Business and leisure travelers are continuing to travel despite growing attention surrounding the H1N1 virus (swine flu), indicating that travelers are not reacting with as much alarm as media reports may indicate.
Travel volumes recorded at Sabre Holdings, a distributor of travel, show that aside from the decline in travel to Mexico, business and leisure travel within the United States and to other parts of the world is currently holding steady, reflecting the same pragmatic perspective among travelers that President Barack Obama offered in his news conference on April 29.
Travel agencies show similar findings with their clients.
“The vast majority of our clients remain on the road,” said Jane Batio, president of CorpTrav, a Chicago-based travel management company with more than $180 million in annual air bookings. “We've only cancelled six trips across our entire client base in the past week, and future bookings remain in sync with rebounding trends we've seen across the past two months.”
Sam Gilliland, chief executive officer of Sabre Holdings, said: “Travelers are still making rational travel decisions based on facts rather than hype. It’s critically important that travelers continue to refer to and follow advisories issued by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as their primary sources of information, and that the news media emphasize the advice of these organizations as well.
“It’s also important that people who report or comment on the developing health situation provide a perspective based upon science and fact rather than counterproductive alarm and fear. This situation clearly calls for pragmatic precaution, but not panic,” said Gilliland.