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Oh dear, 95,000 bookings cancelled due to coronavirus. How bad is this?

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I was in Penang just last weekend and had the chance to catch up with my good friend Miichael Yeoh. He told me that he has news of many AirBnB booking cancellations due to the coronavirus. Actually, this is not the first time I heard of such cancellations. In fact this has cropped up in a couple of conversations with friends too. I think it’s not even just due to Chinese travellers not coming to Malaysia. It’s also because the locals are now more careful and may choose to delay their vacations for a while.

A Singaporean friend said that it’s much more quieter now for the malls and even the streets. Many Singaporeans are preferring to stay at home instead. As per recent update, Singapore is now under the Orange Alert. A Dorscon Orange alert means the novel 2019-nCoV coronavirus is dangerous and can spread easily from human-to-human but its spread is still contained. Let’s understand that Singapore is just bring pro-active. Situation is under control as per Singapore PM’s message just days ago. Coming back to the holiday cancellations..

Article in freemalaysiatoday.com The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) today confirmed that 95,000 hotel bookings had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak and the travel ban imposed by China on its citizens. Matta President Tan Kok Liang said, “We can see in social media that many of the cancellations are from China as their government has prevented tour agencies from bringing in tourists to Malaysia.”

As per latest news, the coronavirus has claimed over 1,000 lives with over 43,000 infections worldwide, with majority of them within China. Tan shared that Matta Fair Cuti-Cuti Malaysia is targeting the locals with a target of RM30 million. he estimated that the outbreak will likely cause a drop of revenue for the Matta fair by RM20 – RM30 million. He hopes the government will quickly come up with a stimulus package for the tourism industry. Please do read the Article in freemalaysiatoday.com

Actually, 95,000 is indeed a huge thing. Assuming every room is just RM100 on average, that’s already a cancellation of RM9.5 million. If there’s a multiplier effect of 4, then the economy has just lost RM38 million. Assuming each of this room houses just 2 person and they spend RM500 each for their whole trip, we have just lost 95,000 x 2 (pax) x 500 (expenses) = RM95 million. Not an easy time indeed for the tourism industry.

Actually, if we take care of our hygiene, travelling is still fine. I was in Penang last weekend. This weekend, I need to be at the Mesyuarat Agung Persatuan Ibu-Bapa (PIBG) for my daughter’s school. Surely lots of people too. Next weekend, will be having a short break and staying in a nice hotel in Putrajaya. Will do my little but to tell people that things are under control even if we must always take good care of our hygiene. Definitely not going to be locked up in my home. Happy understanding.

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