News of locally-acquired zika in the Wynwood area of Miami sent flight bookings plummeting by more than 20% last month, new data reveals.
The scare caused a wave of cancellations from the US for trips to Miami for the Thanksgiving holiday on November 24.
Prior to news of the outbreak on August 19, flight bookings to Miami for Thanksgiving were running 11% ahead of where they were at the same time last year.
But they were 21% behind a week later, according to ForwardKeys, which analyses 14 million air booking transactions a day.
Further analysis shows that the segment most affected were individuals and small family-like groups, staying 6-13 nights.
ForwardKeys’ chief executive and co-founder, Olivier Jager, said: “Consumer travel is notoriously sensitive to bad news and this is a dramatic demonstration of that effect.
“Whilst we have seen an immediate stalling in bookings for the nearest holiday season, Thanksgiving, it is possible that if there are no more reported cases of mosquito-transmitted zika in Miami that bookings will recover.”
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