The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, speaking on behalf of Europe’s travel and tourism sector, has issued a statement on the current coronavirus outbreak.
The alliance said: “We offer our solidarity and support to China and the Chinese people during an exceptionally challenging time, and commit to work with our partners in Europe and Asia to that end.”
It added: “The strong mutual interest in both cultural and commercial exchange between China and Europe was shown by the EU-China Year of Tourism in 2018. We must draw on its legacy in this difficult time to ensure that Chinese visitors are welcome and respected throughout Europe. From expedited visa facilitation to attractive offers, public and private sectors must collaborate to enable and support a strong recovery.”
At the end of its release, it promised to take measures to ensure the protection of public health while also encouraging a cross-sectoral plan for recovery.
In the hospitality industry, fears around COVID-19 have slumped occupancy rates. A report from STR in early February showed that hotel occupancy in Mainland China dropped by 75% between January 14 and 26.This month, Hospitality group Hilton announced it had temporarily closed 150 hotels across China, equating to more than 33,000 rooms. Its CEO Chris Nassetta said in a conference call with investors that the group could see earnings this year drop by between US$25 million and $50 million due to the lingering impact of the deadly virus.