No longer containing itself to the pain and anguish of thousands infected, the deadly Ebola virus is now reaping havoc among the travel trade, wiping millions off of market value and placing travel to Africa under jeopardy.
With cases of Ebola detected in areas other than West Africa, airlines and travel companies are feeling the pinch with millions being wiped off of their market value. Certain airlines companies have experienced a five to seven per cent drop on their market value. The cruise industry has also experienced major declines, averaging around six per cent.
The falls, according to experts, were likely to have been prompted by fears that the disease’s spread could cause major travel disruption.
Experts are uncertain whether the decline is a sign of major travel disruption or a “knee-jerk” to cases of Ebola being detected in Europe, the United States and other.
What is certain is that travel to the African continent has been impaired. The decline in travel to Africa is not isolated to the continent’s western states, nor is it due to the ongoing travel bans raised by several airline companies. Deaths from the disease and persistent media coverage has delivered a financial blow to the tourism industry. Travel agents have been faced with cancellations of flights and adventure packages, regardless of whether the traveller was headed to the west or east of Africa.
“I would predict that 32 US tour operators have lost about two million dollars due to cancellations in the past week.” André Steynberg, Vice President of Sales for Alluring Africa, told Yahoo Travel.
“[Alluring Africa] has probably lost around $350,000 in the last few days.”
While Australians have been warned of the risks of travelling to Ebola-stricken countries, experts claim that the risk of a case being detected in Australia is low. However, the potential to contract the airborne illness through flight could see Australians follow the US suit and defer plans to the continent.
Do you believe the drop in market value to the travel market will be short-term?
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