Dmitry Saraikin, Development Director for i’way, a service company arranging transfer, told Invest Foresight that the coronavirus epidemic has caused a steep drop in the demand for services of tour operators and transport companies.
“The total number of cancelled trips has increased by almost 2%. This is not a lot considering that we operate all over the world, including the countries not affected by the virus. However, the monetary equivalent is quite significant,” Dmitry Saraikin commented.
Saraikin added that since the outbreak started the demand for trips in Southeast Asia have been extremely low. For example, the number of trips in China has gone down by over 90%, in Singapore and Hong Kong by 70%, South Korea by 35%.
“In Italy, we usually do 250 to 500 trips per month, with a cancellation rate of about 10%. However, recently there has been a surge in cancellations. Almost half of all the bookings are being cancelled. Italian transit companies are reporting sweeping cancellations.”
Russian travel industry is also running at a loss. Bus companies in Moscow and St Petersburg plan to keep winter rates during the high season if the epidemic persists.
Hotels are experiencing an extremely low occupancy as Chinese tourists simply could not get to Russia. This has been reflected in rates. Five-star hotels in Moscow and St Petersburg are now available for only RUR 5K to 7K per night ($75 to $105).
Tour operators hope that marking down prices will attract domestic travelers.