The coronavirus epidemic in China could wipe US$5.9 billion to US$7.7 billion from Vietnam’s tourism earnings in the next three months as international travelers stay away from the region, state media said last week, reported news agency Reuters.
The tourism sector estimated to see two million fewer Chinese visitors due to the virus, which could result in $1.8-$2 billion of lost tourism revenue, reported the official Voice of Vietnam Radio.
China, where the outbreak began late last year, was Vietnam’s biggest source of foreign tourists, accounting for a third of the 18 million visitors last year, official data showed.
Vietnam said it would also stop issuing visas for foreign visitors who had been in China two weeks prior to arrive into the country.
The government also unveiled that the gross domestic product growth in the first quarter of this year “will likely be one percentage point slower” than the 6.8% target.
Vietnam confirmed an additional two cases of the new virus last Thursday, bringing the total in the Southeast Asian country to 12 cases.
Surprisingly, total arrivals for January show a healthy growth, including from China. According to data from the Vietnam National Tourism Administration, total international arrivals reached 1.99 million in January, up by 32.8%. Arrivals from China were up 72.6% to reach a total of 645,000 travellers. Total arrivals from Asia grew by 39.9% generating 1.54 million visitors.