Asian nations have profited handsomely from the impressive growth in tourists from China over the past decade, but the specter of a rapidly spreading virus has raised concerns over industry prospects. Tourism is a major source of national revenue for many countries, and Chinese visitors now generally top the charts in terms of numbers and spending.
A downturn will hit many people hard.
Thailand will lose $9.7 billion in tourism income from Chinese travelers. Japan held the runner-up position to Thailand last year in hosting Chinese travelers, with 9.6 million making up about a third of foreign arrivals.
Last year, about 6 million Chinese visited South Korea, making China its biggest source of foreign tourists, according to the state-run Korea Tourism Organization. In recent days, major shopping districts and other spots in the capital Seoul popular with Chinese tourists were relatively quiet.
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