According to China Daily, the Chinese are so scared of contracting swine flu that they refuse to travel abroad. For the first two weeks of May, tourist agencies are reporting a collapse of all outbound tourism, i.e. not just to the US and Mexico, but to any destination worldwide. For instance, tours bound for (decidedly low-risk) Hong Kong have seen bookings drop by 80 %, and even domestic tourism (i.e. within PRC) has been hurt.
Also, it can be quite risky for foreigners to travel to China right now: If any person on the same plane with you has a fever when passing through immigration, all passengers will be quarantined for a minimum of seven days in a hotel or hospital. And according to Shanghai Daily, all Shanghai hotels have now also been ordered to take every guest's temperature at check-in.
A Chinese ph.d. student who returned from the US and fell sick on the plane received extreme abuse on Chinese webforums, where posters called him a "traitor", "demonic" and "immoral", and recommended that his fiancee should call off the wedding, because he was responsible for bringing the illness into China.
So in light of all this, maybe the Chinese are just being rational when they decide to stay home (Quote China Daily):
Beijing resident Gao Jingying, 68, who changed her plan to visit Taiwan with her husband this month, said: "No one likes being isolated in a hotel for a week after returning from a trip that is supposed to be a happy experience."
Anyway, if things don't normalize soon, this will be very bad news for China's travel industry, as well as for non-PRC destinations receiving lots of Chinese tourists (Hong Kong and Singapore come to mind).
2:00PM Water Cooler 3/24/2017
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