The way back

Economics starts trumping CoVid-19 panic

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

With the number of persons killed by the CoVid-19 outside of Hubei Province still below 60, the spiel of the virus starts changing.

The National Health Commission is claiming that the continuing drop in new cases shows that China was managing to curb the outbreak and that the effects of epidemic prevention and control in various parts of the country can already be seen. China’s State Council pointed out that also the proportion of infected patients considered to be in a “serious condition” has dropped nationwide from more than 15% to just over 7%.

Meanwhile, leading international experts like the US-based veteran fighter against AIDS, SARS and MERS, Prof. Ian Lipkin, estimate the mortality rate of the coronavirus to be less than 1%. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that out of hundreds of thousands of medical workers which have come in contact with Covid-19 infected persons in China, according to numbers published by the Chinese government, around 1,700 have fallen ill from the disease (65% in Wuhan, 25% in rest of Hubei) and only six of them have died.

Bloomberg quotes three other leading researchers from Florida, London and Hong Kong, all agreeing that the virus, now called SARS-CoV-2, could spread to two-third of mankind as it is transmitted easily and in many different ways.

As WHO explains online in the Q&A page on influenza: “A pandemic occurs when an influenza virus emerges that most people do not have immunity from because it is so different from any previous strain in humans. This enables the strain to spread easily between people. Seasonal influenza viruses may contribute to the emergence of a pandemic virus; and once a pandemic virus has been established, as with the pandemic A (H1N1) in 2009, it can become a seasonal virus.”

So the discussion of “When it will peak?” of the last two weeks is moving to the much more relevant question of “How dangerous is it as a seasonal virus?”. All known evidence points in fact towards an answer of “Fortunately less dangerous than the common flu”.

More importantly, however, is the fact that the absence of Chinese workers in the factories is starting to create global economic problems. Not only the Chinese government, but a global coalition of companies with broken supply chains and reduced markets share a strong interest to move towards a rather speedy declaration of normality – including obviously the tourism industry.

Opinion leaders Ting Lu, the chief China economist at Nomura, are starting, as quoted by CNBC, to criticize government policies: “Poor coordination among local governments leads to excessive roadblocks which result in logistical nightmare for most enterprises.”

So the Chinese travellers, following in the footsteps of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who visited – without wearing a mask – as the first Chinese leader a foreign country this year during the Munich Security Conference last weekend, are likely to come back to international tourism rather sooner than later.

To be ready for the next wave of Chinese visitors, COTRI offers the CTT online training programme and in a special Post-CoVid-19 China outbound package a combination of online trainings and a full-day customized face-to-face workshop.

This week, COTRI will also start a new series of Youtube videos “99 CTT China outbound Tips”, based on content of the online CTT China Tourism Training programme. We hope you find the time to have a look and to consider to use well the time on your hands to prepare for Post-CoVid-19.

All best wishes from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY team

COTRI Intelligence

COTRI Intelligence is the indispensable source of weekly consulting, analysis, data and news for everybody seriously interested in the post-pandemic Chinese outbound tourism market and changing Chinese consumer preferences.  COTRI Intelligence is published by COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute and edited by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS. Regional partners and Content partners [...]

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