The Hawke's Bay's tourism industry could suffer a blip as the impact of coronavirus spreads further than the disease itself.
The virus, which is thought to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan, China, has claimed the lives of 106 people in China, with almost 3000 confirmed ill.
With Chinese authorities already placing travel restrictions in an effort to contain the virus, including suspending tour groups and the sale of flight and hotel packages for citizens heading overseas, Hawke's Bay could be affected.
Hawke's Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton said while the majority of Hawke's Bay's tourism is domestic, the virus may take its toll on local operators.
"Hawke's Bay Tourism's thoughts and concerns are first and foremost with the individuals affected by the virus," he said.
"Hawke's Bay's major tourism markets are predominantly domestic, along with Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, although we acknowledge some local operators may be impacted by cancellations."
Saxton added: "As an regional tourism organisation, we are taking guidance from the industry leads of Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Tourism Export Council, and of course relevant government departments."
The outbreak of coronavirus, which affects the respiratory system, comes amid the Chinese New Year, one of the most significant times for Chinese holiday travel.
The virus' symptoms, which range from a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing, are somewhat similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza.
Mark Scofield, owner of Napier bus tour company Decker City Discover, said he's been contacted by Hawke's Bay Tourism about how to stay observant of symptoms and raised his concerns about the impact of the virus on his business.
"I have had an email from Hawke's Bay Tourism giving us some information and guidelines, through the Ministry of Health, to help us be vigilant at spotting if anything is not quite right," he said.
"It is handy that they've distributed that.
"It is a concern. If we found it does spread and get worse, then it certainly will impact us more and good old Hawke's Bay."
While there have been no deaths outside China, at least 44 cases have been confirmed in other countries, including in Australia, Germany and the United States.
Despite the ongoing rising concerns, Saxton is confident it will not affect a busy summer line-up of events across the region.
"Hawke's Bay is looking forward to a very busy couple of months for the visitor economy, highlighted by major regional events including the Mission Estate Winery Concerts, Napier Art Deco Festival and Land Rover Horse of the Year," he added.
According to Tourism New Zealand, China is New Zealand's second-largest international visitor market and one of the most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend, with 30 flights operate between New Zealand and China each week.
Hastings-Havelock North councillor Kevin Watkins said Chinese tourists make up a significant proportion of those who visit Hawke's Bay.
"There will be an effect throughout New Zealand, which will have a roll-on effect throughout Hawke's Bay.
"If this is going to be a long-term issue, I guess there will be some who will vigorously promote New Zealand in other markets to try to balance it out."
Watkins said Hastings sister city, Guilin, has cases of coronavirus but said they "don't seem to be effected nearly as badly as other provinces in China".
Business owner Scofield, who described the thought of the virus spreading as "scary", said he often operates with Chinese tourists.
"I had a full bus load of Chinese people on the other day," he said. "They lived in Melbourne, but they may have had family that joined them from China – who knows.
"Just the fact we have this bug starting to get around the world is going to stop people from moving around."