Coronavirus Affects Tourism Worldwide


The Coronavirus has taken center stage on tourism worldwide. Co-operation between public and private sectors within all International Travel & Tourism agencies is essential to mitigating the impact of the coronavirus, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. Countries in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Italy (as well as other European countries) and the United States are not only dealing with the Coronavirus but with the lack of knowledge of people who now fear traveling.

Major shops, restaurants, and tourist destinations are shuttering their doors across China, as global businesses begin to feel the effects of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak.

A hotel in Tenerife (Spain), popular with British tourists, has gone into lockdown after a guest tested positive for coronavirus. Around 1,000 holidaymakers in this Tenerife Hotel have been placed on controlled occupancy after a previous guest tested positive for Coronavirus. Health authorities in the Canary Islands confirmed an Italian national was diagnosed with the Covid-19 infection, sparking quarantine measures. 

The Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 have been monitoring the Coronavirus outbreaks and are still planning to host the event as scheduled.  The official website for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, providing the latest news, event information, Games Vision, and venue plans will continue to provide updates.

When it comes to the tourism sector, the damage of the coronavirus is as much about the seriousness of the virus itself as its inauspicious timing. Spring and summer is a major travel time for people around the world.

In Italy, there has been a decline in tourism from destinations that depend on travelers who now have empty streets and closed stores. There have been increasing incidents of xenophobia in Italy in recent days, including calls on social media to avoid Chinese shops and restaurants over Coronavirus fears.

In Chicago, the visitors to Chinatown have declined significantly.  On Monday, February 24 a group of business leaders and supporters of Chinatown hosted a Food Crawl to help support the efforts to encourage people to visit this Chicago destination. Chinatowns across the US have been affected by declining visitors.

HONG KONG, CHINA – JANUARY 29: A traveler wearing a protective mask sits at the gate at Hong Kong High-Speed Rail Station on January 29, 2020, in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong government will deny entry for travelers who have been to Hubei province except for local residents in response to tighten the international travel and border crossing to stop the spread of the virus. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

International travel is being effected as ships, airlines and hotels are dealing with cases of Coronavirus. The State Department advised cruise ship travelers to or within Asia to reconsider their trips, saying in a statement on its website,  “This is a dynamic situation and US citizens traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities.”

“Be an informed traveler and seek information from a travel professional before making or canceling existing international reservations”, commented Michael Embrey, International Travel Concierge for FunME Events (DeKalb). “If you are traveling internationally, it is advisable to purchase travel insurance.” FunME Events works directly with the U.S. Department of State – Travel Division which is a resource for international travelers to consider for safe travel overseas.  Travel alerts and warnings are maintained by the U.S. Department of State and Homeland Security.

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