Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Taiwan

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In March 2003, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), so far the most lethal infectious disease in this century, hit the world, including Taiwan. The unfortunate pandemic shattered Taiwan’s tourism industry and the nation’s image of a safe tourism destination region, thus affecting Taiwan’s economy. The Taiwanese government, as well as others that were affected, placed restrictions of varying stringency on domestic and international travel due to the cases of SARS. Therefore, precautions were taken and Taiwan’s global travel and tourism system deteriorated. Having Japan and Hong Kong as Taiwan’s two main sources of tourist arrivals, this pandemic decreased a huge amount of international arrivals from these generating…show more content…
All these incidences ultimately led to the questioning of security issues within travelling to differing countries. Lee and Warner stated that ‘a generally dismal world economy and fear of flying associated with terrorism,’ led to numerous flight cancellations and affected airlines negatively (2005, p. 17). All these events accumulated to world-wide fear and caution resulting in a global economic downturn in tourism, thus affecting hotel businesses, airlines and other tourist services, hence affecting Taiwan’s economic status.

The SARS pandemic that hit Taiwan in March 2003 severely impacted the tourism system dramatically affecting inbound tourist number due to the heightened fear of the spread and contraction of the syndrome. Health advisories such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 12, 2003 issued a global SARS alert ‘ in response to a specific threat identified by WHO Global Alert and Response System’ (World Health Organisation, 2003, para.2). Following this alert WHO issued an emergency travel advisory on March 15, 2003 with Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of the WHO stating ‘This syndrome, SARS, is now a worldwide health threat’ (World Health Organisation, 2003, para.3). Additionally government reiterated this advising their fellow citizens to ‘keep unnecessary travel meetings to a minimum’ (Mao & Ding & Lee,

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