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Coronavirus: travel influencers’ plans canceled, some fear getting home

  • With more than 80,000 reported cases of coronavirus worldwide, the daily lives and habits of millions of people are affected, especially those who rely on international travel to work.
  • Several travel influencers and bloggers told Business Insider that coronavirus was a hotly debated topic in their industry. The developers raised concerns about upcoming trips – and fans asked for travel tips and answers.
  • Some brands and companies have canceled upcoming influencer campaigns and trips, according to the authors.
  • Stories of passenger quarantines on arriving boats and planes – especially in the case of the Diamond Princess cruise ship – have led influencers to wonder whether it’s worth going on a work trip.
  • You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.

As you make your money while traveling, growing fears about the increasing coronavirus outbreak can be a direct threat to your main source of income.

Travel influencers and bloggers have already seen their upcoming plans flow as fears over COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, spread internationally. In Facebook groups and group texts, influencers are hungry for answers on whether to cancel their trips, what to pass on to panicked fans, and whether they have also seen brands pull out of planned campaigns at the last minute.

Cases of coronavirus have been reported in nearly 50 countries, affecting more than 82,000 people. The resulting fear of contracting the disease has led to a global shortage of face masks, the cancellation of important conferences and events, and even economic collapse. At the center of these concerns is the growing concern to avoid areas hardest hit by the coronavirus: not just China, but Italy, Iran, South Korea and other countries that are now considered hotspots.

However, it’s not as easy when international travel is part of the job description as it is for travel influencers, bloggers and photographers. The protections implemented by airlines, travel agencies, and brands working with influencers have resulted in many trips by developers – often planned weeks and months in advance – being canceled or postponed indefinitely.

“A lot of people are panicking,” Canadian travel influencer Mel Vandersluis told Business Insider. “Some press trips have stalled, others have been canceled. They obviously don’t want influencers to get infected with the virus during the trip.”

Travel photographer Callum Snape told Business Insider that a two-year deal with an Italian luxury brand has been suspended because buyers are “mostly” in China. One of the biggest conferences of the year on LGBTQ travel and tourism is coming soon in Italy – a country with 650 reported cases – and is no longer an option for Stefan Arestis and Sebastien Chaneac, a travel influencer couple of the Nomadic Boys .

Travel influencers are increasingly being forced to weigh the pros and cons of leaving their home and traveling to countries with different security measures, outbreak policies, and heightened fear.

Several influencers told Business Insider that fear of contracting coronavirus is not enough to keep them from traveling. Many have used their blogs and Instagram presences to dispel fans’ fears and to pass on tips for safe travel and to dispel rumors about the disease.

“If you keep hearing the news that wants to scare you, you won’t be going anywhere,” Alyssa Ramos, who runs the My Life Is A Travel Movie blog, told Business Insider. “Followers ask me if they should cancel their plans. I get very angry because I want people to travel.”

Some developers instead choose not to travel over concerns about being able to return to their home countries without being delayed or stopped due to coronavirus screenings and quarantines.

Stories of weeks of quarantine for citizens traveling home have already hit the headlines. Hundreds of U.S. citizens are currently under federal quarantine at a California air force base. Many of them were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, on which more than 700 people had been infected with coronavirus by the end of a two-week quarantine on board.

At least five influencers told Business Insider that fear of possible quarantine was enough to keep them from leaving their home. Becky van Dijk, a UK-based person who moved to the US in a few months, has suspended all travel plans fearing the country may soon close its borders to certain travelers. Travel influencer Johnny Jet said leaving the US would be “just too risky” if he were to be quarantined and kept away from his two young children at home for weeks.

“You tell someone you just got back from Asia, they step back. You’re nervous. It’s scary because it’s unknown,” Jet told Business Insider. “I don’t want to risk being quarantined. It’s just not worth it.”

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