The Taiwanese love the pub scene and love to sing karaoke, but in recent days many have scaled back on entertainment spending in the wake of the SARS outbreak.
Holiday Entertainment Co (
"Customers not wishing to contract the virus in public are seeking alternative means of entertainment,'' Yang said after news broke that there was a suspected case of SARS in a Tainan City karaoke.
``With rising SARS infections, it's obvious we're going to see a negative impact on our sales,'' Yang said.
Holiday, which operates 62 karaoke outlets around the na-tion, has tightened hygiene to avoid the spread of SARS.
Local businesses fear their stores may have to shut down if one or two employees are found to have contracted the disease.
"We have adopted precautions for both employees and customers," Yang said. "No one is allowed in without washing their hands and having their temperature taken first."
The SARS impact could be far more serious than the 921 earthquake, a nightclub operator said yesterday.
"I have never seen anything like this," said Ted Huang (
Traffic to Eden -- which occupies the 10th and 11th floors of the new food and entertainment complex, Bistro 98 -- dropped significantly after health authorities shut the Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital on April 24.
"Our sales are expected to decline by 25 percent this month from the previous month," Huang said.
SARS continued to take its toll on businesses as 39.96 percent of 2,226 companies surveyed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs between April 15 and April 21 said the outbreak would affect their second quarter sales.