Coronavirus has had minimal impact on travel bookings outside of Asia: survey

Feb 13 2020, 5:21 pm

A recent survey distributed to travel advisors regarding the effects of coronavirus on travel-booking behaviour indicates that there have been few cancellations to other international destinations outside of Asia.

Travel Leaders Network, North America’s biggest travel agency network, conducted a research survey amongst travel advisors across Canada and the US to obtain information regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on travel bookings.

The findings showed that approximately 30% of agencies disclosed moderate-to-high numbers of cancellations for China and various regions of Asia, but few to destinations in separate regions of the world.

“It is important to keep this in perspective,” John Lovell, president of leisure travel, supplier relations and networks for Travel Leaders Group, said in the official press release.

“While it’s true that there are roughly 45,000 cases in China, there are about 440 confirmed cases outside of China and 13 in the United States. Less than one percent of the cases are outside of China. Aside from a travel advisory to avoid travel to China, there are no travel warnings regarding any other destination.”

In regards to customers suspending or cancelling trips specifically because of coronavirus, advisors claimed to not have experienced that many cancellations for journeys to international destinations outside of Asia such as Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Europe.

“Agencies reported that the vast majority of cancellations were for trips to China, followed by a lesser number of cancellations for trips to Asia outside of China,” the release explains.

“For example, advisors reporting no cancellations outside Asia ranged from 81% to 93% depending on the destination.”

The survey data showed that 13% of advisors reported seeing higher numbers of cruise cancellations for trips where China and other parts of Asia were included in the itinerary.

“While we are getting inquiries, we are not seeing many cancellations outside of China and Asia,” Lovell said in the press release.

“This is the peak winter break travel period for sun and fun destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean. We are not seeing those destinations impacted by this. Cruise bookings in the CaribbeanEurope and Alaska are solid. People are not going to give up their vacations or stop traveling.”