Mexico's Resort Hotels Offer Swine Flu Guarantee
Just how much damage has been done to Mexican tourism from the outbreak of the H1N1 virus? There are a variety of reports that indicate the flu has had a deep impact on Mexico's hotel industry. Data from STR shows that occupancy dropped more than 50 percent at the end of April and beginning of May. Tourism in Mexico was already on the wane due to threats from gang- and drug-related violence and from an overall downturn in resort travel because of the economy. The AFP reports that since the outbreak of swine flu 25 hotels in the Cancun area have closed down and that the tourism drop may cost Mexico around $2.3 billion in lost income.
As a response to this type of bad publicity, some of the hotels in the resort areas along Mexico's Caribbean coast have announced free vacations for three years to any tourist who catches swine flu while on vacationing in the region. So far over 5,000 hotel rooms are involved in the promotion which is hoped to bring a little life back to Mexico's beach resorts. Mexico's Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova has said that Mexican beach resorts, including Cozumel and Puerto Vallarta have not reported any cases of the virus.