Since the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak in China, there have been varied opinions from experts regarding the extent of the probable damage that it would cost in the context of the global economy. This time, Oxford Economics predicts that the United States, amid the downplaying made by the White House, is expected to lose a lot in terms of tourism revenue.
Analysts forecast that the United States is poised to lose 1.6 million visitors from mainland China this year. Travel restrictions and quarantine efforts are still in place as China scrambles to put an end to the outbreak that has so far killed hundreds and infected more than thirty thousand individuals around the world.
The loss in tourism receipts will more likely affect huge metropolitan cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Many of these American cities have long benefitted from the influx of Chinese tourists over the past decade. Amid the 4.9% decline in the past year, Chinese travelers remain the third-largest source of travel for the country.
The impact can be catastrophic as Chinese tourists are also the biggest spenders. On average, travelers from China are shelling out $6,500, compared to the $4,000 spent by other foreign tourists in the U.S.
“Visitor numbers from China have seen a massive surge over the past decade or so and now account for the largest number of inbound tourists in most countries across the [Asia] region,” said Alex Holmes, chief economist at Capital Economics, in an interview.
Other tourism-centric countries like Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, are also bracing for a possible sharp drop in tourism demand with the lose of high-spending Chinese tourists.