The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has cancelled its forthcoming convention and trade show, which was set to take place in San Diego between 18 and 21 March.
In a statement, IHRSA said it hade made the “difficult decision” following “official declarations” on the threat posed by the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), adding that the event would not be rescheduled for later in the year.
Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump issued a ban on all flights from mainland Europe to the US for 30 days – making travel for any European fitness professionals and companies to IHRSA practically impossible.
A raft of leading equipment suppliers – including Life Fitness, Precor, Keiser, Stages Cycling and Freemotion – had already withdrawn from exhibiting at the event.
“After careful consideration, it is with a heavy heart that IHRSA and the IHRSA board of directors have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel IHRSA 2020,” IHRSA said in a statement.
“We originally believed that continuing with IHRSA 2020 was the best course of action so that we could bring the industry’s best minds together, to talk about and discuss solutions to the virus’ impact on our global industry.
“Now, based on the latest guidance and official declarations, it is clear that cancelling is the right course of action.
“IHRSA 2020 will not be rescheduled. Meetings the size of IHRSA are planned years in advance.
“We carefully coordinate with each host city to accommodate our attendees during a specific timeframe and as such, rescheduling is not an option at this time.
“Thankfully, IHRSA is more than just one event. Our mission is to grow, protect, and promote the industry and with or without a Convention, that is exactly what we will continue to do through the strength of the IHRSA membership, association, and community.
“We thank the entire IHRSA community for understanding the extreme difficulty of this situation.
“We are grateful for each and every one of you. It is your passion for the industry that helps make the IHRSA event a success year after year. And it is that same passion that will drive us into the future.”
To read the IHRSA statement in full, click here.