Zika Virus and Travel: Popular Destinations Remain Resilient, Says Squaremouth Report

Published by Steven Benna September 8, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, FL September 8, 2016 — Despite a wave of CDC alerts for the Zika virus since the beginning of the year, Americans are still traveling to affected destinations, according to a report by leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.

“It does not appear that Zika virus is deterring travelers from going to the most popular destinations, with Mexico remaining a top destination among our customers this year,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. “We have seen a greater number of travelers opting for the Bahamas this year, which was one of the few Zika-free Caribbean destinations until recently.”

Change in Travelers to Top Destinations with Zika Virus

  1. Mexico (+21%)
  2. Bahamas (+25%)
  3. Costa Rica (+17%)
  4. Peru (+5.8%)
  5. Dominican Republic (-3.4%)

Mexico Remains Top International Destination
Even though it was one of the first destinations to receive a CDC alert, Mexico remains the No. 1 international destination overall among Squaremouth customers, seeing a 21% increase in sales so far this year compared to last year.

Bahamas Grows in Popularity During Zika-Free Period
Despite lower sales in the first months of the year, travel insurance sales for the Bahamas grew as the country remained Zika-free until last month, with an overall increase of 25% over last year.

Travel to Cuba Spikes Despite Zika Concerns
The allure of Cuba appears to outweigh the threat of Zika. In the period since receiving a CDC alert, travel insurance sales for Cuba have more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos See Decreases
Some Zika-affected destinations have seen declines this year. Sales to Puerto Rico fell 18% and sales to Turks and Caicos fell 19% so far this year compared to the same period last year.

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Data is based on American travelers insured on travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth between 1/1/16-8/31/16. Travelers who are visiting multiple countries only have to enter one destination when purchasing a policy on Squaremouth.com. This report represents the destinations selected by travelers. Statistics reflect changes from the same period in 2015 unless otherwise noted.


ABOUT SQUAREMOUTH

Squaremouth is an online company that compares travel insurance products from virtually every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.

Available Topic Expert:
Rachael Taft
rtaft@squaremouth.com
(727) 264-5174