News World European travel firms cancel trips to China as virus fears grow

European travel firms cancel trips to China as virus fears grow

Some tour operators in Europe are cancelling trips to China and offering customers refunds for bookings to the country as concerns grow about the spread of the new flu-like virus that has killed 81 people and infected more than 2,740.

Steps to limit travel to China come after Beijing extended the Lunar New Year holiday and more businesses shut or told staff to work from home to curb the infection rate during the country’s busiest holiday.

In Germany, Studiosus, a specialist online travel agent which sells holidays of up to 20 days to the country, has cancelled trips to China until the middle of April, it said in a posting on its website. The company’s next tour would have started on March 15.

Customers with a reservation leaving before May 31 can rebook or cancel their visit, it said.

Also in Germany, travel company DER Touristik will refund or change bookings for trips to China up to the end of March, it said in an email. At the moment, it has about 100 customers in China.

The body representing France’s tour operators, SETO, has recommended members suspend tours to China until at least Feb. 21 and offer customers the option of changing their booking.

Stocks in Asia and Europe fell sharply on Monday, with airlines and airport operators, hotel operators and luxury goods companies hit the hardest as investors worried about the impact of the virus on the global economy.

Earlier in the day, Russian tour operators stopped selling package holidays to China.

Such measures by foreign tour operators are likely to deepen concerns about the potential long-term damage to the global tourism and airline industries.

Many of China’s top tourist attractions including Shanghai Disney and the Forbidden City in Beijing are closed until further notice to try to contain the spread.

During the height of the SARS in April 2003, air passenger demand in Asia plunged 45%.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

12-new covid cases at the same levels, nothing from abroad or schools

  12 new cases of Covid-19 were detected in Cyprus over the past 24 hours out of a total of 3 thousand 338 diagnostic tests. The...

Cyprus extends support to Armenia as FM calls counterpart

  Cyprus has expressed its deep concern over the escalating situation in Nagorno Karabakh over the past 48 hours and condemned 'the Azeri violation of...

International concern over Karabakh, as energy corridor is threatened (latest)

  Clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region, reigniting concern about instability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines transporting...

38 C on Monday, close to 40 C on Tuesday, cooler on Wednesday

The warm air current affecting the island will take temperatures a touch under August levels over the next 48 hours, with 38 C on...

War fears in Karabakh as Armenia and Azerbaijan clash with civilian casualties

  Armenia declared martial law and mobilised its male population after clashes with Azerbaijan over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region in which sources on both sides...

Taste

Sheftalies

Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...