The emergence of the first cases of contamination with the new coronavirus in Romania has already had an impact on tourism.
The coronavirus has paralyzed tourism in many regions of the world. After the violent outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic in northern Italy, the Italian government is expecting massive economic loss, given that tourism in Italy accounts for 13% of the country’s GDP. The famous Venice carnival was ended two days earlier, the Fashion Week in Milan was shortened, the Milan Cathedral, a top attraction of the city, was closed down just like the theater La Scala of Milan. The virus seems to be spreading fast and a case of coronavirus infection in a hotel in the Spanish island of Tenerife led to the quarantining of the entire hotel.
France has recently become an important coronavirus hotbed in Europe, so the Louvre Museum remained closed on Sunday as the staff invoked their right to stop work in case of danger. Also the Book Fair in Paris, scheduled for the period March 20 to 23, has been cancelled. Travel companies in Germany are also concerned with the coronavirus epidemic as their revenues will be much affected, given that the Chinese tourists generated annual revenues worth 8 billion Euros.
In Romania, many citizens are giving up their scheduled holidays abroad for fear of getting infected or being affected by quarantine measures taken to stop the spreading of the virus. The authorities have announced that the people who bought holiday packages to the areas worst affected by the new coronavirus, namely northern Italy, China – Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, can recuperate their money entirely but will not receive damages.
Following the emergence of coronavirus infections in Romania as well, some citizens have given up traveling in the country at all. In Tulcea county, southeastern Romania, home to the Danube Delta nature reserve, which is included on the UNESCO world heritage list, several travel companies reported no reservations, and others had to cancel the reservations for road transportation to that area.
Cătălin Ţîbuleac, the president of the Danube Delta Association, has more: “The Romanian tourism industry has been facing difficulties for some time now, mainly due to the lack of human resources. Now, the new coronavirus epidemic has dealt a further blow to Romanian tourism, be it in Tulcea, Constanta or other destinations, therefore the government and the tourism industry representatives need to work out solutions to support the industry in such difficult moments.”
In a contribution to the publication Profit.ro entitled “The coronavirus and the tourism industry” Dragos Anastasiu, an entrepreneur and currently the president of the Romanian - German Chamber of Commerce writes that people should keep their calm, reason and optimism, be normal but cautious and not belittle the impact of the coronavirus epidemic. (translation by L. Simion)