Study: Zika brings drop in planned travel to Florida, Tampa this winter

Travel agency reveals drop in flights to Tampa
Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 17:49:55-04

A new study finds a drop in flights booked to cities in Florida this year, including Tampa.

Allianz Global Assistance gathered information from six airline partners and several travel agencies to look at travel bookings from August 2015-16.

They found a 32.79 percent drop in travelers planning to book flights to Tampa.

Miami had a 29 percent drop.

They say the decline came after reports of the Zika virus being locally transmitted in parts of Miami.

However, Bob Morrison, Executive Dir. For the Hillsborough County Hotel and Motel Association says he’s seeing different numbers.

“We've seen absolutely no impact in terms of our group, convention or leisure business,” he said.

In fact, Morrison says his numbers show a record increase in bookings this year.

Pam Wozencraft owns Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise in Clearwater and hasn’t noticed any drops in customers so far this year.

She’s only had one customer not travel because of concerns over Zika and says that person was pregnant.

However, that doesn’t mean the numbers don’t concern her.

“It does,” she said, “because that's a chunk of change.”

For now, she’s keeping her fingers crossed for winter.

Some 73 cases of the Zika virus have been reported around some of the more popular tourist counties around Tampa.

That’s in comparison to the more than 200 cases reported in Miami-Dade County alone.

So far, reports of the virus haven’t been enough to stop tourists like Jennifer Edmonds who traveled with her family, including children.

“We weren't really worried,” she said.