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Coronavirus concerns, anxiety send travel industry into a spiral

A government warning not to board a cruise ship or long flight if you’re frail. Convention and event cancellations from coast to coast. Global travel warnings.

The travel and tourism industry has taken hit after hit since the coronavirus outbreak began in January. It’s still early for concrete data, but economists and industry executives fear 9/11- or recession-like repercussions. Travel demand plummeted, then and was slow to recover.

“Unfortunately, they’re on the front lines on the effect of this virus. They’re getting pummeled,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.

He said the travel and tourism impact from coronavirus could be greater than the fallout from 9/11, or the 2003 SARS outbreak, because of the global nature of the crisis.

“Global travel is effectively shutting down,” he said. “It’s going to take a while to get it back up and running again. This is going to be a very tough year for the travel and tourism industry.”

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