News: Coronavirus, learn more

The Pacific Asia Travel Association PATA is hosting a free webinar tomorrow, Thursday 6th February 2020, to look at current data and insights from ForwardKeysThe webinar is timed for 1600 Bangkok time. To register, contact

ForwardKeys analyses global aviation capacity, flight searches and over 17 million flight booking transactions a day, to provide a look into the current and future impact of the coronavirus crisis. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on how organisations can begin to prepare and get ahead of the current situation with ForwardKeys and PATA, plus Twenty31, an innovation and disruption focused research consultancy exclusively working in the travel and tourism industry.

Moderated by PATA’s Director – Communications & External Affairs, Paul Pruangkarn, the webinar will feature Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA; Oliver Martin, Partner, Twenty31 Consulting Inc., and, lead panellist, Olivier Ponti, Vice President – Insights, ForwardKeys.

Questions are also already being asked about Coronavirus and insurance. Metabiota, based in California, tracks the impact of viruses on such individual behaviour as people’s willingness to travel. Metabiota’s model suggests that Coronavirus might see the same impact as Sars, which caused overall economic losses of over $50 billion.

The three areas of insurance most likely to be hit by this epidemic are business cover, life insurance and travel – it seems, incidentally, that lots of travel insurance policies now have exclusions for flu-type outbreaks.  (See The Financial Times‘ article Insurers in the spotlight over coronavirus, Oliver Ralph, 3 February 2020)

Yes, it is hurting so many. Macau closed all its casinos from midnight last night (for 15 days), and ferry services to Hong Kong are suspended, although the new road link via Zhuhai remains open. Hotels are taking a mammoth hit, already, and not only in China.  Speaking from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Guido Farina, GM of the city’s top Tripadvisor hotel, the 250-room RuMa Hotel & Residences, says he has already lost over 400 room nights. (For the record, we loved staying in suite #1006, looking over the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC.)

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