Volcanic ash costs global economy $5bn

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WORLD – The cloud of volcanic ash cost the global economy an estimated US$5bn, analysis has revealed.

MD of analyst Oxford Economics Adrian Cooper told delegates at the World Travel and Tourism Council in Beijing that up to 80 per cent of flights were grounded at times during the eruption, and that the supply industry in particular incurred great costs, with millions of dollars’ worth of perishable food and cut flowers unable to be delivered. He said $65m worth of perishable goods were lost in Africa alone.

“The $5bn figure includes offsets for those increases in alternative modes of transport that would have increased as planes were not allowed to leave the ground and it is likely that after longer more in-depth research the loss figure may well increase,” he added.

Last month, a survey by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) found that 60 per cent of its worldwide members and 70 per cent of its European members were negatively affected.

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