UH Economists Say Coronavirus Poses Danger To Hawaii Tourism

25 Feb 2020 11:49 PM
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University of Hawaii economists expected 2020 to come to be a better time for tourism than 2019, but that might not exactly be borne out as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The University of Hawaii Economic Study Organization released its most current quarterly forecast Monday on the state's visitor industry and the outlook is cloudy.

Carl Bonham, the organization’s executive director, said this past year, visitor spending dropped three-tenths of a good percent; this season, researchers expected not any decline.

The spread of COVID-19 has changed that calculation.

“In our last forecast article, the story was really, 'Well, we think 2020 will be much better than 2019,'” Bonham said. “I believe if it hadn't been because of this virus outbreak, it would have already been better -- mostly for the reason that global market was sort of repairing itself. Trade tensions had eased up a bit. We had been expecting some recovery in 2020, and today that hope has type of been dashed.”

In the organization’s latest record -- headlined "Coronavirus Presents Danger To Hawaii Tourism" -- economists used what happened during the 2003 SARS epidemic to predict the consequences of coronavirus on the state’s tourism.

“The scenario that people run, everything that happens in conditions of how tourism performs and how the overall Hawaii economy performs over the next year, is going to depend on how this virus progresses,” he said. “If the virus dies out quickly, enjoy it have in the SARS episode, then your rebound can happen very, very quickly aswell.”

Under that situation, arrivals from Japan could bottom out in the second quarter at nearly thirty percent below year-earlier levels but fully recovery by the first of all quarter in 2021.

A sharp economical downturn lasting for just two or three a few months followed by a rebound means employers won't speedily lay off personnel or cut wages, according to Bonham. Many depends on how long the virus outbreak lasts.

Bonham expects that the talk about would lose the most tourists from places want Asia and Australia, but as with the SARS epidemic, he will not think Mainland tourism might be heavily affected.

Although Bonham said the virus’ spread and economical effects are changing rapidly, the tourism industry isn't yet looking at widespread cancellations.

Bonham said the university could have an improved understanding about coronavirus’s effect on the state in March.

A lot more than 79,000 people have already been contaminated by coronavirus globally, with about 2,600 deaths reported, most of them found in China. In Hawaii, you may still find no confirmed circumstances of coronavirus, relating to state officials.