Coronavirus already having an impact on the Otago Economy
By Otago Chamber of Commerce | Posted: Tuesday February 4, 2020
The Otago Daily Times interviewed the Otago Chamber CEO, Dougal McGowan, on what this might mean for the region...
Chris Morris from the ODT reported in Monday's edition (an excerpt follows):
The economic impact of coronavirus on Dunedin and Otago is already being felt, and could cost the region tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars, the Otago Chamber of Commerce says.
Chamber chief executive Dougal McGowan yesterday told the Otago Daily Times the ripple effects of the virus — and the temporary ban on travelers coming from China — was already being felt in the South.
Some businesses, including rock lobster exporters, were finding it more difficult to get products into China, and the number of tourists and international students coming from China was already down, just as the peak season arrived.
The economic impact was mounting and could be significant, he said; products were unable to be shipped, tourists did not arrive to spend money and fee-paying students stayed home.
‘‘You will be talking in the tens of millions of dollars easily, depending on how long it goes for. It could be hundreds of millions of dollars for Dunedin and Otago,’’ Mr McGowan said.