Connect with us

Spread & Containment

Tourism recovery across emerging markets – on track, but still some way to go×576.pngThe main festive season of the year is rapidly…



The main festive season of the year is rapidly approaching, with people across the world preparing to depart on well-deserved holidays. It’s been almost three years since the emergence of COVID-19, when almost all global travel was suspended or dramatically reduced for many months as the pandemic spread across the globe. For some emerging market countries, this meant the vital lifeline of their income stream from foreign visitors was almost severed – which contributed to a much deeper GDP contraction in those countries, compared to those in which tourism is not so important. Many months and lockdowns later, it seems a good time now to take a look at the state of tourism recovery in emerging markets.

The contribution of tourism to GDP naturally varies significantly across emerging markets. As one would expect, tourism is most important for small island states. Among Eurobond issuers, the highest importance is that for the Maldives (54% of GDP) and for the Bahamas (43% of GDP). However, one should note that its significance extends to many other countries as well – for example, tourism’s contribution to GDP exceeds 20% in Croatia and Thailand.

Across emerging markets, the tourism industry naturally collapsed much more than any other sectors of the economy in 2020. The degree of collapse across different countries varied greatly though and depended on many factors, including the severity of COVID-related restrictions in destination countries, as well as tourism source countries (i.e. where most visitors tend to come from). Geographical location and related flight availability mattered too. The availability of fiscal space and skilfulness of government measures to support the industry was yet another differentiating factor.

Source: World Travel and Tourism Council. Note: Only EM countries with the largest contribution are shown.

The total decline in global tourist arrivals exceeded 70% y/y in 2020. Interestingly, overall there was only a small recovery in 2021 as a whole – while some regions (e.g. the Mediterranean and the Caribbean) indeed did better, the decline deepened to 80-95% vs 2019 in others (Asia and South America).

As usual, the aggregated figures mask significant differences across individual countries due to various country-specific factors. For example, the decline of tourism arrivals in Croatia was 68% in 2020, despite the majority of tourists tending to come from Germany, Austria and Slovenia (where restrictions were among the harshest and longest globally at the time). However, the fact that Croatia is easily reachable by land from those countries turned out to be more important for tourism flows. This travel flexibility also meant that tourists likely stayed in the country for longer than usual, so the decline in tourism receipts (a more accurate, but not always available for emerging market countries, measure of tourism) was actually even softer at 55% in 2020. Meanwhile, the neighbouring Montenegro offers similar points of attraction for tourists, but it had harsher COVID-related restrictions and flights are the only travel option for a larger share of its tourist market, compared to Croatia. This likely meant that many visitors simply didn’t reach it, with both tourist arrivals and tourist receipts having collapsed by about 87% in 2020. 

In another example, the decline of tourist arrivals in Turkey was relatively contained at 69% in 2020 and improved to 42% in 2021 (vs 2019), much quicker than the emerging market average. Not having a land border with its main tourist sources (Germany, UK and Russia) was partly compensated by the fact that travel restrictions in one of them (Russia) were much lighter and short-lived than elsewhere.

So where do we stand on the tourism flows now, three years since COVID-19 emerged and two years after the first vaccines were developed? It is fair to say that we are making solid progress back towards normality, with the pace being somewhat faster than expected. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the tourism sector has recovered to about 65% of its pre-pandemic levels in 2022. The worst concerns regarding long-lasting (or even permanent) damage to the tourism industry seem not to have materialized, helped by the relatively quick invention and distribution of efficient vaccines.

The number of countries without any COVID-related restrictions reached 120 in December, up from just 8 in March. Even though the vaccination rates in most emerging market countries still significantly lag those in developed markets, the very high rates in the latter do matter much more – because those high-income countries are the main source of tourism for emerging markets. Having been vaccinated, people are no longer much concerned by the state of the COVID-19 situation in the countries which they plan to visit. Moreover, there is still significant pent-up demand and hunger for travel after many months of having to spend the holidays closer to home.  

Source: United Nations World Tourism Organization

As was the case during the tourism collapse in 2020, the pace of recovery is also very uneven across regions and countries. The Mediterranean region has shown the most significant tourism recovery, with tourist arrivals in the first three quarters of this year already being at around 85% of pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, the situation continues gradually to improve on a monthly basis. And in some countries, tourism receipts already significantly exceed the 2019 levels. For example, on a year-to-date basis those receipts are up 13% in Croatia and 36% in Turkey.

Tourism recovery has also been rapid in the Caribbean, where tourist arrivals have almost reached 2019 levels in summer months (though still about 20% below on a year-to-date basis). The Dominican Republic stands out with arrivals 7% higher on a year-to-date basis (and almost 30% higher in Q3) already. South America has shown the quickest recovery pace in 2022, but started the year at a very low levels, with tourist arrivals there still around 30% lower in recent months vs the same period in 2019.

Overall, it is clear that many people have become more open to spending their holidays further away from home this year, having been denied this opportunity in the previous two years. In this context, it may seem a bit puzzling that tourism recovery in South-East Asia is significantly lagging, with year-to-date tourist arrivals still around 80% down in most countries compared to 2019. Longer-lasting COVID-related restrictions, particularly in China (which is the main tourism source for the region), are the main reason behind this. On the positive side, the situation in this region continues to improve as well, with the most recent months showing about 60% decline vs 2019, compared to 95% in the first quarter of this year.

Positive tourism developments this year have significantly helped those countries in which tourism is most important, lifting their GDP growth and easing pressure on the budgets at a time of challenging global financial conditions. While it is often difficult to isolate the contribution of tourism from other factors, it’s not a coincidence that bonds of many of those countries from various regions (e.g. Barbados, Jamaica, Albania, Georgia) have significantly outperformed the market this year. That said, the outlook for tourism recovery looks somewhat more uncertain going forward.

Overall, there is certainly more room to recover at least towards the 5% average annual growth rate observed in 2015-19. However, as the impact from pent-up demand gradually dissipates, other factors start coming to the fore in the near term. In particular, higher fuel prices make any means of transport much more expensive. A general income squeeze and recession fears in developed countries (the main source of tourism) also incentivize people to save more. In addition, the evolution of some country/region-specific factors remains difficult to predict, like the zero-COVID policy in China and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine (which has led to an abnormal increase in tourism for the Caucasus and Central Asia region). Nevertheless, one thing is clear – the pandemic is largely behind us, meaning that people have the willingness and confidence to travel again.

Read More

Continue Reading


Three Years To Slow The Spread: COVID Hysteria & The Creation Of A Never-Ending Crisis

Three Years To Slow The Spread: COVID Hysteria & The Creation Of A Never-Ending Crisis

Authored by Jordan Schachtel via ‘The Dossier’…



Three Years To Slow The Spread: COVID Hysteria & The Creation Of A Never-Ending Crisis

Authored by Jordan Schachtel via 'The Dossier' Substack,

Last Thursday marked the three year anniversary of the infamous “15 Days To Slow The Spread” campaign.

By March 16, yours truly was already pretty fed up with both the governmental and societal “response” to what was being baselessly categorized as the worst pandemic in 100 years, despite zero statistical data supporting such a serious claim.

I was living in the Washington, D.C. Beltway at the time, and it was pretty much impossible to find a like-minded person within 50 miles who also wasn’t taking the bait. After I read about the news coming out of Wuhan in January, I spent much of the next couple weeks catching up to speed and reading about what a modern pandemic response was supposed to look like.

What surprised me most was that none of “the measures” were mentioned, and that these designated “experts” were nothing more than failed mathematicians, government doctors, and college professors who were more interested in policy via shoddy academic forecasting than observing reality.

Within days of continually hearing their yapping at White House pressers, It quickly became clear that the Deborah Birx’s and Anthony Fauci’s of the world were engaging in nothing more than a giant experiment. There was no an evidence-based approach to managing Covid whatsoever. These figures were leaning into the collective hysteria, and brandishing their credentials as Public Health Experts to demand top-down approaches to stamping out the WuFlu.

To put it bluntly, these longtime government bureaucrats had no idea what the f—k they were doing. Fauci and his cohorts were not established or reputable scientists, but authoritarians, charlatans, who had a decades-long track record of hackery and corruption. This Coronavirus Task Force did not have the collective intellect nor the wisdom to be making these broad brush decisions.

Back then, there were only literally a handful of people who attempted to raise awareness about the wave of tyranny, hysteria, and anti-science policies that were coming our way. There were so few of us back in March in 2020 that it was impossible to form any kind of significant structured resistance to the madness that was unfolding before us. These structures would later form, but not until the infrastructure for the highway to Covid hysteria hell had already been cemented.

Making matters worse was the reality that the vast majority of the population — friends, colleagues, peers and family included — agreed that dissenters were nothing more than reckless extremists, bioterrorists, Covid deniers, anti-science rabble rousers, and the like.

Yet we were right, and we had the evidence and data to prove it. There was no evidence to ever support such a heavy-handed series of government initiatives to “slow the spread.”

By March 16, 2020, data had already accumulated indicating that this contagion would be no more lethal than an influenza outbreak.

The February, 2020 outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship provided a clear signal that the hysteria models provided by Bill Gates-funded and managed organizations were incredibly off base. Of the 3,711 people aboard the Diamond Princess, about 20% tested positive with Covid. The majority of those who tested positive had zero symptoms. By the time all passengers had disembarked from the vessel, there were 7 reported deaths on the ship, with the average age of this cohort being in the mid 80s, and it wasn’t even clear if these passengers died from or with Covid.

Despite the strange photos and videos coming out of Wuhan, China, there was no objective evidence of a once in a century disease approaching America’s shores, and the Diamond Princess outbreak made that clear.

Of course, it wasn’t the viral contagion that became the problem.

It was the hysteria contagion that brought out the worst qualities of much of the global ruling class, letting world leaders take off their proverbial masks in unison and reveal their true nature as power drunk madmen.

And even the more decent world leaders were swept up in the fear and mayhem, turning over the keys of government control to the supposed all-knowing Public Health Experts.

They quickly shuttered billions of lives and livelihoods, wreaking exponentially more havoc than a novel coronavirus ever could.

In the United States, 15 Days to Slow The Spread quickly became 30 Days To Slow The Spread. Somewhere along the way, the end date for “the measures” was removed from the equation entirely.

3 years later, there still isn’t an end date…

Anthony Fauci appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning and declared that Americans would need annual Covid boosters to compliment their Flu shots.

So much of the Covid hysteria era was driven by pseudoscience and outright nonsense, and yet, very few if any world leaders took it upon themselves to restore sanity in their domains. Now, unsurprisingly, so many elected officials who were complicit in this multi-billion person human tragedy won’t dare to reflect upon it.

In a 1775 letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail, the American Founding Father wrote:

“Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.”

Covid hysteria and the 3 year anniversary of 15 Days To Slow The Spread serves as the beginning period of a permanent scar resulting from government power grabs and federal overreach.

While life is back to normal in most of the country, the Overton window of acceptable policy has slid even further in the direction of push-button tyranny. Hopefully, much of the world has awakened to the reality that most of the people in charge aren’t actually doing what’s best for their respective populations.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/21/2023 - 18:05

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Honey, the 3D print–I mean, dessert–is ready!

New York, NY—March 21, 2023—Cooking devices that incorporate three-dimensional (3D) printers, lasers, or other software-driven processes may soon replace…



New York, NY—March 21, 2023—Cooking devices that incorporate three-dimensional (3D) printers, lasers, or other software-driven processes may soon replace conventional cooking appliances such as ovens, stovetops, and microwaves. But will people want to use a 3D printer–even one as beautifully designed as a high-end coffee maker–on their kitchen counters to calibrate the exact micro- and macro-nutrients they need to stay healthy? Will 3D food printing improve the ways we nourish ourselves? What sorts of hurdles will need to be overcome to commercialize such a technology? 

Credit: Jonathan Blutinger/Columbia Engineering

New York, NY—March 21, 2023—Cooking devices that incorporate three-dimensional (3D) printers, lasers, or other software-driven processes may soon replace conventional cooking appliances such as ovens, stovetops, and microwaves. But will people want to use a 3D printer–even one as beautifully designed as a high-end coffee maker–on their kitchen counters to calibrate the exact micro- and macro-nutrients they need to stay healthy? Will 3D food printing improve the ways we nourish ourselves? What sorts of hurdles will need to be overcome to commercialize such a technology? 

Columbia mechanical engineers are working to address these challenges in Professor Hod Lipson’s Creative Machines Lab. In a new Perspective article published today by npj Science of Food, lead author Jonathan Blutinger, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab, explores these questions and more, discussing with Professor Christen Cooper, Pace University Nutrition and Dietetics, the benefits and drawbacks of 3D-printed food technology, how 3D-printed food compares to the “normal” food we eat, and the future landscape of our kitchens. 


Food printing technology has existed since Lipson’s lab first introduced it in 2005, but to date the technology has been limited to a small number of uncooked ingredients, resulting in what many perceive as less than appetizing dishes. Blutinger’s team broke away from this limitation by printing a dish comprising seven ingredients, cooked in situ using a laser. For the paper, the researchers designed a 3D-printing system that constructs cheesecake from edible food inks — including peanut butter, Nutella, and strawberry jam. The authors note that precision printing of multi-layered food items could produce more customizable foods, improve food safety, and enable users to control the nutrient content of meals more easily. 

“Because 3D food printing is still a nascent technology, it needs an ecosystem of supporting industries such as food cartridge manufacturers, downloadable recipe files, and an environment in which to create and share these recipes. Its customizability makes it particularly practical for the plant-based meat market, where texture and flavor need to be carefully formulated to mimic real meats,” Blutinger said.

To demonstrate the potential of 3D food printing, the team tested various cheesecake designs, consisting of seven key ingredients: graham cracker, peanut butter, Nutella, banana puree, strawberry jam, cherry drizzle, and frosting. They found that the most successful design used a graham cracker as the foundational ingredient for each layer of the cake. Peanut butter and Nutella proved to be best used as supporting layers that formed “pools” to hold the softer ingredients: banana and jam. Multi-ingredient designs evolved into multi-tiered structures that followed similar principles to building architectures; more structural elements were needed to support softer substrates for a successful multi-ingredient layered print.

“We have an enormous problem with the low-nutrient value of processed foods,” Cooper said. “3D food printing will still turn out processed foods, but perhaps the silver lining will be, for some people, better control and tailoring of nutrition–personalized nutrition. It may also be useful in making food more appealing to those with swallowing disorders by mimicking the shapes of real foods with the pureed texture foods that these patients–millions in the U.S. alone–require.”

Laser cooking and 3D food printing could allow chefs to localize flavors and textures on a millimeter scale to create new food experiences. People with dietary restrictions, parents of young children, nursing home dieticians, and athletes alike could find these personalized techniques very useful and convenient in planning meals. And, because the system uses high-energy targeted light for high-resolution tailored heating, cooking could become more cost-effective and more sustainable. 

“The study also highlights that printed food dishes will likely require novel ingredient compositions and structures, due to the different way by which the food is ‘assembled,’ ” said Lipson. “Much work is still needed to collect data, model, and optimize these processes.”

Blutinger added, “And, with more emphasis on food safety following the COVID-19 pandemic, food prepared with less human handling could lower the risk of foodborne illness and disease transmission. This seems like a win-win concept for all of us.”

About the Study

Journal: npj Science of Food


Authors of the paper are: Jonathan David Blutinger 1, Christen Cupples Cooper2 , Shravan Karthik1 , Alissa Tsai 1 , Noà Samarelli1 , Erika Storvick1 , Gabriel Seymour1 , Elise Liu1 , Yorán Meijers1,3 and Hod Lipson1
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia Engineering
2 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Pace University
3 Department of Food Technology, Wageningen University, Netherlands.

The study was supported by NSF AI Institute for Dynamical Systems, grant 2112085, and by a grant from the Redefine Meat Ltd.

The authors declare no financial or other conflicts of interest. 



DOI: 10.1038/s41538-023-00182-6




Columbia Engineering

Since 1864, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University has been a resource to the world for major advances in human progress. Today, Columbia Engineering is the top engineering school in the Ivy League and New York City. As a nexus for high-impact research, the school convenes more than 250 faculty members and more than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe to push the frontiers of knowledge and solve humanity’s most pressing problems



Read More

Continue Reading


“An Extraordinary Change”: Labor Data Reveals Shocking Drop In Workplace Attendance Following Vax Campaign

"An Extraordinary Change": Labor Data Reveals Shocking Drop In Workplace Attendance Following Vax Campaign

Last we heard from former Blackrock…



"An Extraordinary Change": Labor Data Reveals Shocking Drop In Workplace Attendance Following Vax Campaign

Last we heard from former Blackrock portfolio manager Ed Dowd and his deep-dive partners at Phinance Technologies, the rate of Serious Adverse Events reported during Covid-19 vaccine trials closely tracked a spike in disabilities reported following the vaccine's official rollout.

In their latest analysis, Dowd and crew use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistcs (BLS) to reveal a shocking spike in both employee absence and lost worktime rates, which they believe is due to vaccines - either from primary vaccine injuries, or because of weakened immune systems due to the jab, and not long covid caused by the virus itself.

Via Phinance Technologies

"It’s not a stretch to conclude from this data that the vaccines are causing death, disabilities & injuries due to a degradation of individuals' immune system," Dowd says. "The rate of change is not explained by the long Covid trope. Ask yourself where is funding for such studies?"

For those who want to dive right in to the analysis, follow the below links:

Part 1 - Overview of the Data

Part 2 - Analysis of Absence rates

Part 3 - Analysis of Lost Worktime rates

For the cliffs notes version, Dowd has dropped the following Twitter thread summarizing their analysis:

And for those who fell asleep in statistics class;

As one commenter notes, data from the UK reveals that firms are coming under increased pressure due to rising staff sickness, particularly among those over the age of 50. 

More to come next week...

Dowd explained his views how he reacted to the pandemic to Tucker Carlson. Now he, and his partners, spend their time poring through data to shine a light on harsh realities.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/21/2023 - 12:00

Read More

Continue Reading