This is where we are with the global coronavirus outbreak — right now, half of the world's top eight most-attended theme parks are closed.
Yesterday, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and Universal Studios Japan closed for the next two weeks as part of a nationwide shutdown of tourist attractions across Japan. They join China's Shanghai Disneyland, which closed in January for an indefinite period. Hong Kong Disneyland also is closed in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
If you know me, you know that I go fanboy over three things: theme parks, IndyCar and The Amazing Race. But today, CBS suspended production of Season 33 of The Amazing Race, which was filming in Great Britain. I'd been following the production via the spoiler board on Reality Fan Forum, which had tracked the show through its first two legs, in London and Scotland, before CBS pulled the plug and flew everyone home to the US.
Our sister website, Violinist.com, today wrote about the partial shutdown of global violinmaking center Cremona in Italy due to concerns about the virus. It's not IndyCar, but Formula 1 already has cancelled its Chinese Grand Prix with teams growing concerned about other races on the calendar, which is scheduled to start in two weeks in Australia.
And anyone with a retirement account in the US probably has been watching the stock market tank over concerns that the virus will cripple the global economy, with supply chains disrupted in China, and events and travel being cancelled all over the globe.
Will this get worse before it gets better? If the virus spreads in Europe and the United States, will theme parks and other destinations have to close as they have in Asia? Will the virus - or just the fear of it - keep enough people home to trigger a downturn in theme park attendance? Are we headed into a wider-spread economic recession as a result of the virus? If so, how badly will the travel industry be hit?
Trust me, this is the topic of discussion within the travel industry right now. But right now, all we have are a whole bunch of questions and not nearly enough answers.
For now, though, I am still traveling. How about you?Tweet
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