The Business Travel Coalition has established a Zika.travel Resource Center to provide travel managers, meeting professionals, and others in the travel and tourism industry with efficient and timely access to breaking news, analyses, tools and important government links concerning the virus for decision-making purposes. The resource center can be accessed at Zika.travel and is updated daily. Follow is an excerpt from the site:
In terms of the potential impact of the Zika virus on air travel demand, it will be largely on the leisure side of the business. It could be significant, though, given the World Health Organization's projection of a very rapid escalation to 4 million cases in the Americas alone, and the propensity during these kinds of outbreaks for misinformation and rumor that can unnecessarily alarm tourists.
Bearing in mind that an estimated 80 percent of people infected with Zika experience no symptoms, and therefore do not know if they have been infected, female business travelers of childbearing age may decide to forego or otherwise postpone travel to the 32 and growing number of countries and territories across the globe until there is more clarity from officials.
To avoid panic and unnecessarily canceled leisure or business travel trips, or worse outcomes, highly effective and timely communications from governments and health organizations will be critically important on a number of subjects. Miscommunications, misunderstandings and rumors during the 2014 Ebola epidemic resulted in otherwise avoidable problems.
Zika.travel will provide the travel industry with timely and accurate information so that informed policy decisions can be made.