The Dalmation Coast in Croatia is known for its stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and pristine seas. But did you know it’s also home to the world’s first underwater winery?
Along the Pelješa peninsular, not far from Dubrovnik, is the small village of Drače. Here lies the world’s first and only underwater winery, nestled within a shipwreck beneath the Adriatic. Tourists are invited to scuba dive to the cellar and explore this unique approach to wine production.
The Pelješac peninsula is known for its fine vineyards, which produce world-renowned varieties of wine including Dingač – the ‘king of Croatian wine’. But since 2011, Edivo Winery has taking a different approach to maturing its wine: submerging it under the sea.
Edivo Winery is the first winery in the world to have a licence for aging wine under the sea. It’s also the only one with a patent to sell wine in amphora – an ancient type of vessel traditionally made out of ceramic.
The innovators behind Edivo Winery say that ageing wine in this way brings a unique flavour and story to their products.
“We came to the idea of making undersea wine because we love diving and everything related to the sea,” says Nives Roman, manager at Edivo Winery.
The making of ‘The Sea Mystery’
The first bottle of wine to be successfully submerged in the sea began its journey in late 2013.
The team tried several locations around the peninsula at first and the spot they have now is ideal because the temperature of the sea stays at 15 degrees celsius all year round. A stable temperature is key to making wine.
They decided to name their unique creation ‘Navis Mysterium’ meaning ‘the sea mystery’.
How is the wine made?
The wine is made with locally grown grapes, some of which are native to Croatia, such as Dignac. It’s aged in a cask for one year before being sunk to a depth of between 18-25 metres, where it will mature for another two years.
During this time, the wine is sealed in a terracotta amphora or wine bottle. The wine doesn’t see the light of day until it’s opened and poured into a glass to enjoy.
“Every amphora is a hand made product, as it has to pass a 14-day procedure of handling and cleaning once it’s taken out from the water,” explains Roman, “Corals, seashells and algae become part of the packaging design. Therefore, every amphora or every bottle becomes a unique sculptural masterpiece – a perfect souvenir with the signature of the Adriatic Sea.”
The company’s diving team monitors the winery every 14 days, in between taking tourists down there. After an in-depth (pardon the pun) guided tour of the winery, guests can resurface and enjoy a fresh seafood meal to complement their wine.
TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN ASIA AND PACIFIC ARE OPENING THEIR BORDERS
tourism– Gradually more and more tourist destinations in Asia announced opening their borders to international visitors. Various restrictions however are still in effect.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the continent had strictly sealed itself off and announced that it would reopen its borders to international tourism on Christmas 2021. The date has now been postponed until early 2022. Only fully vaccinated vacationers will be allowed to enter the country. What will be possible again from December 1, however, are the popular “working holidays,” in which travelers combine work in Australia with a vacation. For this purpose, one needs a “Working Holiday Maker Visa” (subclass 417) or a “Work and Holiday Visa” (subclass 462), must be fully vaccinated, register online and present a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours.
The vacation island of Bali, Indonesia, reopened to international tourism in October. The quarantine after arrival has been reduced from five to three days for fully vaccinated travelers. In addition, proof of health insurance is required. So far, vacationers are only allowed to travel to Bali and the Riau Islands; all other regions of the Southeast Asian country are not yet open to international tourism.
Cambodia plans to gradually ramp up tourism again since November. Fully vaccinated travelers will be spared quarantine, but they must present a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old, complete a rapid test immediately upon arrival, and provide proof of health insurance. After that, they are allowed to travel throughout the country. Those who cannot provide proof of vaccination must take a PCR test upon arrival and enter a 14-day quarantine.
As of October 15, India has reopened to vacationers from abroad. The tourist visas will be reissued with immediate effect, but initially only for travelers on charter flights. From November 15, this regulation was extended to all other flights. According to initial information, a negative PCR test will be presented upon entry. Travelers will also have to register on the Air Suvidha online portal before starting their journey and upload the negative PCR test here as well. Upon entry, passengers from Europe must take another PCR test at the airport for a fee (currently costs around 6 euros) and download the app Aarogya Setu.
By January 1 at the latest, Malaysia plans to launch a pilot project that will allow fully vaccinated tourists from abroad to travel to the island of Langkawi. A list of countries from which quarantine-free entry is allowed upon presentation of a certificate of vaccination, a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours, and proof of health insurance is to be presented soon. A minimum stay on Langkawi of three days is required.
Since October 1, fully vaccinated vacationers can enter Mauritius quarantine-free. All they have to do is present a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours and take another one upon arrival at the airport. On the fifth day of stay, an antigen test must be taken at the hotel or a self-test available at a pharmacy. Unvaccinated persons over the age of 18 must undergo a 14-day quarantine. Bars and clubs in the island nation are currently closed, no events are taking place, and proof of vaccination is required to enter restaurants.
Those who are fully vaccinated will again be issued visas upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport. Additionally, one needs a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours, confirmation of lodging, and registration, which must be carried out in the printed form. Unvaccinated people have to apply for their visas at the responsible representative authority of Nepal. In addition to the test and registration, they must undergo a ten-day hotel quarantine.
The Southeast Asian island nation plans to reopen its borders to international tourism soon – but only to fully vaccinated vacationers from “green” countries with high vaccination rates and low infection rates. There are currently 43 countries and territories on the list, including China, Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the Falkland Islands. European countries are not included yet. The Philippines, known for magnificent landscapes, volcanoes and dream beaches, has closed its borders to international vacationers since March 2020.
The island nation in the Indian Ocean will join the tourist destinations in Asia that allow tourists to enter the country who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus for at least two weeks and present a negative PCR test that is not more than 72 hours old. Those who had a corona infection within the last three months prior to entry will only need a negative antigen test that is a maximum of 48 hours old as a recovered person. Upon arrival, foreign visitors are then allowed to move freely. Individuals who are not fully immunized against Covid-19 must register online, need a negative PCR test at the time of entry, and must take another one upon arrival. Afterwards, they are only allowed to move around the so-called “Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotels” or visit selected sights. On the twelfth day of the stay, another test must be performed. If the test is negative, visitors are allowed to move freely around the country from the 14th day onwards.
Fully vaccinated travelers from all over the world have been able to book vacations with special travel programs in the Thai vacation paradise of Phuket or Ko Samui for some time. After a week, they can also travel to other regions of Thailand. Since November, Thailand is open for fully vaccinated air travelers from 63 countries with low Corona risk. So far, only ten countries were on the list. Travelers must present a negative PCR test upon entry and complete another one upon arrival. Once the result is available, they can travel without quarantine to 17 places open to tourism so far, including Phuket Island, the capital of Bangkok and Chiang Mai in the north of the country. Before entering the country, one must apply online for the “Thailand Passport”. The opening of nightclubs, pubs and karaoke bars, originally scheduled for early December, has been postponed until at least mid-January. Alcohol may currently only be served in restaurants in the capital Bangkok, the provinces of Krabi and Phangnga, and on the resort island of Phuket.
Depending on the vaccination rate in the country, Vietnam wants to open up to international tourism again. To this end, a four-step plan has been presented, the first step of which is to open selected destinations to vacationers arriving on charter flights towards the end of the year. These include the island of Phu Quoc and the coastal cities of Da Nang and Khanh Hoa. For this purpose, a list of countries will be presented whose fully vaccinated nationals will be allowed to enter. A limited number of scheduled flights are to be allowed again from January 2022. As things stand, however, travelers must expect to be quarantined upon arrival. There are no plans to allow entry for convalescents or unvaccinated travelers.
HOTEL PRICES EXPECTED TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY WORLDWIDE
tourism- Travel and hotel stays will become more expensive worldwide over the next two years. This is one of the conclusions of the seventh annual Global Business Travel Forecast, released by CWT and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The report sees rising demand, capacity constraints and travelers’ sustainability demand, as well as higher labor and energy costs, as the main reasons for rising prices, including the hotel prices.
The upturn in business travel is in full swing, says Michelle McKinney Frymire, CEO of CWT. This comes after a 31% drop in airfares for business travel, for example. Experts expect airfares to rise 3.3% in 2022 and 3.4% in 2023, according to the report.
The increase in global hotel prices is expected to be even stronger, with a price increase of 13% in 2022 and a further 10% in 2023. Nevertheless, it will still take some time in many markets before the 2019 level is reached again.
CWT Meetings & Events expects the majority of immediate meeting bookings to be small and regional in nature. Virtual and hybrid meetings played a critical role in 2021. The size of live meetings decreased in 2021 from an average of 42 attendees per meeting in 2019 and 2020 to an average of 24 attendees.
Many companies currently appear to be opting for smaller regional meetings rather than events that involve travel. However, as restrictions are lifted and pent-up demand leads to more people traveling to meetings, this is expected to change in 2022, the report said. Demand for meetings and events, it predicts, will increase 53% in the first half of 2022 compared to 2021
TRAVEL IN EUROPE TO RETURN TO PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS IN 2024
tourism– Although travel demand in Europe has revived since last summer after the chaos of the pandemic, there is still “a long way to go” to achieve similar activity levels to those prior to the pandemic. This is the main conclusion of the report of the third quarter of 2021 on ‘Trends and prospects for European tourism’ issued by the European Travel Commission (ETC), which warns that the travel volumes of 2019 will not be achieved until 2024.
Europe currently has the best travel numbers in the world thanks to having the highest vaccination rate of all continents, but this is not enough as long-distance travel have not yet recovered.
The ETC points out that European destinations already enjoyed a better-than-expected summer season thanks to the success of vaccination programmes. In addition, the creation of the European Union’s digital COVID certificate has been crucial for ensuring safe travel in Europe within the EU and helped to simplify cross-border mobility.
As a result, intra-EU travel recorded an increase and is expected to account for 85% of European international arrivals in 2021, 8% more than in 2019.
The recovery has differed between destinations. The countries that reopened their borders earlier to vaccinated travelers were the most favored in terms of travel.
As the first country to reopen to non-COVID tourists was Greece, it recorded the strongest rebound in overnight stays, although it ended up falling 19% in August when compared to 2019 and foreign arrivals were very weak (-66.6%).
Spain ended the summer with a 77% drop in international overnight stays compared to 2019, while international arrivals plummeted by 88.7%.
The situation in the Czech Republic was worse (-94%), the country experienced the steepest drop due to the strict anti-COVID measures put in place by the authorities throughout the year.
No Long-haul Travelers
Although travel in Europe has gained terrain in 2021, there is still a long way to go as international tourist arrivals to Europe were still down 77% mid-year compared to 2019.
For the ETC, the slower vaccination rate in Eastern Europe and in some large, long distance source markets could delay the recovery.
The report also notes a notable absence of long-haul travelers. Arrivals from the US to Europe remained 90% below their 2019 levels on a third of European destinations.
The absence of Chinese tourists was also “painfully” felt across Europe with all countries recording drops of more than 90% compared to 2019.
Thus, the report forecasts that international tourist arrivals to Europe will be 60% less than in 2019 by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, many threats to travel remain: ever-changing restrictions, outbreaks, confusion over the color-coded EU travel system that is applied differently in European destinations and the adoption of different systems for accepting vaccinations.
The president of the ETC, Luís Araújo, has pointed out the importance of vaccination to recover international mobility, but calls for more measures.
“As the winter months approach, it is imperative that Europe strives to further restore freedom of movement by implementing more consistent approaches to travel within and outside the EU,” he emphasized.
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