On August 19th news broke of cases of locally-acquired Zika in the Wynwood area of Florida. It caused a wave of cancellations from the USA for trips to Miami for the Thanksgiving holidays. Prior to the news, flight bookings to Miami for Thanksgiving were running 11% ahead of where they were at the same time last year; however, a week later, they were 21% behind. The data comes from 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.
However, analysis of booking patterns for the coming two months and for Christmas show negligible impact.
ForwardKeys’ CEO 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.”