The United States could see a 28% drop in visits from China
this year and lose $10.3 billion in cumulative travel spending over the next few years because of coronavirus, according to a projection from Tourism Economics.
The analysis attempts to gauge the economic fallout from the
virus and the resulting travel bans and cancellations by comparing the current
outbreak to the SARS epidemic of 2003.
Because visits from China have grown nearly 13 times since
2002 to an estimated 2.8 million last year, the potential impact of coronavirus
will be much larger than SARS, Tourism Economics said.
“We expect the most significant declines will be experienced
in 2020 with recovery beginning in the latter part of this year,” the authors
wrote. “While growth will accelerate in 2021, the entire recovery will span
four years, like the SARS experience. A total of 1.6 million visits from China
will be lost, with 56% of the loss occurring in 2020.”
The hotel industry, the report projects, will lose 4 million
room nights from China visitors alone in 2020, with California and New York
expected to feel the biggest impact from the drop in Chinese visitors, followed
by Nevada, Washington and Hawaii.