Online platforms crucial for short-term accommodation providers

first_imgAccording to a survey conducted by the European Commission on the provision of accommodation for tourists based on the sharing economy, service providers are mostly satisfied with the rental system.They most often reach guests through online platforms (70,3%), and cite bureaucracy and frequent changes in the rules governing their business as the biggest obstacles that could lead to the cessation of service provision. The majority of short-term accommodation service providers, 56,36% of them to be precise, confirmed that they use their primary residence in which they reside continuously or secondary residence, in which they reside on a temporary basis, for the needs of the activity. For more than two-thirds of respondents, income from short-term accommodation activities accounts for less than half of their total annual income.In terms of guest relations, the majority of respondents (51,4%) confirmed that they did not experience problems during the rental process, while the majority of the rest of the respondents said that the problems were mostly simple in nature and easily solvable. When commenting on the rules governing the provision of short-term accommodation, respondents ’responses differed with respect to the country of origin. Respondents from countries that reacted negatively to the rules, such as Italy, Germany, Spain and France, highlighted tax regulations as particularly problematic.Despite some difficulties, based on the key results of the survey and based on the explanations of the respondents, short-term accommodation providers within the sharing economy are generally satisfied with their activity and intend to continue to provide this type of service. The vast majority of them (70,3%) confirmed that they use online platforms almost exclusively to reach guests.An online survey was conducted from January 24 to March 14, 2017 on a sample of 391 short-term accommodation providers to gain a better understanding of the sharing economy and its main features within the short-term accommodation provider sector. The survey was not conducted on the basis of a representative sample, but represents a basic insight into the situation on the short-term accommodation market with regard to the experiences of service providers. As early as 2016, the European Commission analyzed the attitudes of users within the sharing economy, as part of activities aimed at gaining insight that can then be used in the process of adapting consumer and marketing regulations.Source: HGKlast_img read more

Trump-backed drug to be tested on thousands in Mumbai slums

first_img“For use of HCQ as prophylaxis in a hotspot, there is simply not enough evidence. No preventive studies published to say that this approach really protects people,” said Leena Menghaney, a New Delhi-based activist with Médecins Sans Frontières. “Potential risk may surpass the potential benefit of providing it widely for people without the disease.”Too Many UncertaintiesThere have been reports of heart-rhythm problems in some people in France, especially if used in a larger dose or if it interacts with other drugs, according to Menghaney. “There are too many uncertainties to say if it will help or if it will be futile in the public health response” against the coronavirus outbreak, she said.The anti-malarial drug didn’t help patients clear the virus better than standard care and was much more likely to cause side effects, according to a study in China. There were more side effects in the group who took hydroxychloroquine, but they were mostly mild, the most common being diarrhea, the study found.Aware of the deeply divided stance on this drug, Mumbai’s city officials are being careful.A policeman wearing a protective mask walks inside a shelter set up for migrants during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, April 6, 2020. (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas)The original plan to dose 50,000 people between the ages of 18 years and 55 years, with no pre-existing liver and heart ailments, has now been scaled down as regular follow-up and surveillance of such a huge group would have been a challenge, said Kakani who is responsible for execution of this initiative.The medicine will be given to only those people who are willing, he insists, after recording their personal and medical history, including any medication they may be on.Spot Side EffectsAs many as 4,500 health care workers in Mumbai can be roped in this initiative. Each health care worker will be alloted 25-30 houses to track during the tenure of the medication and will be well-trained to spot any side effects for three to seven weeks over which the drug may be administered.Kakani refutes that the two locations were chosen because they are slum settlements.“In Dharavi and Worli we have created quarantine zone with high risk patients. We are anyway monitoring that group for 14 days, so we are able to observe these people and provide medical services,” he said. “We are not going ahead just because this is a slum.”Mumbai’s municipal authorities have completely sealed some areas, created quarantine zones, and are conducting door-to-door contact tracing of those found infected.As the death toll mounts despite India being in a lockdown for nearly a month, local governments have begun weighing the risks and rewards of some unprecedented policy measures.“We can try newer things if it’s permissible and advisable by relevant experts,” Kakani said. “Just because no one has tried it out yet does not mean we shouldn’t also. We can’t sit back and relax.”Topics : “This is a one-time window available to us and may give answers for the pandemic the world is struggling with,” Kakani said. “We are taking utmost care to understand the side effects before implementing this.”Mumbai, which has seen more than a tenth of India’s over 13,800 cases and a quarter of its deaths, has emerged as the biggest virus hotspot in India and is racing against time to curb the contagion in several clusters.The densely-packed slums of Dharavi are one of the two locations — Worli, the worst-hit Mumbai neighborhood is the other– where the city officials plan to start a hydroxychloroquine or HCQ-dosing drive as a prophylaxis or a preemptive medication aimed at warding off the disease.There’s no conclusive scientific evidence that the drug works on virus patients, not to mention its use as a preventive therapy. India’s financial capital Mumbai is fine-tuning a plan to administer an unproven but much touted anti-malarial drug in neighborhoods including Asia’s most crowded slum, the first-of-its-kind mass experiment to ward off the coronavirus.The city officials are identifying a target group which will receive hydroxychloroquine, according to Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner at Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Medical experts are being consulted on the duration of dosage, he said, adding that a decision was expected in a couple of days.The move underscores the desperation and mounting pressure on health care officials for solutions against a novel pathogen which has infected over 2.1 million people globally and killed over 146,000. It also explains the frenzied excitement over a decades-old drug — US President Donald Trump called it a “game changer” in the fight against the virus –despite a patchy efficacy record in some small studies and a documented list of side effects.last_img read more

Defying the odds, Smith returns to race and represent PA in All-Star Invitational

first_img“I was told I’d be lucky to walk again, that there was a high likelihood they’d have to amputate,” said Smith, leery at the thought of racing with a prosthetic. “I had five surgeries and seven months of not walking on that foot. I didn’t feel comfortable on crutches so I used a walker or wheelchair around the house or a knee scooter.” COLUMBIA CROSSROADS, Pa. – A year and a half ago, doctors were telling Brad Smith he’d never race again.  “This year has been a lot better for me than last year in terms of being able to race and travel,” Smith said. “It seems we’ve had a lot of bad luck gremlins this year that have kept us out of the top three.” “It was mid-August before I started walking without the boot. I didn’t know if I’d make it to Boone,” he said. “I missed a lot of early starts and wasn’t in the point battle but I still won four times at Out­law.”  “Words can’t describe it,” said Smith, who had earned his place on the All-Star ballot by topping Summer Nationals at Outlaw Speedway. “I’ve been to Boone the last four years. See­ing all that takes place makes my hair stand up. The All-Star Invitational is one of the most prestig­ious races in IMCA.”  Brad Smith, pictured in victory lane with daughter Locklynn, became just the second IMCA Modified driver from Pennsylvania to be elected to start the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. (Photo by Greg Mesler, Motorsports Junction) He’ll become just the second Pennsylvania driver in the 16-year history of the event to start the Friday night special at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.  Being able to race was first and foremost in his mind following a Jan. 12, 2018 traffic accident on his way home from work, after staying late to wrench on a race car at his shop in Horseheads, N.Y. center_img The head-on crash left Smith with a badly broken right foot.  He’d matched that total by early August, with two checkers at Thunder Mountain Speedway and one win each at Afton Motorsports Park and at Outlaw.  Once he was healthy enough to race, driving his tow rig to the track was as challenging as driving his car around it. Smith used crutches and a walking boot for much of his 2018 campaign. Smith will have a couple nights to figure out the surface at Boone before Friday’s All-Star Invita­tional. Regardless of the finish, he knows it will be a career kind of highlight. In July, his family, friends and fellow IMCA Modified drivers were calling and texting to congratu­late the Columbia Crossroads, Pa., driver on his election to the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. “Starting the All-Star race means a lot to us,” he said. “To have been elected by the fans is unbelieva­ble.”last_img read more

Double departure hands Pakistan a testing transition

first_imgBy Sudipto Ganguly(REUTERS) – As Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq head off into the sunset after long and illustrious careers, Pakistan (board) begins a tricky period of transition looking for a new wave of players ready to fill a huge void left by the retired batting greats.In a fitting finale, Younis, Pakistan’s most prolific Test run-scorer, and Misbah, the country’s most successful captain, bowed out together in a blaze of glory on Sunday with the team celebrating a first-ever series triumph in the Caribbean.The thrilling 101-run victory in Dominica sealed a 2-1 win over West Indies and was Pakistan’s 26th under the 42-year-old Misbah, who also led the side to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) world Test rankings last year.Since his 2001 Test debut in New Zealand, Misbah accumulated 5 222 runs in 75 matches at an average higher than 46.Admired for his unflappable temperament in a dressing room replete with mercurial talent, Misbah was handed the Test captaincy after a 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England led to the expulsion of his predecessor Salman Butt.ICC chief executive David Richardson was among those to pay a glowing tribute to the consistent right-hander.“Misbah has been the bedrock of many a Pakistan innings, time and time again extricating his team from difficult situations with a terrific temperament,” the former South Africa wicketkeeper said.“He knew how to graft for his runs but could also be inventive and score at a brisk pace, as was evident during his impressive 56-ball century against Australia in 2014 in Abu Dhabi, which equalled Viv Richards’ world record.“He was a leader who took charge at a difficult time. He was a true sportsman and role model.”If Misbah represented the voice of reason in both the dressing room and out on the field, Younis let his bat do the talking, and is currently the only Pakistani who has joined the coveted 10 000-run Test club.GREAT SERVANTSThe former captain, who led Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title in 2009, tallied 10 099 runs in 118 Tests, embellishing his legacy with 34 hundreds at an average of more than 52.Together they were the pillars of Pakistan’s batting lineup for over a decade and it could take many years for the country to find anyone capable of matching their feats.Pakistan’s situation mirrors the dilemma South Asian rivals Sri Lanka faced when batting mainstays Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene ended their international careers two years ago.“I was really sad when Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene left the Sri Lankan team together. Look at their team now, they are in such disarray,” former Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir told the Express Tribune.“Likewise, both of these batsmen leaving together could cause problems for Pakistan’s Test team. However, they have been great servants to the country.”Pakistan have coped with their absence in the shorter formats since 2015 but the challenge of white-ball cricket is completely different to the patience and technique required in the red-ball arena.“The onus is now on the likes of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed to step up and fill the void,” Misbah told Cricket Australia’s website in an interview last month.“When two Pakistan greats Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf left the scene, Younis and I tried to fill that gap. Azhar and Asad have developed in the meantime and now they are at a stage to replace us.“We need Azhar and Asad to take ownership of the Test side. Every team goes though transition periods and Pakistan is no different.”last_img read more