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Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Coronavirus could cost US tourism USD10 billion

The coronavirus outbreak could significantly hit the US tourism sector this year and beyond, according to analysis by Oxford Economics.

The Tourism Economics projection estimates the US will lose about 1.6 million visits from China worth $10.3 billion.

That could lead to a 28% fall in visits from China this year.

While most of the damage will occur this year, a full recovery will take several years.

The China market comprises 2.8 million trips a year and has the highest tourism spend at nearly $6,000 per visit.

 "We expect the most significant declines will be experienced in 2020 with recovery beginning in the latter part of this year. While growth will accelerate in 2021, the entire recovery will span four years, like the SARS experience," it said.

Cities most dependent on the Chinese market will undoubtedly suffer the most, such as Los Angeles, New York, and in Hawaii.

Oxford Economics estimates the US hotel industry will have to absorb the loss of four million room nights from Chinese visitors this year alone.

Meanwhile China has hit out at the US for fear mongering over the coronavirus outbreak.

"The US government has not provided any substantial assistance but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its Consulate in Wuhan, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers.  All it has done is create and spread fear, which is a bad example," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

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