Florida – a no-go

Nearly 15% fewer Americans are planning to travel to Florida during the fall and winter after the Zika virus was found to be locally transmitted in the state, according to travel insurance company Allianz Global Assistance.

Allianz said it conducted an analysis of travelers’ booking intent, reviewing more than 940,000 Americans’ travel plans made in August 2016 for mid-November 2016 through mid-April 2017, then compared the results with the same period in 2015 (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first issued a warning that Zika was being locally transmitted in Miami on Aug. 1).

According to Allianz, the number of travelers planning on booking flights to Miami was down 29.1%. Tampa (down 32.8%) and Palm Beach (down 15.5%) also had decreases in travelers intending to go there during the fall and winter.

The state as a whole was down 14.9%. Excluding Miami, Florida was down 12.4% in people intending to travel this fall/winter season. Orlando, meanwhile, saw a 7.85% decrease in travelers intending to book a flight in the fall/winter season.

“The publicity surrounding the discovery of locally transmitted Zika virus cases in South Florida has had an immediate and dramatic impact on the intent of travelers to book vacations to Florida during the peak travel season,” Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA, said in a statement.