Amid coronavirus outbreak, China has reportedly thrown the travel industry into chaos, threatening billions of dollars in losses while keeping millions of travellers at home. As per reports, the outbreak has already claimed 565 lives and infected more than 28,000 people. The outbreak took started in Wuhan earlies this year and many countries have started evacuating their citizens and decided to restrict the entry of foreigners returning from China.
According to international media reports, 30 airlines have suspended services in China and nearly 25,000 flights were also cancelled earlier this week. Reportedly, hotel rooms in China are largely empty and with many tourists cancelling travel to Asia while many are taking a wait-and-see approach. Asia, which attracts 75% of Lunar New Year travellers, has also seen a decline even though the Chinese New Year is one of China's major travel periods.
Amid the deadly virus, Disney further reportedly said that it could lose $175 million if its parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai remained closed for the next two months. Thailand, on the hand, said that they expect to $9.7 billion in tourism income from Chinese travellers through June. Destinations further from the outbreak are also feeling the loss of Chinese tourists and many countries have banned visitors from mainland China.
Earlier, the WHO has also warned the international public health authorities that the Wuhan Virus was of a significant threat to the nations outside mainland China and the disease's pandemic nature enforced a global response to the outbreak. Authorities also banned Chinese nationals from travelling into their territory, suspending airlines and halting the visa issuance as well as immigration facility. The health authorities around the world are further taking action to prevent a global epidemic, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and several Asian countries besides China.
Macau has denied entry to visitors from China's Hubei province unless they can provide documentation showing that they are not infected with the virus. The Macau government said that they will also not allow those who visited the province 14 days prior to their arrival.
China's immediate neighbour, Mongolia has further closed all universities and educational institutes until March 2 to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. Citing a cabinet meeting, Mongolian state media also said that it has closed the border crossings for motor vehicles and pedestrian traffic from January 27 and called for public gatherings to be cancelled.
On the other hand, Hong Kong's land and sea crossings with China have been closed and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam has also announced the suspension of train and ferry services.