 271 wide-body aircraft, grounded passenger operations last week as the UAE halted all passenger flights to fight the spread of coronavirus.

The UAE, which groups seven emirates including Dubai, has declared 814 coronavirus cases along with eight deaths.

It has imposed a sweeping crackdown, including the flight ban and closure of borders.

Sheikh Ahmed said Emirates, which owns the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos with 113 in its ranks, was looking to gradually resume passenger services.

“Over the time, Emirates looks forward to the gradual resumption of passenger services in line with lifting of travel and operational restrictions, including assurance of health measures to safeguard our people and customers,” he said.

When Emirates suspended flights, it cut between 25 percent and 50 percent of the basic salary of its 100,000-strong staff for three months, saying it wanted to avert layoffs.

Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said Tuesday that Dubai will support the airline by injecting new capital.

Tourism, aviation, hotels and entertainment are key contributors to Dubai’s mostly non-oil economy.

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Disaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as COVID-19 pandemic erupted

An ABC News investigation offers sobering insight into how COVID-19 has spread and penetrated so broadly, so deeply and so quickly in the United States. It also helps explain why Americans, no matter where they live, must continue to heed the warnings of health officials to self distance and why the virus likely was here far earlier than first realized.

a man standing in front of a building: A doctor wears a protective mask as he walks outside Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in New York, April 1, 2020.

With the advent of COVID-19, the world has officially entered a dangerous new phase where a surge in international travel in recent decades served as the springboard — jet fuel, really — for an infectious disease potentially to kill hundreds of thousands in the U.S. and infect the global economy at breathtaking speed.

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it, “I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than any of us know, and we have the virus more than any other state because travelers from other parts of the world come here first.” 

Travel data of passengers arriving in the United States from China during the critical period in December, January and February, when the disease took hold in that country, shows a stunning 759,493 people entered the U.S.

“This is an astonishing number in a short period of time, illustrating how globalized our world has become. Just as people can hop continents with amazing ease, the infections they carry can too,” said Dr. Vinayak Kumar, an internal medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

Those travelers from China included more than 228,000 Americans returning home and hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals arriving for business, academics, tourism or to visit family.

“The numbers are clearly alarming,” Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Health, told ABC News. “It shows that globalization is here, and we have to be better prepared to deal with the impact this will have on all our lives in so many ways.”

Added Wildes: “It is difficult to estimate the portion of travelers coming from China to the U.S. with COVID-19, but fair to speculate that a large number might have been infected at the time of travel.”

a person in a blue car parked in a parking lot: A worker checks a delivery of 64 hospital beds from Hillrom to The Mount Sinai Hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S., March 31, 2020.

While the majority of the travelers likely went to major population centers like New York, Seattle or Los Angeles, with so many arriving, any of the hundreds of thousands could have gone anywhere in the U.S.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University said the outbreak could have started as far back as November, and that there may have been hundreds of cases in Wuhan by early December. On Jan. 14, a different team of researchers from the University of Toronto warned that the outbreak could quickly jump from Wuhan to other major cities because of international travel. 

President Donald Trump restricted travel from China effective Feb. 2, which likely saved lives. But by the time the president acted, much of the damage had already been unleashed, and some 18,000 Americans returned home from China in February and March, after the restrictions were in place. It’s unclear how intensive, if at all, the screening was for the Americans coming home at that point.

“The United States banned travel to China 12 days after the world heard there was an outbreak of severe pneumonia in Wuhan. … The problem was, it was too late,” said Dr. Todd Ellerin, chief of Infectious Disease at South Shore Health and an ABC News Consultant. “Even though there had only been 12 confirmed cases in the U.S. on the day President Trump announces the travel ban, the reality was there were many more unconfirmed cases.”

The data, gleaned from Commerce Department records and additional information compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the request of ABC News, represents the most detailed accounting yet of travelers coming into the U.S. from China and other countries where the virus quickly spread.

ABC News examined data from December, January and February on travelers entering the U.S. from eight of the hardest-hit countries: 343,402 arrived from Italy, 418,848 from Spain and about 1.9 million more came from Britain.

a bench in front of a building: Julian Fernandez Mascaraque, 59, attends the burial of his mother Rosalia Mascaraque, 86, during the coronavirus outbreak in Zarza de Tajo, central Spain, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Combined with those from China, that’s more than 3.4 million people from just four countries — nearly half, about 1.5 million, Americans returning home. Travel from Italy and Spain wasn’t shut down until March 13, with U.K. arrivals restricted a few days later.

The data shows how a highly communicable disease can quickly move throughout an interconnected global community, spreading across the globe in a matter of hours. The novel coronavirus was off to the races before the international community knew what had hit it.

“I think this was bound to eventually happen,” Kumar said. “The high volume of international travel, the lack of screening, the inconsistent hand-washing and cough control … these laid down the perfect conditions for a disease to spread. Add that to a virus that is both largely asymptomatic and has a prolonged infectious period, and you have got a perfect storm of factors for a pandemic.”

The world simply wasn’t ready, even though scientists and medical experts had long warned of such a possibility.

“This is not new,” said John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News Consultant. “We’ve seen this with H1N1, SARS, Zika. We should have had the infrastructure to prepare for this. And we didn’t.

“There was a lack of recognition that a coronavirus emerging in a market in Wuhan could be at our door in a matter of months. Now that it’s hitting the U.S., for the first time really, people are aware of the interconnection and risk.”

Medical experts who spoke to ABC News said it can’t be known exactly how many of these travelers were infected or contagious, but that it’s highly likely some portion carried the virus without exhibiting severe symptoms. Minor symptoms, including coughing, sneezing or a runny nose, may have been ignored, leading to people unknowingly spreading COVID-19.

The novel coronavirus “is extra complicated because of mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, which made it much more difficult to contain,” Brownstein said. “We were caught flat-footed.”

Among the millions of travelers likely were a number of biological ticking time bombs, passengers who’d later infect others at a rate at least double that of the typical flu carrier.

“SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the most disruptive infection the world has seen in the last 100 years, has some features that make it impossible to completely contain,” Ellerin said.

It’s time for governments to rethink how to mitigate the emergence of superbugs, experts told ABC News.

a person in a blue suitcase: Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment moves a body from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to refrigerated containers parked outside, April 2, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York.

“We should recognize that any time there is an emergent event, there is a very good opportunity for global impact,” Brownstein said. “We need to be thinking about emergent diseases as a global concern rather than [something] happening in a particular part of the world.”

Additionally, there have been questions and criticisms about how quickly China alerted the international community, given the extraordinary scale of travel in and out of the country. Questions also have been raised about the Trump administration’s public stance and early response — was the U.S. aggressive enough early on, given the travel numbers? It’s unclear how closely policymakers and health experts weighed the data — or whether they had access to the data. 

Political, business and health leaders now working together to battle COVID-19 risk a repeat of the pandemic without newer, better measures implemented going forward, experts said. That could include more infrastructure, more medical equipment and doctors at airports, new methodologies never before considered necessary: routinely checking passengers’ temperatures, en masse or individually, using quarantine facilities at transportation hubs or storing gloves and masks on planes to be used by people feeling ill.

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