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Europe’s biggest customers are now gone – what next?

Europe's biggest customers are now gone - what next?


Europe is one of the world’s richest continents. The European Union with its 28 members and 500 million residents is considered as the global superpower, a well-sophisticated market with good education, healthcare, and financial industries.

It attracts tens of billions in investments every year and is home to some of the biggest financial centers globally. London, Paris, and Zurich are hubs of immense significance for the rest of the world.

Besides being a global economic powerhouse in finance, Europe also is home to some of the most visited countries on earth. France is the number one on the list globally while Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, and others are also included. In the meantime, the British capital of London is the most visited city in the world. With such scales, Europe accounts for a big part of international and domestic flights. Continent’s ultra-low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizzair further contribute to high mobility across European nations.

However, the majority of spendings in the EU is made by overseas visitors. More particularly, amid the rapid development of Asian economies, China has become one of the biggest customers of the EU services. As of 2016, over 25 million visits were made by Chinese visitors within the EU. Besides the already high yet ever-increasing number, they also are big spenders. For comparison, tourists from other European nations do not spend nearly as much as those from China. Moreover, the majority of flight operators from China into the EU are European. This is particularly important as aviation is a major branch of the economy for the European Union.

COVID-19: what EU industries does it affect and how exactly

Dependency on Chinese investments and visitors is having devastating consequences for Europe amid the global novel coronavirus outbreak. Originating in China, the new type of coronavirus has already spread across the west, including Europe. There are now more than 10,000 cases of the virus in Italy while others like Spain, France, and Germany are also witnessing a soaring trend. Direct services were soon suspended from China as the nation’s Hubei province went into a strict lockdown. The further spread of the virus led to a drop in international travel as an increasing number of industries warn about the potential major crisis. So which fields are most affected?

Entertainment and gambling

The entertainment industry is one of the most affected ones. Leisure venues all across Europe are facing the lack of visitors and some are fearing closure due to the current circumstances. The gambling industry is struggling as well. Casinos are widespread in European countries and some areas, like Monaco, are highly dependent on revenues generated by gambling venues.

Physical casinos come with higher risks due to bodily contacts among staff members and visitors. In the meantime, online gambling platforms are taking their chances to substitute famous European venues amid the crisis. Bonus offers are being widely promoted on the web to attract more people to such platforms. Playamo casino is one of the most popular ones that is visited by a soaring number of people each day.

Their Playamo casino bonus offer is very popular among players online. Some of those who have used it say that the variety of options and possibilities on such platforms is often more attractive than bonuses themselves. Online casinos are actively trying to maintain the growth and the current crisis seems to be beneficial for them.

Airlines

Carriers all around the world were forced to cancel thousands of flights while some services had to be completely suspended amid the COVID-19 spread into Europe. At first, flights were stopped from China, a major hit for the industry. Airlines such as British and KLM used to operate tens of flights daily between Chinese cities and their European hubs. Norwegian Air recently announced that they would cancel 3,000 flights or roughly 15% of their entire capacity in the coming months.

British Airways always stopped all flights to and out of Italy shortly followed by popular low-cost Ryanair. The crisis is also affecting the domestic market as the demand for travel shrinks dramatically. American Airlines became one of the first US carriers to reduce domestic capacity in response to the outbreak.

Moreover, airports across Europe are already reporting plummeting passenger traffic as airlines are operating almost-empty ghost flights. London Heathrow, Europe’s largest and one of the world’s busiest airports reported a 5% decrease in passenger numbers this February and March.

Accommodation: hotels under a major threat

Revenue of hotels and other means of accommodation are directly connected to tourism and travel industries. As international mobility decreases in spite of the novel coronavirus outbreak, hotels all across Europe are facing closures and cancellations.

Short-time online rental platforms, such as AIRBNB also reported plunging booking rates in February and early March. The issue is particularly visible in Italy, one of Europe’s biggest tourism hotspots, which now sits under a nation-wide lockdown. Almost no hotels operate in Northern while the media is reporting pictures of empty streets in Venice and Milano.



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