This is bad news for the Travel Industry, including the Airlines, Hotels and Cruise Operators (those serving Latin America and the Caribbean) as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a warning saying that the Zika virus is likely to spread to most of the Americas (and not just be confined to a few countries).
It only means that more and more tourists are going to get worried about this development (information reaches quite fast around the world nowadays) and probably postpone or even cancel their plans to visit the Zika affected destinations, causing a significant loss to the travel industry.
What is the Zika Virus?
Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, and the recent WHO warning has made tourists cautious.
With a strong U.S. dollar, thousands of Americans plan their vacations for the coming months, however, they’re now less likely to chose holiday destinations in Latin America.
In fact, WHO says that Canada and Chile are the only countries in the Americas that is not likely to be affected by the virus.
Watch: What is Zika Virus, and should you be concerned?
Travel Industry Concerned
Although there are many tourist agencies who say that there’s no reason to raise an alarm, some of the service providers have started providing more options to tourists who’ve already made plans so that they do not cancel their plans.
United Airlines is letting customers (who had booked tickets to Zika-impacted regions) to postpone their trips or obtain refunds with no penalty.
Norwegian Cruise Lines would now allow expectant mothers to reschedule cruises to a later date or switch to an itinerary outside the affected countries.
While the travel industry is not yet in panic mode, they’re hoping that the issue does not get out of control. We also hope for the same, and don’t want tourists to cancel their travel plans to Latin America and the Caribbean, home to some of the most exotic locations in the world.