It appears that the world has already caught Coronavirus, and looking at our reactions so far, it is going to have an enormous impact on 2020.
We have seen panicked stockpiling of supplies, a plunging global share market and news of the virus is spreading faster and further than ever before. 55% of people are searching and reading news about the Coronavirus daily and of those that aren’t looking for updates 38.5% are reading updates regularly and only 6.5% of people are not reading about it, but know what it is.
We asked our audience to share their thoughts and experience when it comes to the Coronavirus, with a focus on how it is affecting their current and planned travel plans this year. The results are based on the feedback collected from 260 respondents between the 4th-9th of March 2020.
The main concern we saw found in the results, was that 98.8% of people agree that the Coronavirus will have a significant negative affect on the travel industry in 2020, with 68% saying strongly agree.
This is backed up by the fact that 55% of people with a holiday booked in the next 6 months have considered cancelling, due to the risks associated and only 45% planning to go on their holiday that they have already booked.
From the respondents that have considered cancelling, 36% have already acted and sought advice from their travel insurance company or travel agent and 64% are waiting to see what happens between now and their departure date.
Of those respondents that have acted on cancelling their holiday, they have not been helped so far, with most being advised they will lose a considerable amount of money and it is best to wait and see, because it is business as usual according to the industry.
Some people have told us that they have already paid fees to cancel their trip and others have paid fees to postpone their booking to later in the year, which shows that their may still be some positive news later in the year for the travel industry and the global economy in general.
This optimism is also supported by the results of a hypothetical question, based on them winning their dream international holiday and had to choose a departure date anytime within the next 12 months. Only 4% of respondents stated they would not go on the trip, with the majority, 70% choosing to book a departure date 6 months from now.
When asked if they would consider buying a discounted flight or cruise in the next 12 months, which seem to be available as suppliers have extra capacity and limited interest, it appears that the cruise industry is going to have a much harder time recovering.
In summary, we have seen from our results that there is a lot news being shared about Coronavirus and people are looking for that information on a daily basis. The news they are receiving is making them cautious about travelling and 61.5% are fearful that they will catch the virus.
If you are planning on still travelling, just make sure you are vigilant and adhere to basic hygiene, thorough hand washing, wear a mask, etc. If you are in a high risk group or have underlying health conditions consider delaying travel until a vaccine has been developed or only travel to countries with good health systems.