The Chinese COVID-19 virus has already been dubbed the specter of the 2008 global crisis. The authoritative medical journal Lancet claims that even the available official data on the number of cases and deaths are underestimated in order to avoid panic and prevent financial and economic losses.
The world health organization on January 30 declared the situation with the coronavirus a global emergency. However, it did not impose import bans or recommend closing borders or restricting entry/exits.
Experts are already predicting crises in various areas no matter how the situation develops with the spread of 2019-nCoV — in passenger and cargo logistics, aviation communications, mass events, production of large volumes of products, etc.
The situation with the development of tourism and the hospitality industry is interpreted differently. It is predicted that crises, the emergence of new types of travel and communication.
Who will suffer the most from the coronavirus
The President of the world tourism and travel Council (WTTC) said that the new nCoV-19 strain will cost the tourism industry about 20 billion euros. This is provided that the epidemic will be dealt with as soon as possible. If not, the losses may be two or even three times greater.
Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Macau will suffer the most. They have a high number of tourists from China.
Since that announcement, outbreaks have been reported in 72 countries around the world. Tourist locations are empty, city administrations cancel festivals, exhibitions, fairs and other mass events.
Ukraine in focus: opinions of hotel business experts
Artur Lupashko, founder of the management company Ribas Hotels Group, said that the Ukrainian hospitality industry will not be significantly affected by the coronavirus:
— A Chinese tourist is not a target guest of the Ukrainian hospitality industry. For the purpose of trade, as in many developing countries, there are many of them. But for recreation, Chinese citizens choose other countries. HoReCa has nothing to fear. The fact that many countries have Chinese entry will not affect us in a negative way.
But domestic tourism may increase for the next quarter or two, as as of yesterday, almost all European capitals or near-capital cities are already on the world map of the coronavirus. I think many people will cancel their tours in Europe, but they will continue to travel in Ukraine. The reservations Department has already received requests for early reservation in the resort facilities Gribovka, Odessa-Karolino-Bugaz, Zatoka.
Andrey Marenchuk, Executive Director of Ribas Hotels Group:
— Tourism can be affected by anything: domestic or international conflicts, economic crises, quarantines, etc. After all, tourism develops only if people are absolutely safe. There are very few extreme travelers, so they do not have a sufficient positive effect.
The coronavirus, of course, has affected global tourism processes, as it directly affects security processes. Now the media is actively publishing news on this topic. Of course, this affects business activity and travel.
We will be able to see and compare the actual figures of this impact at the end of the year. But as of this moment in time, nothing has changed for the same period last year: the average rate, load, and profitability have remained the same. It is not yet known how this will go on. It all depends on what scale the spread will reach.
The business has a risky share in flights. But this is not classic tourism. If you need to go to a negotiation in a country with a certain level of risk, most likely, you will still go if a good deal is at stake.
We will monitor developments. Subscribe to our blog to be the first to learn about the hospitality industry in Ukraine.