A novel coronavirus (formally known as 2019-nCoV) has sprung up over the last few weeks, with its epidemic center in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province (China). Little is known about this virus, but we do know that has an incubation period of 2 to 14 days and a mortality rate of 2.07%, according to CNN. While urgent research is being carried out, authorities are taking steps to contain the spread of the virus by closing air traffic from China, canceling package tours to and from the country and placing people in quarantine. These very necessary measures intended to protect people and lives come, however, at a cost.
As far as the Swiss hospitality and tourism industry is concerned, this is very unfortunate timing. Switzerland has recently become a favored destination of the Chinese. To quantify the phenomenon, it's worth noting that more than 120 million Chinese tourists annually leave to travel abroad. Most of them go to Asia (Japan, Thailand or Australia), but around 10% is directed to Europe. Among them, a large proportion reaches Switzerland. Chinese arrivals in Switzerland numbered 1,026,160 in 2018, making up 5% of all arrivals in Switzerland while the overnight stays spent by Chinese were 1,359,519 (3.5%).
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