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Michelle Grant, Travel and Tourism Research Manager at Euromonitor International, explains the effects recent natural disasters in Japan will have on the travel and tourism industry. Right away, governments worldwide issued travel warnings for citizens going to Japan, and later advised their citizens to evacuate the country completely. Many residents of Tokyo have also left the country or headed to the southern area of Japan due to the nuclear plant crisis. Airlines are also cutting back on service to the country.
The recovery in travel and tourism is likely to begin when the situation is resolved at the nuclear power plant. When trying to understand the effect of the disaster, Euromonitor first examined the effects of the tsunami in Thailand in 2004. Quick reconstruction of the tourism areas stabilised the travel and tourism industry shortly after the disaster, however, a quick rebuild in Japan is unlikely. So as a better comparison, the H1N1 crisis in Mexico was used, given that the disease shut down the country both in economic and tourism terms. Arrivals to Mexico at the height of the H1N1 crisis were down by 50% – a likely comparison to Japan.