Popular European tourist vacations like Cinque Terre in Italy and the French Riviera in southeastern France are about to have some serious competition on their hands.
While the global travel and leisure industry takes a massive hit, some small countries are hoping to cash in on the wave of coronavirus hysteria that's expected to curtail travel plans for months, if not years, to come.
Al Jazeera reports that Montenegro, a tiny Balkan state, has advertised itself as a holiday destination where the coronavirus pandemic will soon no longer pose a threat. The country's premier has vowed to vanquish the virus, which hasn't spread widely in the Balkans region, before the traditional summer holiday season begins on July 1.
"Montenegro is on its way to becoming a CoronaFree destination!" tweeted Prime Minister Dusko Markovic on Sunday.
#Montenegro is on its way to becoming a #CoronaFree destination!— Duško Marković (@DuskoMarkovicCG) May 10, 2020
Taking care of health, in the weeks to come we will prepare our country for tourist season, continuation of investments and new partnerships to mitigate negative effects of the crisis ASAP. #CoronaInfoCG pic.twitter.com/9r31JWLzJJ
Premier Markovic bragged that the country has shown it can handle the virus.
The government in Podgorica recently indicated that it expects the holiday season to start on July 1.
To be sure, some resorts haven't yet decided on whether they will reopen for the summer season. One exclusive resort in Portonovi is currently planning to reopen Oct. 1.
Still, that's probably much earlier than other European destinations.