Besides Chinese travel bans, new reservations from western regions such as Europe and the United States have also slowed down. Since the outbreak, hotels and resorts in South East Asian destinations have witnessed an average of 70% drop in new reservations.
Beyond efforts to isolate China’s coronavirus is the massive impact it will have on global tourism, especially in Asia. China’s boom in outbound tourism is unprecedented in human history and has driven the growth of businesses to serve Chinese travellers around the world. China’s outbound tourists numbered 160 million in 2019 and spent around $300 billion, making them number one in tourism spend rankings by any country.
Thanks to the virus outbreak, Chinese tourists are the new pariahs, being screened and quarantined and shunned by hotels and shops, apart from China banning travel from areas around Wuhan. The hardest hit by all this will be the Asia-Pacific region. Top destinations for Chinese travellers are Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore and Bali in Indonesia—a big draw for Chinese holidaymakers.
Bali’s economy is tourism-based and many worry that businesses will collapse. Bali has already seen nearly 10,000 tourist cancellations. Other countries popular with Chinese tourists include Japan, with nearly 10 million visitors, and Vietnam with around 5 million. Thailand, the top destination for China’s holidaymakers, forecasts that Chinese tourist numbers will fall by as much as two million this year from 11 million in 2019. Bangkok is the world’s most visited city mainly because of Chinese tourist numbers. Thailand earned an estimated $18 billion from Chinese tourists in 2019. Thailand is also contending with having more Coronavirus infections than anywhere outside China—14 till last week.