“As if the virus never happened here “: tired of the restrictive measures imposed in their States, more Americans are going to have a change of air in those who have already re-opened, such as Georgia and South Carolina, the favored destinations of the new tourism déconfinement.
The ghosts are no longer alone to wander the night in the leafy squares of Savannah, known (and promoted) as one of the cities most haunted in the United States.
Since the republican governor of Georgia has its State, since the end of April, one of the first in the country to free itself from its confinement, guided tours of the night resumed in the tourist pearl of the “Deep South” of the us.
The trolleybus, with a fill rate reduced, mishandle their re-suspension on paved bumpy in the historic centre, and souvenir stores and treats pralinées have found their customers on the banks of the river Savannah, which has given its name to the city, a former slave port.
Arthur Parker, a New Yorker of 56 years, dreamed for a long time to come and stroll with the family in the shade of the mighty oaks draped in Spanish moss. The pandemic has given him a good reason to swallow a milking the 12-hour drive to the south.
“It is so depressing to New York at this time. Everything is closed, streets are deserted, people are afraid. There was a need to have a change of ideas, ” he says, sitting at the terrace of a café. “People look at us a little askance when we said that it comes from New York (the city hardest hit in the country). So we try to hide it, but our focus, Brooklyn, us betrays “.
After having lost a lot of money in march and April, two of the best months of the year for the tourism industry of Savannah, Jonathan Morgan saw the customer come back gradually in recent weeks in all three of its B&B.
“We generally have two types of tourists: those who come by air and those who come by car,” he explains. “It is mostly of regional tourism, most recently, of the people who drive up here on the day. And a whole generation too young to truly be afraid of something out of the Covid-19 “.
This is the case of Kaycee, a student from texas which for lack of being able to go to Paris to celebrate the end of his academic year has come down on Savannah and one of the institutions of Jonathan, in a beautiful victorian house decorated with the French on the theme of the Citroën 2CV.
“It is almost like in Paris, it just lacks the Eiffel Tower “, to console the young woman, “not at all concerned about” risk of contagion. “I don voyagerais not if it was the case “.
Feast of déconfinement
Two hours drive from here, tourists seem to be less numerous in the old city of Charleston, in South Carolina, which reopened a little later than the neighboring Georgia.
With temperatures rising, many have preferred the beach, as Anne Miller, twenties, and came from Ohio with a dozen friends for a weekend of madness to Folly Beach.
“We were fed up of waiting for the return to normality, to freedom. We rented a large house at the edge of the sea for a feast of déconfinement “, she says, the shoulders reddened by the sun.
In restaurants-crowded bars of the resort close to Charleston, the customers, almost all without a mask, do not even pretend to follow the gestures of the barrier in front of their plates of shrimp, the specialty of the corner.
We shake hands, we kiss, we scramble…
“It is as if the virus never happened here! “, appreciates Anne, glad to be able to spend here the money saved during two months of confinement without outings or shopping. “It is good for the local economy “.