Airlines have instilled strict new policies for traveling that have deterred a lot of eager travelers.
Mandatory masks and quarantining upon arriving at specific destinations like New York City has people flocking to more remote and nature-centered places.
So why the Louvre may have record number lows during the global pandemic, others have more tourists than they can handle.
Beaches are elbow to elbow right now as travelers flock to the open air and calming sounds of the sea, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported.
Small businesses, especially around popular tourist spots, were having to downsize drastically or shut-down when they no longer had any business- or were made to shut-down by local government for being non-essential.
The heart and spirit of the American economy shifted over night for owners like owner of High Mountain Sports, Steve Green.
Garrett County, Maryland ordered small businesses to close on March 23, marking the day Green tragically laid off his entire staff.
“I was having a hard time seeing a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Then on Memorial Day it was like “someone turned the light switch on,” Green told The Wall Street Journal.
Shockingly, the mountain sports store is now going to have an even better year than 2019 despite a lockdown that lasted for months.
“People are looking for a place they can go on vacation and feel relatively safe,” he said.
It helps that Garrett County is only a short drive from Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Washington, D.C.
The recreational activities available in these regions during the pandemic are all outdoors, and include a man-made lake, Allegheny Mountains, and a whopping eight state parks.
As you can imagine, this has caused kayak, bike, and backpack sales to soar; helping Green’s business and the well-being of a now active community.
“There is probably no better way to social-distance than being on a boat,” said Mr. Green to The Wall Street Journal.
This isn’t the only outdoor region that is getting a lot of foot traffic this year.
In July, the National Parks Service tracked visitors to Fort Sumter National Park, South Carolina, and Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks on the Michigan shore of Lake Superior.
They found more tourists enjoyed the adventurous environment than any year since 1979!
Larger and more popular outdoor areas had less of a turnout than the diamonds in the rough like The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal who reported more visitors than the Grand Canyon.
And the best part?
The average person is spending about half the amount of money they were last year on vacations, according to the U.S. Travel Association, so families and independent tourists are getting a lot of adventure for their buck.
This leaves a little extra in the vacation fund for that trip to Greece you always wanted to do next year when attractions like the Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon are fully operational.
Tourists are getting braver as well.
Overnight backpackers at Yosemite Park in California surged in June and July.
The number of campers also poured in at record numbers at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota and Buffalo National River in Arkansas.
So, while traditional vacation experiences have not been what they used to be in this untraditional year, people have rediscovered the great outdoors in record numbers.
And that is not a bad thing.
There are so many exciting regions of this great nation and the only way to see them is to get off the beaten path and find the thrill to be had in more remote locations.