The drastic measures of the Chinese Government to try to contain the coronavirus have had a first impact on the Tourism sector by the fall of Travellers
Asians. But its spread to Europe, with a special incidence in northern Italy and an increase in cases in Spain, has alerted Spanish tourism companies, which are already beginning to notice an increase in cancellations and a decrease of Bookings.
Hoteliers, airlines and travel agencies consulted agree that it is too early to assess the effects of the crisis in the coronavirus in a key sector for the Spanish economy. The uncertainty is maximum and the impact will depend on the evolution of the epidemic. But the activity has already suffered a contraction.
The agency eDreams He explained yesterday, coinciding with the presentation of results for the first nine months of his fiscal year, that his total reserves have fallen by 12% compared to the same period last year. A crash that blames the Chinese virus crisis. Hiring trips to China it has been reduced by 92% between February 22 and 25, while in the rest of the continent it has decreased by 20%. In Italy, the reservations recorded by eDreams They have dropped 35%.
Arrivals in Spain have also suffered
“The impact of the coronavirus has caused a slowdown in the industry … but once the virus is controlled, we expect the reserve patterns to return to normal,” said Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams. The Spanish portal Booking has also registered a decrease in its registered reservations between January and February, of 30% in its case. A percentage that goes up to 50% on trips to Italy. However, from the company they expect the hiring to recover later, in anticipation that travelers are postponing the decision to travel until they see how the virus spreads.
Carlos Garrido, president of the Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies (Ceav), confirms a “small setback” in reservations and some “cancellations” to Asian destinations and to Italy. “We are in a time of low seasonality and it does not affect much, but we are observing it with prudence and expectation because Holy Week, the first strong campaign of the year, is just around the corner,” he says. Even so, both Garrido and Martí Sarrate, president of the employers’ travel agency Acave, rule out incidents for this period.
Arrivals in Spain have also suffered, says Jorge Marichal, president of the Spanish Confederation of Tourist Hotels and Accommodations and Ashotel. “The reserves have fallen, especially in the Canary Islands, with the logic posed by an exceptional episode of this style. It is normal for cancellations to occur at the beginning, but also postponement of reservations for next months, in the expectation that this episode of coronavirus will pass, ”he adds. Marichal is confident that the sales volume will “recover” once the situation normalizes.
Air sector sources confirm a decrease in traffic this month. The eventual slowdown of the economy due to the coronavirus has hit especially the tourist companies of the Ibex. IAG, the holding company that groups Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Vueling, was the most punished value in yesterday’s session, closing with a fall of 8.85%, while Meliá Hotels International left 4.69% .