UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Summer vacations may be canceled this year around the world, as tourists prefer to give up travel for fear of contracting a new coronavirus, CNBC writes.
Demand for international travel declined amid an outbreak of the virus, which had already spread to nearly 60 countries.
Ian Harnett, co-founder and IT director of Absolute Strategy, warned that the continued crisis could seriously affect the global tourism sector.
“If this (the outbreak of the coronavirus) lasts, we are talking about the impact on Easter holidays, as well as potentially on summer holidays, then the preference for a vacation at home will do huge damage to these industries,” he said.
Data from ForwardKeys, an analytical firm, shows that the number of international flights booked from the US and the UK has dropped by almost 20% year on year over a five-week period by February 23.
Olivier Ponti, vice president of research at ForwardKeys, told CNBC it’s “crystal clear” that the decline is due to fear of coronavirus.
“Will it be a delayed trip, or will people prefer other destinations, or will there be no travel at all?” – he said.
“The longer the crisis lasts, the greater the likelihood that there will be no trips at all,” said Ponti.
According to him, trips within the country can grow, and coronavirus will only lead to a decrease in demand for foreign destinations.
“When a large-scale crisis occurs, it often happens that domestic tourism plays a role of insurance,” he told CNBC. “People may prefer traveling over short distances, because it is the environment they know best.”
Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, also told CNBC that the outbreak could change travelers’ plans.
“Most consumers, especially in the western world, attach great importance to the holidays and will not give up easily,” he said. “Apparently some have been looking up private air charter services to see if they can perhaps safely fly out to their vacations when lockdown ends. (But) if the virus still has the same effect by the end of April, the number of cancellations can potentially increase rapidly, as consumers consider that their health risk is higher than their vacation need. ”
Airlines have already warned that the outbreak will affect their profits, and according to estimates by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the crisis will cost the industry more than $ 29 billion in 2020.
According to the European Commission on Tourism, ten percent of GDP (gross domestic product) of Europe is in tourism, but in some EU member states, including Spain and Italy, this figure rises to 14%.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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