Published on : Monday, April 6, 2020
Due to rapid spread of coronavirus or COVID 19, China can face a huge loss in travel and tourism sector. Benjamin Cowling, a professor of epidemiology and bio-statistics at Hong Kong University said that China is keeping a close eye on Covid-19 detections and may need to tune the social distancing measures that are needed to keep Covid-19 contained. For now, it may be OK to relax some measures, but those measures should be tightened if case numbers pick up. For this all the sectors are closed. But last week, China reopened most of its tourist attractions and offered free entry. This can happen a major pandemic.
Cowling said that he would not be surprised if most countries continue to prohibit mass gatherings for the rest of 2020. He is adding that temperature checks at entrances would be a good idea, but it might not be sufficient to protect visitors.
Anhui, which shares its western border with Hubei province, the initial centre of the outbreak, last reported a new infection on Feb 27, according to official figures. The province reported a total of 990 cases of Covid-19, including six deaths. China’s tourism and cultural sectors are among the worst hit as a result of the outbreak.
A number of Shanghai’s popular tourist spots, including the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Jinmao Tower had to close again last week only two weeks after reopening.
Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy, a research institute under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, told a forum in February that he expected domestic tourism would contract as much as 56 per cent in the first quarter and 15.5 per cent for the whole year.
Dai also estimated that annual income loss from tourism could hit 1.2 trillion yuan (US$169 billion) this year.