Coronavirus costs €1bn per month to EU tourism

Photo: EPA European Commissioner in Charge of Internal Market Thierry Breton.

The coronavirus outbreak, which is grounding Chinese tourists, is costing the European tourism industry around €1bn per month in lost revenue, EU Commissioner in Charge of Internal Market Thierry Breton said on Monday.

"Chinese tourists are not coming to Europe since January. It means two million (hotel) nights lost. That is €1bn per month since January," Breton told BFM television . Europe's tourism sector has benefited greatly from China's economic rise over the past two decades.

Tourism, which is responsible for 13% of the Italian gross domestic product, is the worst-hit industry in the country, where up to 90% of bookings for March are cancelled in some regions.

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) expects overnight stays of tourists from China to fall by 17 and 25% respectively. As tourists from China make a significant contribution to sales, amounting to around €8bn a year, the losses are likely to have a severe impact on tourism in Germany too, German media reported.

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