World Tourism Forum Institute is getting lots of inquiries about COVID-19.
President Bulut Bağcı said that the London-based institution, which produces events worldwide, is being asked by the industry stakeholders whether to cancel or postpone events.
President Bağcı said the WTFI estimates that COVID-19 will deliver a $270 billion hit to the meetings-and-events industry.
“It’s just the industry,” he said. “What is the importance of a city and the economic impact of a meeting or event cancelled?”
Companies also worry about maintaining the health of their brands.
“Maybe the risk is small, but only one case is required at an event,” said Bağcı. “They are mindful of the possible exposure.”
The World Tourism Forum Institute educates industry stakeholders not only to cancel an event but to make them realize the value of re-booking now.
“We already had a massive supply / demand problem before entering this coronavirus situation: shortage of hotels and high demand of meetings and events,” Bağcı said. “We believe that the cancelled meetings will be resumed and that means that supply and demand will be much extremer. The price of your event will increase dramatically if you decide not to reserve it now.
Bağcı claimed that the institution allows its workers to stay at home if they are not feeling well and meet all federal guidelines.
“The media hysteria and tension it generates is one of the issues that worries us,” Bağcı said. “We ensure, then, that we provide people with means to find reliable facts.”