The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak soared to 811 in China today, according to official figures. With 81 more people dying in Hubei — the province at the centre of the outbreak — the toll is now higher than the 774 killed worldwide by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, according to figures released Sunday.
Although cases of coronavirus are being reported from all over the world, it is South-East Asia that seems to be suffering the most in travel demand. Travel has fallen close to 50% in many Asian countries. According to travel portals, countries like Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are recording a drop of 50% in travel demand.
‘While Thailand and Vietnam bookings have not been impacted, our search queries reveal that travellers who have made advance flight bookings for travel to Thailand in the next two months are holding off on confirming their hotel bookings in the next two months are holding off on confirming their hotel bookings due to the virus scare,’ reported Alok Bajpai, founder of ixigo.
Brian Fitzgerald, president of Overseas Adventure Travel, said that after its initial cancellations for trips to China through the stir of the outbreak’s notice, tourists slated to go to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam started to reconsider as well.
While Sabina Chopra, co-founder of Yatra.com said that people preferred to travel to European destinations like Norway, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands and Brazil instead.
Tourists are cancelling pre-booked flights to Kerala, India due to three confirmed cases of Corona Virus.
Several trips to Mamallapuram, Chennai by Chinese groups have now been cancelled. The seaside heritage had become a prime destination to Chinese tourists in India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a summit there last year.
In Karnataka India, there used to be an enormous demand for travel to Cambodia and Vietnam which has been hit according to experts.
The tourism industries in China and the countries that rely on Chinese tourists will suffer the most instantaneous consequences. This has largely toppled the Asian Tourism industry. This could not have happened at a worse time as the Chinese lunar new year looms soon.
The coronavirus, initially reported in Wuhan, China has attacked more than 31,000 people with more than 800reported deaths. Cases have been seen in several countries like Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, the US and Vietnam.