Daily Management Review

Global Tourism Sector To Be Hit By At Least $22 Billion Because Of Coronavirus Hit


Global Tourism Sector To Be Hit By At Least $22 Billion Because Of Coronavirus Hit
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, a significant drop in spending by Chinese tourists because of the travel restrictions imposed on travelling to and from China as well as within China in order to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavuirus – now officially called COVID-19, will result in a hit of least $22 billion to the international travel industry.  
The coronavirus epidemic has so far infected more 81,000 in over 45 countries – killing a total of more than 2,760 people across the world – but mainly from mainland China – the epicenter of the epidemic which first emerged in December last year.
"It is too soon to know but the WTTC has made a preliminary calculation in collaboration with (research firm) Oxford Economics which estimates that the crisis will cost the sector at least US$22 billion," Gloria Guevara, the head of the WTTC said.
"This calculation is based on the experience of previous crises, such as SARS or H1N1, and is based on losses deriving from Chinese tourists who have not been travelling in recent weeks," she said.
"The Chinese are the tourists who spend most when they travel."
The figure of the hit to the travel and tourism industry was actually the most optimistic scenario that was used for the calculation by the study that was conducted by Oxford Economics and was first published on February 11. The study assumed that there would be a drop of 0.7 per cent in the total annual overseas trips that are usually made by Chinese nationals.
However the report predicted that if the novel coronavirus got extended for as long as was the case with the 2003 SARS outbreak, the losses to the industry could get more than doubled. The SARS epidemic ravaged the world for a period of nine months before it was brought under complete control – as it had started in November 2002 and was declared in July 2003.
The Oxford Economics study said that the losses will increase further to touch $73 billion if the novel coronavirus lasts longer than the SARS outbreak period.
Those economies that are most dependent on tourism flow and expenditure from Chinese tourists such as Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, are the ones that are most likely to be the most affected, the study has revealed.
Health measures that could cause "unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade" should be avoided by countries, the World Trade Organization warned on Wednesday, and added that countries should impose such travel restrictions that are proportionate with the outbreak so that there is no "negative repercussions on the tourism sector".