FX Excursions

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Coronavirus Threatens China Travel and Related Industries

by Erich Martin

Feb 5, 2020
eFlyer Lead

The coronavirus continues to spread throughout China and the world, and its impact can already be felt in travel to and through China. A handy timeline from Australian news website abc.net.au outlines the outbreak from the first detected instance of the disease in mid-December.

Toward the end of January, China locked Wuhan down and cancelled Lunar New Year festivities in the city. In the following days and weeks, more and more cities were locked down as Chinese officials tried to stem the spread of the disease. Perhaps too little too late, travel organizations and countries now take matters into their own hands.

British Airways was the first airline to make an announcement regarding flights to Mainland China. On Wednesday of last week, the airline suspended all routes into the growing pandemic’s home. The airline’s announcement follows The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s recommendation that travellers avoid all but essential travel to China’s Mainland.

According to Reuters, United Airlines suspended more than 20 U.S.-based flights to China and Hong Kong citing a lack of demand.  Delta Air Lines and American Airlines suspended flights to China after the U.S. State Department raised the travel advisory level. Other countries including South Korea and the U.A.E. advise staying away from the country if at all possible.

In Asia itself, Hong Kong is restricting travel along its border with China in an effort to keep the virus from spreading further. According to reporting from the BBC, high-speed trains and ferries that allow easy access between the regions were restricted starting last Thursday.

“As reported cases of the coronavirus increase and spread far beyond China, concern within the global tourism industry is understandably peaking. Travel stocks were among the biggest losers on global markets yesterday as the realization of the damage that would be caused by a long-term reduction in both inbound and outbound tourism through China dawned on investors,” said Ben Cordwell, travel and tourism analyst, GlobalData. GlobalData is an analysis firm dedicated to providing information to help its clients make informed decisions.

When is the last time you travelled to China? Does the coronavirus scare you? Tell us. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.

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