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Ciao Bella Italia! (Italian: “Hello Beautiful Italy”)
Being the fifth most visited country in the world, Italy is the first to take such bold moves, starting with its largest island, Sicily.
This popular tourist spot is known for its archaeology, seascape, unique Sicilian cuisine, and you guessed it…Sicily has been host to Giro d’Italia over the years.
The regional government has also set aside €10 million to revamp Giro di Sicilia for the next 3 years. 😱🙌🏼
Sicily has since made public, once they are fully reopened, that they will pay a portion of your travel costs to come visit this fall. 😱😱🙌🏼
That means covering half of your airline tickets plus 1 of 3 hotel nights, as well as free tickets to museums and archaeological sites.
Sicily, itself, is looking to spend $50Million! WOW!
Check the Visit Sicily Website for available vouchers. We will definitely keep an eye on this when it launches.
Photo CREDIT: On-Sicily.com
Italian government is already providing “Holiday Bonuses” to lower-income families to spend on Hotel, Beach Resort, or campground stays during 2020.
In addition, hotels will reduce their prices for eligible guests (and claim tax credit to compensate) while travelers can claim expenses as a tax deduction.
For a family of 3 – eligible for €500 (about US$544),
Couples – €300 (US$327)
Individuals – €150 (US$163)
On top of that, if you live in Italian cities, you qualify to receive up to €500 (about US $544) towards the cost of a new bike, scooter, hoverboard or Segway. How cool is that! 🤩🤩👏🏼👏🏼
Update as of 5/26/20:
Italian borders are due to reopen to European tourists on June 3rd for domestic travel only. Parks, bars, restaurants, non-essential shops, and museums have been reopened with specific health guidelines of course. Beach resorts are open, but some hotels have yet to reopen in June.
Starting May 30th, excursions to Mt. Etna will be possible again by cable car.
Here are some of Sicily’s best places to cycle:
Best time to visit: Year-round
By Road Bike from Catania:
26 miles, 8,959ft elevation gain
OR take Mt. Etna on by Mountain Bike:
Best Time to Visit: Apr – Jun, Sep – Oct, as the temperatures are not as sweltering as they are in the summer.
For other cycling routes in Sicily, check out VisitSicily.info.
Mt Fuji Photo CREDIT: Fun-Japan.jp
Next up, すごい Japan!! (Japanese: “Amazing”)
Japan got hit hard with a 99.99% decrease in tourism in April 2020 with only 2,900 tourists vs. a record 32.5 Million international visitors in 2019. 😱😱
Japanese government’s ambitious plans for incentivizing $12.5 Billion towards tourism, which can launch as soon as July, speaks of paying HALF of a traveler’s expenses. 😱😱
This program is still dependent on the country’s decrease in Covid-19 infection rates. Priority is on domestic tourism first, then international. Full details of the program, yet to be released. Will keep an eye on updates.
Why Cycle Japan?
Japan is such an incredible country. On top of cycling Tokyo, one of the most advanced mega-cities in the world, the land outside big cities is not as populated with minimal traffic and has great cycling infrastructure.
Awesome to hear that Japanese drivers are also very courteous. 😍😍
The kindness and warmth of the locals are unparalleled. Well, maybe next to the Philippines. 😍😍
The richness of food, culture, history, and natural environment is definitely worth the trip!
Update as of 5/26/20:
Japan has lifted its state of emergency.
Tokyo carefully opened today with museums, libraries, pools, schools, gyms, and bowling alleys.
International Travel is still banned, but they are one step closer to opening their country.
Here are some of Japan’s best places to cycle:
Ride up Mt Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan standing at 3,776.24 metres (12,389.2 ft)., 2nd highest volcano in Asia.
Climb Route via Gotemba Line.
Best time to visit: Oct – Feb, with December and January being the highest in terms of visibility.
The climb is short but averages a 7.7% grade! 😱😱
5.8 miles, 2,434ft elevation gain
Shimanami Kaido Photo CREDIT: Japan-Guide.com
How about spending time in a “Cyclist’s Paradise?”
A 70-km Setouchi Shimanami Kaido doesn’t disappoint!
Overlooking the beautiful Seto Inland Sea, it’s Japan’s first strait-traversing dedicated cycling route through 6 islands from Onomichi City to Imabari City on Shikoku.
Here’s a fun intro to Shimanami Kaido:
Glacier National Park, Montana
Last but not least, USA is making moves!
The US Travel Association (USTA) and American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) are both calling for tax credits to encourage business and leisure travel
Travel Expenses over $50 include meals, lodging, recreation, transportation, and gasoline.
Wow 😱, I hope this happens.
US President Trump did briefly mention an “Explore America” tax credit last week during a roundtable with restaurant owners.
Which US State would you cycle to for a $4,000 travel tax credit? 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩
Many US National Parks have reopened. I give 2 thumbs up 👍🏼👍🏼 for a visit to:
Glacier National Park, a 33-mile climb up to Logan Pass and 18-miles down to the park’s east entrance.
Take into consideration that parks will limit visitors per day as it carefully reopens. You will need to be more self-sufficient as visitor centers, shops, bathrooms, and campgrounds may still be closed.
A SIDE NOTE re Peru
It’s also a great time to cycle, hike, zipline, river raft to Machu Picchu, Peru for Peruvians!
55 Archaeological sites including Machu Picchu itself is offering free admission to select Peruvians between July – December.
I sure hope they extend that invitation to international tourists! I would so be there! 🤪🤪
Here’s a closer look on an adventurous 4-day excursion to Machu Picchu:
You can see which countries have low infection rates by visiting Worldometers Coronavirus
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So excited about all this!
More adventures to come!
Peace out for now. 🤩✌🏼