Photos: Flow of Chinese tourists turns a worrying trickle for Asia

Thailand, a long established tourist market, is in the top rank for Chinese visitors, who comprised 11 million, of the total 40 million tourists to visit the country last year. Tourism is a major source of national revenue for many countries, and Chinese visitors now generally top the charts in terms of numbers and spending. The coronavirus outbreak in China has thrown Thailand’s and other Asian countries’ travel industry into chaos, threatening billions in losses as millions of would-be travelers are staying home.

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST 7 Photos
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Tourists gather around a ticket counter to visit a Buddhist shrine, popular among tourists in Bangkok, Thailand. Asian nations have profited handsomely from the impressive growth in tourists from China over the past decade, but the spectre of a rapidly spreading virus has raised concerns over industry prospects. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

Tourists gather around a ticket counter to visit a Buddhist shrine, popular among tourists in Bangkok, Thailand. Asian nations have profited handsomely from the impressive growth in tourists from China over the past decade, but the spectre of a rapidly spreading virus has raised concerns over industry prospects. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST
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Tourists at Khao San road, a well-liked spot among foreign tourist in Bangkok. Some observers, like Prof. Lisa Wan of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School, are fairly confident the tourism industry will bounce back soon. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

Tourists at Khao San road, a well-liked spot among foreign tourist in Bangkok. Some observers, like Prof. Lisa Wan of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School, are fairly confident the tourism industry will bounce back soon. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST
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A tailor in a face mask wipes down his glass doors with disinfectant as he waits for customers in a normally busy tourist area in Bangkok. Using the SARS epidemic as a reference point, Wan noted an initial sharp decline in China’s GDP growth was largely offset by higher growth in the following two quarters, resulting in about 10% annual growth, reported AP. (Wally Santana / AP)

A tailor in a face mask wipes down his glass doors with disinfectant as he waits for customers in a normally busy tourist area in Bangkok. Using the SARS epidemic as a reference point, Wan noted an initial sharp decline in China’s GDP growth was largely offset by higher growth in the following two quarters, resulting in about 10% annual growth, reported AP. (Wally Santana / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST
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The tourism industry in Thailand accounted for 15.5% of total employment — 5,834,000 jobs — in 2017, according to a report issued last year by Bangkok Bank. Lately, the lines to get into Bangkok’s Grand Palace, a top-tier tourist attraction, have been sparse. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

The tourism industry in Thailand accounted for 15.5% of total employment — 5,834,000 jobs — in 2017, according to a report issued last year by Bangkok Bank. Lately, the lines to get into Bangkok’s Grand Palace, a top-tier tourist attraction, have been sparse. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST
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Asian tourists walk in an alleyway of China town in Bangkok. Thailand, a long established tourist market, is in the top rank for Chinese visitors, who comprised 11 million, or 27%, of the total 40 million tourists to visit the country last year. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

Asian tourists walk in an alleyway of China town in Bangkok. Thailand, a long established tourist market, is in the top rank for Chinese visitors, who comprised 11 million, or 27%, of the total 40 million tourists to visit the country last year. (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST
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“The tourism industry is the only source of income for Phuket province,” Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourism Association told AP, adding that tourism to Phuket alone contributes 400 billion baht ($12.9 billion) annually to the Thai economy. “Therefore, when there is a problem, it will affect all kinds of business such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc.” (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

“The tourism industry is the only source of income for Phuket province,” Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourism Association told AP, adding that tourism to Phuket alone contributes 400 billion baht ($12.9 billion) annually to the Thai economy. “Therefore, when there is a problem, it will affect all kinds of business such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc.” (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST
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A shopper walks in a street market aimed for Chinese tourists. “It’s still too early to know what the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus could be, and it may be some time before we know the full extent,” Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis told AP. “The government is taking this very seriously, and we are closely monitoring the situation.” (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

A shopper walks in a street market aimed for Chinese tourists. “It’s still too early to know what the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus could be, and it may be some time before we know the full extent,” Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis told AP. “The government is taking this very seriously, and we are closely monitoring the situation.” (Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2020 06:01 PM IST
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