The Travel Factory Blog
That Ugly Old Coronavirus
Talk about disruption......this disease has really got world-wide attention from travelers and non-travelers alike.....and rightfully so. You can quickly die if affected.!!
Where did it come from? Well, according to a good travel source, TravelSense, it is not a new illness; coronaviruses of one one kind or another have been around forever. This is a new strain identified first in December, 2019. This strain is a particularly nasty version of a coronavirus which spreads faster and is more dangerous. The early signs are a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.
I read a recent update this week that the director of the Wuhan hospital died of this infection along with a nurse from the same hospital. A total of eight front-line health workers have died,while over 3,000 have been infected with the coronavirus.
And it has really hit the travel business in the gut. I not only feel bad for the folks on those cruise ships and the stress and trouble they have had to endure on their so-called vacation, but the affected cruise lines have had some serious logistics problems, not only with their guests but also with the crews. Just think if you have taken the two week cruise, but needed to get back to your job, but because of the risk involved you can't get off the ship, much less get back to your job. So the concern is, will those folks affected by this lose their jobs because of their absence? We haven't heard of that occurrence, but it is a concern, of course.
The Diamond Princess quarantine was scheduled to end on Wednesday, and 88 more cases were discovered. That brought the total from that ship alone to 542 cases. Thankfully many of them are being air-lifted back to the States, but according to a news report, some of the ones getting off the airplane were complaining of fever and sickness and were sent to isolation until they could be cleared.
Interestingly enough, two small cruise companies who have a big presence cruising the Yangtze River in China every year, were planning to introduce two new ships in that market, but they have been forced to cancel some early season sailings. Viking Cruise Lines which has one ship on the Yangtze, the Viking Emerald, says it has canceled all China sailings through June.
According to to a survey conducted by the American Society of Travel Advisors during this month, 25% of all U.S. Travelers have changed their travel plans because of coronavirus fears. Even more problematic is the 71% of those U.S. Travelers with a trip currently booked to China say they will either “definitely” or “probably” cancel those plans because of coronavirus. Some have estimated that the outbreak could cost the global economy $80 billion and affect the Chinese outbound tourism market for more than a year.
There's a company based in Hawaii, Tours to China, and as you can imagine, the situation has severely impacted their business. They offer more than 10 different itineraries for China throughout the year, including three that stop in Wuhan. As you can imagine, they have canceled tours through June and refunded deposits and payments for those affected.
The travel advisors at The Travel Factory will certainly be cautious in advising folks who are considering traveling to China, Japan, or any other country in that neck of the woods just yet. We have several other possibilities that will excite any one, so give us a call at 698-1421 or come by for a face-to-face visit at 4150 Southwest Drive. We strive to give our clients educated advice and exist to serve!!