The coronavirus outbreak has already cost American travel-related businesses $7 billion as companies are canceling attendance at conferences and meetings.
From airlines to hotels to car rentals to convention centers, analysts say the effects are starting to be felt.
“The cancellations are starting to move toward North America,” Scott Solombrino, executive director of the Global Business Travel Association, coronavirus-cancel-travel/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>told the Washington Post. “Obviously the concern is that this will have a long-term impact on the U.S. economy.”
The Post reported that hotels around the country have begun reporting a rise in group cancellations. And some air carriers, including Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways, are coronavirus-fears.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>doing away with cancellation fees as jittery travelers rethink their plans.
In fact, the Mobile World Congress canceled its conference in Barcelona last week, a gathering that usually draws 100,000 attendees from 200 countries.
Campbell Brown, the CEO and co-founder of PredictHQ, says there is a 500 percent increase (and growing) in the cancellation or postponement of significant events.
Brown’s company, which tracks event data and trends and how health and safety concerns have historically impacted events, has seen more than 220 significant and major events canceled in February of 2020. To give context, there were just 45 significant and major events canceled or postponed in February 2019.
“And, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Brown said in a statement. “We can all expect to see more global events canceled in the coming months related to the coronavirus concerns. The coronavirus is having a record-breaking, immediate impact as compared to historical spikes of other viruses, including Ebola and MERS.”
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