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Asian tourism capitals sweat over Chinese travel drought

Xenophobia risks keeping world's top vacation spenders away for months

A shopkeeper wearing mask at souvenir shop around Wat Phra Kaeo, Thailand. (Photo by Akira Kodaka) 

TOKYO/BANGKOK -- Popular Asian travel destinations face the risk of a prolonged decline in visitors from China, a group that generates around 20% of global tourism spending, as the coronavirus disrupts travel and shows signs of stoking anti-Chinese sentiment.

Flight cancellations and travel restrictions undercut Chinese tourism during the Lunar New Year holiday, and some analysts expect the downturn to last until 2021.

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