This week, Eye on Travel comes to you from Los Cabos, Mexico. Peter has an update on how the COVID-19 shutdown affected Los Cabos, a community heavily reliant on travel, and how it’s coming back at just 30% capacity. Maritime historian Peter Knego updates on the cruise industry, with a special focus on the ships that are currently being scrapped, or sailing towards their final shipyard. Moshe Rafiah, CEO of Skyscanner, has the latest statistics on air traveler patterns with a few surprises. And from Cabo San Lucas, local radio host and journalist, Claudia Velo, walks us through the different stages of Los Cabos’ reopening and what was done to improve the experience for tourists. Baja Brewing Company founder and American expat, Jordan Gardenhire, on how Mexican beer has survived the global health crisis. And a salute to the Mexican taco with David Camhi, chef of Lupita Taco, with some amazing twists on the legendary food — including –grasshoppers. There’s all this and more as Eye on Travel broadcasts from south of the border, where the desert meets the sea in Los Cabos, Mexico.
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Peter Knego, Cruise Ship Historian, talks about how many of ships’ retirements have been expedited because of the pandemic. He says that the longer we wait for cruising to return, the more ship carnage we will see. One of the reasons for this is that there are not enough places to dock ships while waiting to sail again. He believes that Carnival has such a vast fleet that it can lose a lot of ships and still have many left when it’s safe to cruise again. The smaller lines are more in danger because they don’t have the capital to stay afloat. Then, he speaks about the world’s oldest still-running, ocean-going passenger ship, the Sea Cloud. Although the legendary vessel is currently docked, he’s certain it will return once restrictions lift.
Moshe Rafiah, CEO of Skyscanner, describes how we are seeing a high uptick in local travel and people exploring their own countries. They are seeing low fares in destinations that previously haven’t seen such low prices. Traditionally, lowering fares would mean more people taking those routes, but the fares aren’t why people aren’t flying. Load factors are currently only around 50%. There are also issues of destinations fluctuating on being open to foreigners. People are hesitant to book travel because they don’t know what countries will be open for when they want to travel there. But Moshe is seeing signs of recovery from low-cost airlines. Low-cost carriers tend to go shorter on more local flights. He’s also seeing a rise in one-way tickets as future travel restrictions remain largely uncertain.
George Hobica, Travel Expert & Journalist, gives his perspective on traveling during the pandemic, and he feels that the fear surrounding it is an overreaction. Masks do work and as long as people are following guidelines and airlines continue to enforce wearing masks, he says you are relatively safe while flying. When it comes to contact tracing, there are few places as easy to track back to as when you are flying. If people report getting sick after flying, it’s relatively easy to track who most likely gave it to passengers. Although he might think air travel is safe, he encourages people to get out and discover their own neighborhoods. We spend so much time focusing on traveling to new or foreign destinations that we forget the things in our own backyard that others travel to come and see.
Claudia Velo, Local Radio Host & Journalist, says that Los Cabos is coming back better than ever before. Claudia walks through the different stages of reopening and how it has improved tourists’ experiences. She says the shutdown allowed everyone to step back and reassess the situation. She explains how 70% of the people that visit Los Cabos are return visitors because of how inviting it is there. This is what leads to the success that Los Cabos has with tourism.
Fernando Flores, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, says that everyone is working extremely hard to follow the safety protocols that have been put in place by Hilton. He explains how ensuring that guests and employees are safe is going to be the key for Los Cabos getting back on its feet. Fernando talks about some of the changes that have been implemented to better serve everyone, while ensuring it is a safe environment.
David Camhi, Chef of Lupita Taco, gives us the whole rundown of tacos and drinks all around Los Cabos. From Oaxaca grasshopper tacos to cheese crust tacos, David will sure have a taco for everyone. Then, David will talk about how to pair your taco with the right kind of alcohol. What is the difference between Tequila and Mezcal? David talks about the differences and what the deal is with the worm in Mezcal.
Jordan Gardenhire, American Expat, Co-Founder and CEO of Baja Brewing Company, came down to Cabo 15 years ago to learn two things – surfing and Spanish. Jordan talks to Peter about opening up the first brewery in Baja California Sur. Jordan as well as other small business owners are struggling through this time, and he compares it to Hurricane Odile.
Victor Garrido, Executive Chef at The Cape, shares how learning how to cook out of necessity at a young age set him up to run a premiere restaurant in Los Cabos. Victor shares the house’s favorite dish, a mushroom and squash blossom stew. Then, Victor talks about his 36-ingredient sauce that can be used to make almost anything tasty. He is intentional about every detail, which is what it takes to have such high-quality cuisine.