12.Mar .2020 17:49

Association of Tour Operators: Coronavirus is hurting the tourism business by millions of dollars

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Not only hotels, restaurants and travel agencies but also tour operators are in crisis due to the spread of coronavirus.

The head of Association of Tour Operators told BM.GE, that the negative impact of Coronavirus is hurting the business by millions of dollars. Considering the example of one of the companies, charter flight sales have been reduced to 90%. This process began after the first case of coronavirus infection in Georgia was confirmed.

“There are a lot of cancellations in travel companies that work on inbound tourism. In fact, many of the tour reservations are canceled in March, April and May. The expectation is that the first half of the year will be very difficult.

There are both direct and indirect losses. It's not just about travel companies, there are guides, drivers, transport companies and lots of facilities that are financially dependent on tours. We look optimistic, but in a month it will show what we are talking about. I do not know exact price of each tour, but the matter concerns to several millions of dollars. We are talking about large money in the next three months, ”said Ia Tabagari.

“Sales have stopped. Everyone refrains from traveling. They are afraid, first of all, of losing money and second – try to be careful. We always fully refund the hotels fees, but flights are dependent on the schedule. As for charter flights next summer, sales were down 90%. This trend has been fixed since the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia have increased”, said Salome Beraia, deputy director of the international tour operator Pegas Touristic.