OPERATORS are considering
whether to keep China in their programmes as customers shy away from the
destination following the outbreak of the killer SARS bug.

The country was set to be a
major focus for operators expanding their Asian product, but the lethal virus
has left China a tough product to sell.

Thomson worldwide head of product Paul Baxter said the
longer the severe acute respiratory syndrome remains active, the more difficult
it will be to sell China and Hong Kong. “The virus makes it a harder sell in
the short term, but the longer term remains good,” he said.