Travel agents take a hit as coronavirus fears spread

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- As new cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, are popping up in countries across the globe, some international travelers at RDU Airport said they were worried. Others said they were unbothered.

RELATED: Everything Americans need to know about coronavirus

Either way, the concern over whether or not to take flight has local travel agents, including Eric Eze at Ez 2 Travel, answering hard questions from customers.

"I can tell you over the last 48 hours, our phones have been ringing non stop," said Eze. "We have a lot of customers that are concerned about the coronavirus. They want to know how this will impact their trip."

Unfortunately, Eze said there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Experts said it depends on the traveler, their companions and the destination. Most times, Eze said travel agents will be in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and can advise.

"We try to assure them that everything is going to be OK," Eze said. "We explain to them where it's highly contagious, where its not, certain procedures they can take, but in the end customers don't want to take that risk."

And in that case, redirecting is the fix.

"We have a lot of people that are deciding to go to the Caribbean and Mexico," said Eze.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Tips for parents on speaking to children

But even with the ability to change itineraries-Eze said he's taking a 20 percent hit on his usual business, while other agencies are even worse off.

"But we're lucky because we have diversification," Eze said. "We have friends that only focus on Asia. They are literally in tears because the impact has been so severe."

RELATED: Why a face mask isn't your best defense against coronavirus

So back to the question, should you cancel your trip or hold off on booking?

Given the destination and your medical history, it is truly your call. But Eze recommended that you don't take off without travel insurance.

"Travel insurance covers medical emergencies so if you need to have an evac, we can evac you," said Eze.

RELATED: Read recent ABC 11 Eyewitness News stories about the coronavirus here

EMBED More News Videos

Here's how you can prepare for a coronavirus outbreak, via AccuWeather.

Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.