THE Chinese Consulate General of Davao City is optimistic that the economic impact between China and Davao City caused by 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) will be temporary.

In a press conference on February 3, Consul General of China Li Lin said the effect of the 2019-nCoV ARD is felt mostly in tourism and economic cooperation, especially that the consulate announced the cancellation of the direct flight from Davao to Jinjiang, China operated by XiamenAir for the whole February.

“These visitors are not only tourists but also businessmen and government officials making official visits here,” he said.

He said an average of 60 to 70 passengers are coming in and out of Davao for every Davao-Jinjiang direct flight.

XiamenAir flies from Davao to Jinjiang every Tuesday and Friday weekly.

“There will be an impact but will be temporary. It would impact both tourism and economic cooperation. but I think, if we are looking into the future, the positive momentum of the economic cooperation and people to people exchanges will not be affected,” he said.

Lin added the consulate is keeping close coordination and constant communication with the City Government of Davao, local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao, travel agencies, and Chinese airlines for updates on the improvement of the situation.

“Once everything is restored, becoming normal again, then we can step up our normal cooperation. Once the epidemic is put under control, we have the confidence to encourage continuous tourist exchanges,” he said.

Lin said all Chinese tourists, who were supposed to spend around two to three days in the city, have returned to China prior to the cancellation of flights.

“There was a flight between Davao and Jinjiang and there were some people planning to take that flight. We assisted some of the visitors to fly to Manila to take Manila to Xiamen flight to go back to China,” he said.