Ivory Coast commercial capital, Abidjan has begun to see the economic impact of the Ebola crisis ravaging neighboring nations, with many airlines cancelling routes to and from Ebola-hit countries. Gavino Garay reports.
In Abidjan, there is no escaping the alarm caused by Ebola, even though there are no recorded cases there. . Throughout the city, public warnings display the death toll in neighboring countries. That number now stands at more than 1300. But in Abidjan there are side effects. Local business owners believe the virus could cripple the economy, with travel bans now imposed on flights to and from neighboring countries where Ebola has taken hold. Travel agent Serge Gohoury says it's a blow to their industry, and morale. (SOUNDBITE) (French) SERGE GOHOURY, TRAVEL AGENT, SAYING: "At our level, Ebola is more like an emotional shock. And it will have a financial impact. Our business figures will definitely take a dive." Thousands of tourists from all over the world who had planned trips to Africa this year, have canceled. And more cancellations are feared. Local business manager Sheryn Toifl's parents are among those who've changed their plans. (SOUNDBITE) (French) SHERYN TOIFL, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, JUMIA COTE D'IVOIRE, SAYING: "I must confess it's a little worrying. My parents were planning to visit me for holidays for the month of August and they had to cancel their flight last minute because of fears." ..and as the death toll outside Ivory Coast rises, the economic squeeze on local businesses is likely to tighten with fewer visitors coming …and less money being spent.