China: Outbound Travel Ban effects Asian Destinations

Bangkok/Tokyo – A huge dependence on Chinese tourists sees many Asian countries reeling from China’s move to cancel outbound group trips indefinitely, as part of measures to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Among them are Thailand and Japan. The Tourism Council of Thailand has estimated losses of at least $1.6 billion (50 billion baht) as a result of the lockdown, based on an average expenditure of $1,624 (50,000 baht) per Chinese tourist visiting the kingdom. China is Thailand’s number one market, generating nearly 30 percent of all arrivals. In 2019 this totaled to an astounding 11 million Chinese tourists, more than the 10.6 million Thailand received from all neighboring Southeast Asian countries combined.

Over in Japan, whose popularity with Chinese travelers grew at the expense of Thailand following the Phuket fatal boat accident involving Chinese tourists in July 2018, losses of $23 billion (2.48 trillion yen) are anticipated if the Wuhan virus causes a steep decline in visitors for the full year, according to a Nikkei Asian Review report. (Skift/Nikkei)