Countries around the world have been eager to cash in on the rising spending power of Chinese travelers. Shops advertise Mandarin speaking salespeople, the United States and Japan offer 10-year visas, and hotels and duty-free retailers accept China’s Alipay and WeChat Pay apps.
To contain the virus, millions of Chinese are hunkering down, flights have been canceled and countries are imposing restrictions on anyone coming from mainland China.
The knock-on effects are being felt around the globe. Tour groups and cruise lines are canceling trips because of plummeting demand. International fairs and conferences from Hong Kong to Italy are being shelved. And hotels that are usually teeming with China tourists are sitting empty.