How Coronavirus Could Affect the Travel and Tourism Industry?

Since the Coronavirus first emerged, the travel and tourism industry has been rocked, with hotel lockdowns, travel bans and airlines cancelling flights as different countries have stepped up their measures to try and prevent the spread of the disease. Firstly, there were bans related to travelers from China, where the virus first started and as other countries such as Italy began to have large numbers of confirmed cases, travel and tourism to Italy was also affected. The virus quickly started to appear in various countries around the world, with many countries now in complete lockdown.

Donald Trump banned travelers from most EU countries from entering the US, which of course impacted US tourism but other countries have now followed suit, with popular European holiday destinations such as Spain now on lockdown and not allowing tourists into the country. The impact of the travel bans has already been huge on the travel and tourism industry, with airlines, hotels, restaurants and cruise companies now facing some very bleak months ahead.

It is difficult to predict how long it will take for the coronavirus situation to resolve and industries such as travel and tourism get back into normal operation. Reports suggest that 50 million jobs could be lost in the travel and tourism industry. Asia, the originating continent of the coronavirus is expected to be the worst affected in terms of travel and tourism, with people expected to be less inclined to travel there in the future, at least in the short to medium term.

The tourism industry accounts for 10% of the global GDP, so as well as impacting the industry, it will have a big effect on the global economy. Whilst medical experts are unable to predict how long it will take for the pandemic to be resolved, once it is over it could take a further 10 months for the travel and tourism industry to recover. During these times, smaller travel companies and hotels, as well as the larger ones could go out of business completely

The cruise ship industry has been at the center of some high profile coronavirus cases, with cruise ships having been stranded and holidaymakers not allowed to disembark due to an outbreak on their ship. This affected the industry before travel bans came into place, with many travelers worried about the disease affecting their cruise, given that people are kept in a confined space with large volumes of people for a long period of time.

30 day travel ban likely to get extended

When Donald Trump announced the travel ban for the US due to coronavirus, the ban was for 30 days but with the number of cases on a steady incline, it is looking increasingly likely that the ban will be extended beyond those 30 days.

The equivalent of three months’ worth of international travel could be the reality of the situation, which will have a huge effect on the industry as companies try and rebuild after that. Currently hotels have not been impacted as much as airlines and cruise companies, although this could change significantly over the next few weeks with more countries potentially going into lockdown and great uncertainty around how long the lockdowns in each country will be for.

This week there have been instances where holidaymakers in Spain have been left stranded as airlines have cancelled their flights but then hotels have been closing down, leaving the people in a very difficult situation.

In the US the travel and tourism industry are looking to the government to help by providing $150 billion in relief money. The UK is also following a similar approach to try and rescue one of the most important industries from the brink.

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