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Coronavirus Outbreak to Impact Tourism Industry in 2020 and Beyond

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As a result of the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on tourism, a new study found that visits from Chinese nationals to the United States could drop by as much as 28 percent this year.

According to data from Tourism Economics, the coronavirus outbreak is being compared to the SARS epidemic of 2003, including the economic fallout associated with the illness and the resulting travel bans and cancellations.

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In total, data suggests the U.S. could lose $10.3 billion in cumulative Chinese travel spending in the coming years due to the impact of the viral infection. Since China’s economy has grown exponentially since the SARS epidemic, the damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak is expected to be much larger.

“We expect the most significant declines will be experienced in 2020 with recovery beginning in the latter part of this year,” the Tourism Economics report read. “While growth will accelerate in 2021, the entire recovery will span four years, like the SARS experience. A total of 1.6 million visits from China will be lost, with 56% of the loss occurring in 2020.”

The report also suggests the hotel industry would lose around four million room nights from Chinese visitors in 2020, with key destinations like California and New York feeling the most significant impact.

Other states feeling the pinch would include Nevada, Washington and Hawaii.

The report on the economic impact of the viral infection comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced new restrictions on travel to and from China, which barred entry to foreign nationals who recently visited China and started rerouting all incoming flights and American passengers onboard through one of eight approved airports.

In addition, travelers who visited China within the last 14 days will have to visit an approved health screening facility.

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