What is this virus?
At the moment, there is a lot of media hysteria in Europe regarding this virus, which appears to be a kind of flu. Also, the carrier has not been identified, and the lack of an effective cure or vaccine has caused a fear of the unknown.
Who is seriously affected by this virus?
It appears that those most likely to be seriously affected by this virus fit the same profile as those who suffer from flu fatalities: people over 65, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals with serious pre-existing conditions.
How will this virus affect the travel industry?
So far, the inbound travel sector in China has hardly been affected. However, the outbound travel industry in Europe with major European airlines such as British Airways and Lufthansa have suspended their flights to China for the next few weeks. Chinese outbound tourists have canceled their New Years stays in Europe all together.
What can we expect?
Even if the number of infections increases in the upcoming weeks, the virus should be under control by the end of February. If it is somewhat similar to SARS, then things may go back to normal by early or mid-April.
What can we expect from Chinese outbound tourists this year?
If we look at what happened in 2003 with the SARS virus, most trips were simply postponed. After the SARS crisis ended, the numbers shot up again. However, for a few months there was a reduction in outbound trips globally.