Will Swine Flu Wipe Out Mexico Vacations?
Hitwise Intelligence - Heather Dougherty
The current economic conditions has impacted the travel industry and according to PhoCusWright, revenues are projected to decline 3% to reach $93 billion for the online leisure/unmanaged business travel market in 2009 (the first decline since tracking began in 1998). While the economy is hitting the travel industry and forcing cutbacks in spending, there has also been an increasing trend for consumers to seek out all-inclusive vacation packages for easier budgeting - one price for everything.
Last August, the top destination among a portfolio of search terms related to All-Inclusive Vacations was Mexico, which captured 35% of the searches that included a destination. The most popular destinations within Mexico included Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. The United States (dominated by Florida and Hawaii) and the Caribbean (Jamaica and Dominican Republic) followed with 30% and 23%, respectively. Unfortunately, the recent outbreak of H1N1 flu (swine flu) which originated in Mexico may have a negative impact upon the tourism this summer.
Below is a word cloud of the destinations searches to depict the most popular within the All-Inclusive Vacations portfolio.
There has already been an immediate drop off in searches including the term ‘mexico’ driving traffic to the Travel category, instead visiting News & Media websites to read about the recent outbreak.
The immediate association with the swine flu is also having an impact upon searches that include ‘mexico’, ‘mexico swine flu’ ranked 6th for the week ending April 25, 2009. There were 70 mentions of ‘flu’ in the 2,111 search terms containing ‘mexico’. Once the pandemic ends, the challenge for the Mexican tourism industry will be to communicate safety & well-being to help rebound.
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