ASATA in the news: Coronavirus fears and what it means for SA travellers

The World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency last month while the US and the UK have issued advisories to reconsider travel plans to China.

Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) revealed that the virus impacted travel bookings. It reported that leisure travel has been affected as some holidaymakers choose alternative destinations to Asia, deferring their travel or cancelling their travel plans.

CEO of ASATA, Otto de Vries, said: “Travel suppliers such as cruise lines, airlines and tour operators have implemented proactive measures, such as rerouting itineraries, cancelling flights to affected areas, increasing their health precautions and enforcing travel restrictions to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus.

“Some cruise lines and airlines are waiving their cancellation and change penalties outright to accommodate passengers who choose to cancel or defer their travel plans. There is no question that there will be an impact on the outbound travel sector as the wider public gets to grips with how and where the virus is spreading.”

Travel experts, including travel agents, have remained mum about what destinations South Africans should avoid, citing that the South African government has not yet issued travel warnings.

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