Global News

Coronavirus stalls travel beyond China

As of 9th February, the setback looks likely to be most marked in North-East Asia, where outbound bookings for March & April, are 17.1% behind where they were at the equivalent moment last year.

Bookings from South Asia are 11.0% behind; from South East, Asia are 8.1% behind and from Oceania 3.0% behind.


By comparison, the all-important Chinese outbound market is much more severely affected. Currently, bookings for March & April are set to be just 55.9% of what they were at the equivalent point in 2019. Forward bookings to Asia Pacific are 58.3% behind; bookings to Europe are 36.7% behind, to Africa & the Middle East are 56.1% behind and to the Americas they are 63.2% behind.


Looking backwards over the three-week period following the imposition of government travel restrictions, in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, outbound travel from China has fallen by 57.5%. Travel to all parts of the world has been severely down, with the Americas worst affected in relative terms and Asia Pacific in absolute terms.

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Travel to Asia Pacific, which receives 75% of the Chinese outbound market, was down by 58.3%; travel to Europe was down by 41.7%; travel to Africa & the Middle East was down by 51.6% and travel to the Americas was down by 64.1%.


Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys said: “The world’s largest and highest-spending outbound travel market, China, is in severe difficulty; cancellations are growing by the day and the trend is now spreading to surrounding countries. On the brighter side, however, we are not seeing a slowdown in travel outside the Asia Pacific region; so, this is a moment to fill the void by studying alternative origin markets and focussing promotional efforts on them. We will be monitoring the situation carefully because, in a disease outbreak like this, travel trends can change quickly; and each travel market is likely to respond differently.”

Tags: APAC, Asia Pacific, China, Coronavirus


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