The deadly Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa may be far removed from other African countries in the eastern and southern parts of the huge continent - but it’s creating destruction on their tourism markets nevertheless. The outbreak that has claimed nearly 4500 lives in centered in sierra, Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
This has caused tourists to cancel or postpone trips to places like Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania, thousands of miles from an epicenter in West Africa.
Report of World Health Organization (WHO):
The World Health Organization has reported 2,240 suspect or confirmed cases of Ebola since the beginning of the outbreak, with 1,229 deaths. Those cases are limited to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
The WHO said that, Non-affected countries need to strengthen the capacity to detect and immediately contain new cases, while avoiding measures that will create unnecessary interference with international travel or trade.
Problem faced by the tourism travel companies and IT companies due to fear of Ebola:
1. ERM Tours, a company that organizes trips to countries in southern Africa, was already getting cancellations for trips in August. The companies managing director stated that, about 80 percent of the company’s Asian customers had canceled trips for upcoming months, including a group booking of 1,500 Thais worth $1.12 million.
2. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority announced that, the country has lost about $6 million in tourism revenue as a result of travel cancellations flashed by fear over Ebola.
3. Many tour operators feel that part of their job is to educate consumers about the risk of contracting Ebola while in east or southern Africa, which is virtually non-existent. Huff said that he spends a lot of time lately acting as the voice of reason for clients who are nervous about their upcoming trips.
4. The government tourist board in Tanzania said that, tour operators had been receiving cancellations because of the Ebola. The board noted that there have been no Ebola cases reported in the country and that it is carefully checking anyone arriving into Tanzania.
5. Kenya is home to spectacular wildlife reserves, said it would block anyone coming from Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia from entering the country. The ban would exclude Kenyan citizens and health workers who are part of the effort to contain the Ebola outbreak.
6. Zambia, which shares with Zimbabwe massive Victoria Falls, also said it would ban persons from these countries. Several African nations are restricting air travel to West Africa.