World’s biggest tourism expo held every year in Berlin commonly known as ITB Berlin was cancelled just a few weeks ago amid fears of a fast spreading Corona Virus. The disease which saw its origin in Wuhan city of China has quickly spread to more than 30 countries and 100,000 patients who have contracted the disease globally. There are 3000 deaths reported so far while some of the international agencies including WHO have accused China of not sharing the exact number of victims. The number of patients contracting the disease is growing with each passing day while the scientists are still searching for a vaccine.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s newly elected government has been striving to promote tourism in the country bolstered by the improving security conditions in Pakistan. The efforts have been bearing fruits as the tourist influx in the country has gradually been rising for the last few years. The local market has also seen an increase of the tour operating startups and travel agencies along with newly constructed luxury hotels in cities like Swat and Multan. The economic conditions still pose a considerable challenge for new businesses in Pakistan.
The fast spreading Corona Virus also found its way inside Pakistan almost a week ago when two patients were detected to have contracted the disease during their pilgrimage to Iran.
For now, most of the European countries have initiated a travel lock down and have also issued advisory against travelling to any foreign country. Italy being the worst affected is currently in state of emergency with the head of state recently issuing a decree imposing a travel ban from Lombardy region and 14 other districts. In the middle of this outbreak, Pakistan’s revenue generation from tourism industry, however small it may be, will be completely annihilated.