The coro­n­avirus ef­fect

Travel Daily - - Contents -

THE re­ver­ber­a­tions caused by the out­break of coro­n­avirus in China con­tin­ues to be felt at all lev­els of the travel sec­tor.

A num­ber of travel op­er­a­tors have been forced to can­cel itin­er­ar­ies to China to mit­i­gate the risk of spread­ing the virus.

Scenic, Royal Caribbean Int’l and MSC Cruises have all opted to can­cel sail­ings de­part­ing main­land China, with Scenic even cau­tion­ing of the prospect of scrap­ping cruises in China as far down the track as May.

On the Go Tours has also cut all tours to China up un­til 25 Mar, of­fer­ing full re­funds to af­fected guests, while In­fin­ity Travel has stated it would not be charg­ing fees for any amend­ments to trips.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional has in­di­cated it would waive can­cel­la­tion fees for stays through to 29 Feb at its ho­tels in many parts of Asia such as main­land China & Hong Kong.

Mean­while Qan­tas CEO Alan Joyce has stated the out­break would likely cost the air­line tens of mil­lions of dol­lars & sug­gested it was too early to tell what the full ex­tent of the fi­nan­cial im­pact would be for the com­pany.

Speak­ing at the open­ing of Qan­tas’ new pi­lot academy in re­gional Queens­land (see page five), Joyce said the car­rier would use the SARS out­break in 2003 as a “bench­mark” for re­lated costs.

“It im­pacted us by $55 mil­lion back in 2003 and lasted around six to eight months...this is dif­fer­ent in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ways, and who knows how it is go­ing to ex­pand,” he said.

Health protocols have also been stepped up by Samoan au­thor­i­ties, with Aus­tralian pax now need­ing med­i­cal clear­ance at least three days prior to travel to the Pa­cific Is­land na­tion.

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