Published on : Tuesday, February 18, 2020
The detrimental impact on tourist arrivals in China is beyond dispute though not all markets show the same level of sensitivity in the face of the current crisis. The US and Canadian markets show a higher fall in demand than European markets.
The global impact of the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan (China) is directly affecting both inbound and outbound tourist flows to/from the Asian country. The overlap between the sanitary crisis, its subsequent air connectivity deadlock (65% drop in international air connections) and the Chinese New Year (25th January) and ensuing Golden Week has caused a global collapse of Chinese outbound tourism.
The impact is even greater for inbound international tourists to China, with a surge in cancellations and a drastic downward trend with regards to the demand to visit the country. The Travel Intelligence consulting firm Mabrian Technologies decided to analyse the impact of this loss of confidence from the main Western issuing markets to the Asian country. To do so, an analysis was carried out on the evolution of the Perceived Security Index (PSI) towards the destination as well as the evolution of spontaneous demand (in terms of flight searches) from these markets to the destination.
The PSI is an indicator measured by Mabrian Technologies based on tourist interactions on Social Media (Big Data) in relation to a particular destination, with the help of Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence techniques. This index allows them to capture the sentiment towards particular security aspects, such as for example a sanitary crisis.
The analysis focused on the US, Canadian, German, British and French markets as these are the five main Western markets in terms of air connectivity with China for the next few months (February to December 2020).
By analysing the spontaneous behaviour of these markets both on Social Media as well as in terms of demand for flight searches throughout January, what emanates is that the North American markets show a higher level of sensitivity towards the crisis than the European markets analysed.