Chinatowns turn into ghost towns as tourism takes a hit

Chinatowns turn into ghost towns as tourism takes a hit

San Francisco: From the US to Singapore, Chinatowns that are historic and picturesque Chinese settlements across the world are facing the brunt of coronavirus (COVID-19) fears owing to poor tourist footfall.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the largest and oldest Chinatown in San Francisco has seen a massive drop in tourism.

According to a report in NPR, there are no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus among San Francisco residents but the city’s mayor has declared a local state of emergency.

“The city’s Chinatown is already feeling the financial effects of fears over the virus,” the report said. Food markets and restaurants in Chinatown are hit the most who are witnessing empty tables throughout the day.

Facebook has come forward, helping Chinatown here with a $20,000 grant and $5,000 in Facebook ad credits to encourage people to shop locally.

“Sadly, there has been a lot of xenophobia as a result of what’s happening,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed was quoted as saying in a report. To allay fears, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the Chinatown last week. “I’m here today, particularly, to say thank you to the community for the sense of family values and sense of community that they provide. (IANS)

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Sentinel Assam