Zika Virus Takes a Bite Out of Americans' Vacation Plans to Florida with Travelers Planning Flights to Miami Dropping by Almost 30 Percent
Travel Insurance Provider Allianz Global Assistance Evaluated Number of Travelers Planning Flights to Florida for the Peak Fall/Winter Travel Season in 2016 Compared to 2015
The number of Americans planning to travel to Florida over the peak fall/winter season dropped by almost 15 percent following the discovery of locally-transmitted Zika virus in Miami, according to an analysis of travelers’ booking intent by leading travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance.
On August 1st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel warning for people heading to South Florida after finding that Zika was being spread by mosquitoes in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami-Dade County, and later in a section of Miami Beach. The warning for Wynwood was recently lifted.
Allianz Global Assistance reviewed more than 940,000 Americans’ travel plans made during the month of August for the peak fall/winter vacation season from mid-November 2016 to mid-April 2017 and compared the results with the same period last year. It found that the number of travelers planning to book flights to Miami was down 29.11 percent, while the state of Florida as a whole was down 14.84 percent. Excluding Miami, which has been hardest hit by negative publicity surrounding Zika, the remainder of the state recorded a 12.4 percent decrease in travelers that intended to book flights during the fall/winter season. Other areas that have recorded locally-transmitted cases of Zika virus also experienced a decrease in booking intent at nearby airports, including Tampa (-32.79 percent) and Palm Beach (-15.51 percent).
“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,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA.
Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance* through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com or like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.
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Methodology: The data of U.S. travelers’ booking intent to purchase flights to Florida airports was gathered by analyzing the number of customers that went through the online booking process of airfare and package paths for partners offering Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance from August 1 to August 31, 2016 to generate itineraries for travel to Florida during peak travel season (11/15/2016 – 4/15/2017), compared to the same periods in 2015. Below is a snapshot of that data to Florida’s top airports.
|Airport Name and Code||2015 Travelers||2016 Travelers||% Change|
|Tampa – TPA||86,239||64,944||-32.79%|
|Miami – MIA||154,242||119,466||-29.11%|
|Southwest FL – RSW||112,979||93,233||-21.18%|
|Palm Beach – PBI||64,885||56,174||-15.51%|
|Sarasota – SRQ||16,736||14,429||-15.99%|
|Melbourne – MLB||4,238||3,933||-7.75%|
|Broward County – FLL||180,816||162,840||-11.04%|
|Orlando – MCO||266,480||247,084||-7.85%|
|Pensacola – PNS||4,314||4,575||5.70%|
|Gainesville – GNV||1,496||1,329||-12.57%|
|Jacksonville – JAX||17,731||17,480||-1.44%|
|Key West – EYW||17,231||17,810||3.25%|
|Daytona Beach – DAB||4,968||5,616||11.54%|
|Tallahassee – TLH||1,870||2,308||18.98%|
|Northwest FL – ECP||2,831||3,057||7.39%|
|Destin – VPS||2,995||4,290||30.19%|
Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We provide insurance to 21 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.
* - Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A-" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on state of residence. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Non-insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.
Media Contact: Daniel Durazo