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Coronavirus to hit tourism in Asia-Pacific: report


South Korea is feared to be one of the hardest-hit countries in the Asia-Pacific area, given the fact that China, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, accounts for 20 percent of international tourism expenditures.

Other vulnerable countries are Thailand, Japan and Vietnam as they depend heavily on Chinese visitors for tourism revenue.

The fast spread of the novel coronavirus is also feared to cause the global aviation industry to suffer big losses in passenger numbers and revenue.

Should the spread of the coronavirus be limited, global passenger revenue would shrink by nearly $63 billion this year.

Under such a scenario, South Korea would suffer a 14 percent decline in the number of air passengers with revenue falling by $2.8 billion.

Airlines across the world would see their combined passenger revenue tumble by $113 billion for all of 2020 if the disease spreads extensively, according to the report.

The World Health Organization has declared the new coronavirus a pandemic. The respiratory disease has infected more than 510,000 people globally, with the death toll passing 23,000.(Yonhap)