Despite major scaremongering from the press, the government and the World Health Organisation, the spectre of swine flu has not deterred travellers. Not for long anyway.
Online PR News – 15-May-2009 – – Despite major scaremongering from the press, the government and the World Health Organisation, the spectre of swine flu has not deterred travellers. Not for long anyway.
Whilst visitor numbers to Mexico dropped off for a fortnight or so at the height of the scare, bookings are beginning – like most of the afflicted – to get back to full health, and other international destinations barely registered the “crisis”.
UK travel firm DialAFlight – which carries half a million customers each year - reports that flights to both Mexico City and Cancun are close to normal seasonal booking levels, after the brief downturn last month.
And in the US and Canada, fears of a global pandemic don’t appear to exist anywhere but the corridors of power. Following a second American death from the virus, the government were even poised to recommend school closures to protect the public, though they later retreated from this position. President Barack Obama said the threat of spreading infections is cause for concern but "not a cause for alarm."
With the first cases in Europe now confirmed, it remains to be seen what the impact will be on the continent’s tourism industry. But public confidence, however shaken by the latest reports, seems much less vulnerable than it did during the bird flu scare of 2006.
A DialAFlight spokesman said, ‘Our customers appear to have decided that the end of the human race is not quite as close as the World Health Organisation would have us believe. Or they’ve decided to go and have some fun before civilisation comes to an end.'
‘Most are pretty well educated and they are saying that if only 100 or so people have died from swine flu in Mexico City which has 22 million people, then those are actually pretty good odds. Especially as flu kills 25,000 people worldwide each winter.’
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