Swine Flu Plays Spoilsport For Tourism

News | | May 16, 2009 at 7:06 am




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traveller-wearing-masks-d-001There are people all around the globe who are who are following the news of swine flu. Health officials have repeatedly stated that people cannot contract swine flu from eating pork or pork products. However, this does not imply that eating meat is safe.  After bird flu and recession, it is swine flu that is threatening to hamper this year’s tourism in a big way. There is a million dollar blow to the tourism industry.   Even as the tourism industry which was trying to come out of recession, swine flu has broken the back bone of this sector.

There are many airlines that are feeling the pinch by having considerable low bookings and a high number of cancellations.

Hotel operators are also seeing travelers postpone their plans.

There is great fear among tourist who have planned their travel itineraries particularly to places like U.S, Mexico, and several European countries.

There are many cruise operators like Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd who are desperate to avoid passenger illness and lose revenue, and hence have decided to reroute Mexico voyages until mid-June. The cruise companies have started rerouting tourist to San Francisco, Seattle or British Columbia in Canada. The passengers are losing on sunshine and tan lines but the new destinations are gaining in millions of dollars. The cruise operators are offering credit vouchers for a future cruise as an initiative to retain their customers. Those who scare the swine flu and do not wish to move out of their houses are lucky enough to avail full refund on their cruise fare.

After the WHO raised the global swine flu alert, a global pandemic was imminent though not inevitable. EU ministers have decided to term the virus flu “novel flu”, stressing that it is “related to human-to-human transmission”, not caught from pigs.

Felipe Calderon, president of Mexico has addressed the public in an interview and urged them to stay in with their families, saying there was no place as safe as your own home.

Each and every country is trying different ways out to stop this epidemic from reaching their country. Australia has unveiled thermal scanners at its airports, to target incoming passengers who may be suffering from the virus. In Thailand, the Bangkok authorities green-lighted the dispersal of 100,000 free face masks, mostly for taxi drivers and foreign tourists.

However I personally feel that this is a short term bump which may already be dissipating. Hoping for better times ahead to enjoy leisure and explore many new locales

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