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European tourism operators urged not to cancel Chinese bookings

CNC
Added On February 21, 2020

The European Travel Commission has urged operators not to cancel Chinese bookings in show of solidarity amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

News Hour has more.
 
As mega cities in China are being quarantined to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, what has been affected also include the world's tourism markets.
 
Undoubtedly the country's plummeting outbound trips have dealt a heavy blow to many international travel agencies.
 
Head of the European Travel Commission at this time suggests operators not to cancel the bookings made by Chinese travelers, but to reschedule or postpone the itineraries.
 
Not for economic concern, but to show solidarity.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) EDUARDO SANTANDER, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission 00:16-00:33
 
 "It's not even an economic factor. It's also like an element of friendship, you know, friendship between two friends, two cultures that have to work together now, in good times but also in bad times,"
 
China has been the second biggest source of tourists visiting EU destinations for years.   
 
The head of the European Travel Commission also voiced his confidence over the tourism industry overall.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) EDUARDO SANTANDER, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission 00:58-01:28
 
"Fear is the biggest enemy in this kind of crisis, in particular for the tourism sector which is very very sensitive to the psychological changes of perception of destinations, travelers of origin and so on," "The good thing about tourism is probably that it is the most resilient business sector. Normally we bounce back very easily and also fast," 
 As for cases shown on social media about Chinese visitors being harassed in Europe, he lashed the faulty individuals for "lack of education, lack of information."
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) EDUARDO SANTANDER, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission 02:00-02:21
 
"I would like to state clearly that all those circumstances of hating or wrongdoing when it comes to welcoming Chinese people is wrong, nobody can be stigmatized because of a nationality. This is absolutely one of the principles of the European citizenship."
 
He said forecasts show the anticipated Chinese arrivals will be lowered in the range of 1 and 3.7 million in the year 2020 compared to estimates before the outbreak.