MORE than 86 percent of safari tour operators are experiencing a significant decline in bookings due to fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
According to the survey conducted by the SafariBookings.com a total of 360 operators were involved in the survey.
Part of the report reads that many operators pointed fingers at coronavirus as main cause of the booking decline "Common amongst the comments from safari operators was coronavirus is affecting our safari business.
We are experiencing fewer bookings as some clients are putting their bookings on hold while others have canceled," reads part of the report.
The initiative for the survey was taken after SafariBookings.com received disturbing feedback from safari operators who were reporting that bookings had declined significantly due to the coronavirus outbreak. T
he survey found that about a quarter of operators experienced a staggering 75 percent decrease in bookings. Only 14 percent reported no decrease and for these operators it has been business as usual. It is a heavy blow for the industry and the numerous wildlife reserves that rely on its revenue.
Clients are asking questions about options to delay or cancel their safari trips, and any costs they may incur.
"The main question potential clients are asking is whether they will be able to postpone or cancel their trip without penalties, should the coronavirus spread to Africa or to their own country, forcing them to amend their travel plans," reads part of the report.
One of operators from Uganda put it that the fear for the disease was causing a direct negative impact to the safari business, yet there is no a single case reported in Uganda.