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The isolated British island hopes to attract more tourists in the future.

 

Alasdair and Gill Maclean confessed to feeling a pang of guilt after spending most of the previous year blissfully living on a lovely, tropical island that had been unaffected by Covid-19.

They were travelling around the globe until they landed at St Helena, a British Overseas Territory island in the midst of the South Atlantic, where they were quarantined until the outbreak was contained.

"We were supposed to depart 10 days later, but we ended up staying for a little more than eight months," Mr Maclean explains.



He continues by saying that he and his wife were torn over whether or not to inform their friends in the United Kingdom of their good fortune. 'How can you explain to them that you're having a wonderful time, freely going to restaurants, and partying while everyone is under lockdown?'

St Helena is a small island off the coast of Africa that is about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometres) west of the African country of Angola and 2,500 miles east of Brazil. It has a population of around 4,500 people and a land area of 47 square miles (121 square kilometres). To put it into perspective, it has about the same landmass as Jersey, which is located in the Channel Islands.

Since March 2020, St Helena has had the distinction of being one of just a handful of locations on the planet to have not recorded a single incidence of coronavirus, a virus that is spread by mosquitoes.

As a result, when the UK government introduced its Covid traffic light system in May, for countries (and overseas territories) that people could visit, St Helena was always one of the few on the green list - meaning you wouldn't have to go through quarantine upon your return - making it one of the few places on the green list to visit.

The island hopes that the attention it has received has prompted more prospective visitors to come to the island.

According to Matthew Joshua, the director of tourist information services for the government of St Helena, this seems to be the case already in this instance. "There has been an upsurge in the number of enquiries. It has helped to establish St Helena as a tourist destination."

As a result, when the UK government introduced its Covid traffic light system in May, for countries (and overseas territories) that people could visit, St Helena was always one of the few on the green list - meaning you wouldn't have to go through quarantine upon your return - making it one of the few places on the green list to visit.

The island hopes that the attention it has received has prompted more prospective visitors to come to the island.

According to Matthew Joshua, the director of tourist information services for the government of St Helena, this seems to be the case already in this instance. "There has been an upsurge in the number of enquiries. It has helped to establish St Helena as a tourist destination."

In the minds of many, the island of St Helena is best known as the location where French military commander Napoleon Bonaparte was banished and died in 1821.

Visitor attractions on the rocky, steep-sided island include the home where he once resided, which has been converted into a museum. Other activities on the island include sea fishing, diving, hiking, exploring the colonial-era streets of the capital Jamestown, enjoying the warm weather, and learning about the island's fauna and flora, which includes more than 500 species of plants and animals that are not found anywhere else on the planet.

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In 2019, St Helena had 5,135 overnight guests, as well as the occasional day-visit from cruise ships. This number subsequently dropped to 2,071 in 2020, with the most of the decline occurring before the end of March, and then to 696 from January to July of this year.

Currently, all visitors are required to remain in quarantine for a period of 10 days.

There are just two hotels on the island, both of which are now closed. 'Times have been difficult,' says Sasha Ella, communications manager at the biggest, the Mantis St Helena Hotel, and she believes that things will only return to normal after everyone in the globe has put the coronavirus out of its misery.

According to her, "it is our belief that only when access and frequency of flights to the island are increased, as well as easing of quarantine regulations, would a beneficial impact be felt on the island."

There are also a handful of private guest homes on St Helena.

For More Information Visit :TimezMagazin

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