TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s tourism industry — including airlines, travel agencies, hotels, B&Bs, and restaurants — has been hit hard by the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, according to CNA.
In response, Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has earmarked NT$50 billion (US$1.63 billion) to help the tourism industry through the coronavirus storm.
The International Air Transport Association recently announced the global airline industry is set to lose around US$29.3 in revenues this year due to the new coronavirus outbreak. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region will account for up to US$27.8 billion of the total losses so far, CNA reported.
Air travel over the Taiwan Strait is experiencing its direst situation since 2009, when regular flights between Taiwan and China began, the report said. Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that due to COVID-19, flights across the Taiwan Strait have been restricted to five airports in four major Chinese cities from Feb. 10 until April 29.
Flights between Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao remain open, but their numbers have been reduced. So far, more than 1,000 flights from five Taiwan airlines have been canceled, which is expected to impact first quarter earnings, the report said.
Taiwan travel agencies are among the businesses hit hardest by the virus outbreak due to cancellations. The four major travel agencies of Lion Travel, Phoenix Tours, Life Tour, and Richmond Tours are expected to suffer an estimated combined loss of NT$2.8 billion, per CNA.
Restaurants across Taiwan are also victims of the spread of the disease, with A Choice Restaurant Group (阿秋餐飲集團) and Taichung Danzai Noodle (台中擔仔麵) hit hard by the cancellation of 2,000 tables and 400 spring banquet tables.
The occupancy rates of B&Bs have dropped by 60 to 70 percent, and some five-star hotels have closed floors for renovations, as occupancy rates drop significantly, due to the virus outbreak, the report said.