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Luxury travel news this week: Coronavirus special

Here’s a round-up of luxury travel stories that have caught the eye this week. To make sure you receive these new weekly alerts in your web browser, please click on the red bell icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page and click ‘subscribe’ (works on desktop only – for other ways to subscribe, please click here). This will also alert you to any other posts on the blog. Should you wish, you can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking on the icon again and selecting ‘unsubscribe’. Three scenarios for the coronavirus China’s new coronavirus may peter out. Or it might join the flu on the roster of the world’s winter illnesses — a bug that will be routinely vaccinated against. Or it might become a global pandemic, killing millions of people. Experts don’t have enough information to predict which of these very different scenarios will come to pass. So for now, they are cautious… [read more] The coronavirus is already taking a toll on the luxury industry China’s outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus is having ripple effects beyond its upending of daily life in the country. For the international luxury industry, which relies heavily on Chinese shoppers, it’s already taking a financial toll. The outbreak has dramatically reduced the number of shoppers in Chinese cities and forced companies to close stores… [read more] Quiet malls, empty streets: Coronavirus fears dampen Dubai’s peak tourist season With a perfect mix of good weather and citywide sales, Dubai usually draws large crowds of foreign visitors in the dead of winter. But there is evidence that the coronavirus, which has killed more than 600 people and spread to two dozen countries including the Emirates, has put a damper on the usual prowl for winter sun and discounted luxury goods this year… [read more] China is putting museum exhibits online due to coronavirus outbreak This year’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has gripped China, forcing many people to hunker down and stay out of public places during what has typically been a busy travel time. But while many businesses remain closed, some of China’s most popular museums are moving their exhibits to a new place to be enjoyed: online… [read more] More luxury brands, including Versace, LVMH and Kering, pledge donations to combat coronavirus Versace is the latest company to join the cause to fight the virus outbreak that has claimed 565 lives around the world at the time of writing. The Italian luxury company pledged 1 million yuan (RM591,033) to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to alleviate the deficit of medical supplies. Capri Holdings Ltd, parent company of Versace that also owns Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors, said that the virus is expected to reduce this quarter’s revenues by US$100 million (RM412 million) as the outbreak continues to spread… [read more] We really enjoy hearing from our readers and would love to hear your views on any of these stories! Please click on the comments below and share your thoughts. Thank you. Have a story you’d like to share? Please contact us for details.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Well worth clicking through and reading the Buzz Feed summary on Coronavirus. It is balanced and without hype or hysteria. Probably what’s best about it is that three scenarios are presented, no pretence that we know what’s going to happen.

  2. This Coronavirus is making businesses stop and think. Commentators keep making comparisons with the SARS virus. China’s economic clout has grown considerably since then, the country has become the world’s workshop. Many a USA business is now asking whether they’ve become over dependent on Chinese suppliers. Regardless of the progress of the virus many experts expect that we will see a realignment of supply chains. Western companies will probably diversify their supply chain. Many forecasters are saying that the virus will significantly change our world. It’s going to make Trump’s trade war with China all look a little irrelevant.

    1. And what will the Coronavirus do to the luxury travel market? Whenever I’ve read pieces on companies’ travel plans for the next few years it’s always seemed to me that the growth of Chinese tourism sits at the heart of their plans.

      It won’t just be the fact that these people won’t be travelling in the short term. The virus will do some damage to people’s pockets too. Last week Cathay Pacific announced that their staff have to take 3 weeks unpaid leave by the end of March, things like that are going to hit the cash people have to travel.

  3. I read just the other day that Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Uniqlo have closed a lot of their stores in mainland China. I think various other big names like Starbucks have shut up shop too. What I hadn’t realised was that Starbucks have got about 2,000 outlets there they’re having to close. That’s a heck of a lot. It’s good there are donations being made from billionaires and luxury brands but it’s all still pretty worrying if no amount of money is going to make a vaccination and better treatment happen any more quickly. We can but hope. What I also found very, very worrying was a story and photos of people being dragged from their homes by men in hazmat suits, that’s heartbreaking to see.

  4. I can understand why the malls in Dubai are quiet. The Emirate has marketed hard to make itself a hub for stopovers from its mega airport and as a destination for much longer stays too. I always get the impression that if you stopped and asked a hundred people in a mall where they were from you’d probably come up with a list of 30 or more countries. Dubai is the hub for jet-setters and I can understand that many people see it as being at high-risk from the contagion. And then there are the cruise ships docking too ..

    1. I think there’s a lot of overreaction about. Maybe the real problem is journalists and social media commentators who’ve got to fill their space and get us to click on their words. There are always strains of flu / virus going around and it’s probably a decade since we had a bad one. These viruses usually hit those hardest with poor health who would have probably suffered anyway with any outbreak of flu. The viruses that you really have to worry about are the ones which provoke severe reactions in the young people with strong immune systems. Let’s put things in to perspective, so far the Coronavirus has got nothing on the Black Death.

    2. Well, no… the Black Death killed 50 million people. But, if it does become a pandemic – which is not impossible – it could get out of hand and claim many lives. Over 2,500 people have already died from the virus and it’s continuing to spread at the moment so, until the situation becomes under greater control, I think there’s justifiable cause for concern.

  5. As ever there’s always a silver lining to every cloud and its fantastic that the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing have put their exhibits online by making their galleries virtual. China is a vast country and it is so good that some Chinese people who would never have made the journey will be able to see part of their heritage.

    I’ve just read that scientists have developed cables 1,000 times faster than the current internet. Think what that could mean for a virtual museum. 3D footage of the exhibits could be shown of a recreation of an artist working on the exhibit, so whilst the pot revolved you could have a film showing the potter’s technique. Imagine what that would mean for displaying China’s Terracotta warriors and you could beam that into every classroom in the world.

    This Coronavirus could transform “tourism” and save the planet a lot of air miles.

  6. I’m an expat living in Vietnam and I’ve definitely been extremely surprised that the Coronavirus has gotten so out of hand. My girlfriend is Chinese and she lives all the way up in the north of the country, in the province bordering North Korea. I can’t believe that the virus has impacted her city, and my heart goes out to the entire country and its people. Been hearing that this month it’s supposed to peak, so hopefully, it can be contained within the next few months. I’ve wanted to travel to areas around Southeast Asia, but it looks like I’ll be waiting to see what happens with the virus. I believe the region will pull through this tough time and bounce back for the summer!

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