China’s Corona Pandemic – A Nightmare For Tourists?

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Summing up to the recent outbreak of the dangerous CORONAVIRUS, it took a massive toll on the Chinese tourism industry, impacting its economy. According to The New York Times, Chinese officials affirmed over 6,000 cases of the mysterious epidemic as foreign governments airlifted their citizens out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Coronavirus is a diverse family of viruses that includes the common cold and SARS, the rampant which decimated almost 800 worldwide in an outbreak from 2002 to 2003.

By the evaluation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the new virus strain called “2019-nCoV” is considered to have an incubation period of two to 14 days.

China’s Economic Downfall?

Drastic measures to contain the outbreak of the virus to its epicenter in Hubei Province proved to have failed to stop the contagion, according to Forbes.com.

On Wednesday, Chinese officials reported the number of cases had hiked by approximately a third overnight. Experts cautioned that the initial amount of cases could be significantly higher and increasing quickly. The number of deaths credited to the virus also continued to grow.

The travel restrictions put a stop on China’s contact with the world, stemming businesses and tourism as China’s economy faces a potential blow.

With China’s Lunar New Year at its end, companies ordered workers to stay indoors and avoid travel. The economic blow of such measures indicated a more profound crisis, with many people accusing the Chinese authorities online of failing to take any stern initiative to contain the virus, even as the government continues to endeavor to control its outbreak.

The travel advisories and bans appeared as the virus portrayed early signs of outbreak outside China, with cases of transmission to people who had not recently traveled to China reported in Japan, Germany, and Vietnam. The world may now be confronted with the task of limiting the outbreak of the disease in their nations, not merely seeking to recognize and quarantine infected people who had traveled to China.

The powerhouse at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned against insignificant travel to China, reporting that there is “limited access to sufficient medical care in affected areas.” The United States is augmenting the screening of travelers arriving from Wuhan to 20 airports and other ports of entry.

Economies in the Asian continent will have to brace for a rough year ahead as China fights against an outbreak, analysts and officials warned as travel restrictions imply.

Massive losses on the travel industry

China has halted all tours, both domestically and internationally, to contain the spread of a new coronavirus that was believed to be based on the leading Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei.

In the Monday end, there were 4,515 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, as reported by China’s National Health Commission. The death toll was 106.

Halting group tours from China have sent a spur of cancellations across the travel sectors, with booking platforms and travel agents to issuing refunds to customers.

Trip.com, China’s copious online travel booking dais, has established a two hundred million dollar disaster relief money to return to the customers who have previously paid for travel packages. But who now cannot travel due to bans, reported Jane Sun, the CEO of the company.

The pandemic will hit Asia Pacific economies, particularly in retail, restaurants, conferences, sporting events, tourism, and commercial aviation, reported by Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit.

The rapid hike in household incomes in China has triggered walk-in Chinese tourism visits abroad, which have escalated from 20 million in 2003 to a staggering 150 million in 2018. Consequently, the exposure of many Asia-Pacific economies to a deterioration in Chinese tourism visits has increased notably over the past two decades.

Also, over the last two decades, the swift pace of the economic growth of China has made it a pivotal export market for many Asia-Pacific nations. However, China’s growing significance in Asia-Pacific trade and investment flows has also created glaring vulnerability for the Asia-Pacific region from this sort of unpredictable ‘black swan’ event currently bashing the Chinese economy.

Tourism is responsible for 18 percent of the nation’s GDP, with Chinese globetrotters making up more than a quarter of total arrivals. The country’s tourism minister has already cautioned a crisis on the scale of SARS could cost approx. $1.6 billion, and the culminations are already vivid in Phuket. In Beijing, the epochal Forbidden City will also close to tourists. All over the country, temples have been closed down, and public transport systems suspended. The extent of the coronavirus crisis and how long it will last remains uncertain, making it hard to evaluate the scale of losses.

The burgeoning coronavirus crisis, which is believed to have its epicenter in the city of Wuhan, has put a sudden stop to proceedings. Travelers have canceled plans and been turned away from attractions, as the Chinese authorities seek to ignore a repeat of the SARS viral epidemic of 2002 and 2003, which decimated more than 8,000 globally. Hundreds of airlines out of Wuhan have been declined, with flights like China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China have been constrained by the country’s governing body to cancel all airlines to and from Wuhan and give prospective passengers full refunds on their bookings.

A step back for the tourism industry

For China’s bustling tourism industry, it’s an unfortunate moment. The previous year, by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, tourism revenue hit an exceptional 513.9 billion yuan ($78 billion) during the week of the festival, an increase of 8.2% year-on-year. More than 40% of tourists visited museums and galleries, while more than one in three attended a “cultural performance.”

As shutters dropped down in shops and city-bound transportation comes to an uncertain halt as the coronavirus spreads like wildfire, one of China’s promising economic spots could end up slowing the sight of a country which has been struggling with its poorest economic growth in 29 years.

China reported on Monday that its finance ministry and National Health Commission had extended 60.33 billion yuan ($8.74bn) to help dominate the rampage caused by the virus.