Following the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 1 February 2016 on the Zika virus, The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released a statement.
Both UNWTO and WTTC said that the W.H.O. has not called for any travel and trade recommendations with destinations where the Zika virus is active.
Both organizations advise travelers to follow the health and travel advisories issued by the authorities and to take appropriate precautions to avoid getting bitten by the Aedes mosquito when travelling to places with a high-risk of infection. These are normal anti mosquito protection procedures, using insect repellent, avoiding places with standing water and covering up where possible.
The W.H.O. declaration requires an international response, to attack the problem at source, to minimize the threat in infected countries and to reduce risk of international spread. Governments must ensure that they communicate clearly on the development of the Zika virus in their countries and on the preventative measures necessary to stop people from getting infected.
WTTC says, “It is too early to comment on the impact of the Zika virus to the Travel & Tourism sector. Tourism boards, health organisations and companies across the sector are working together on formulating an appropriate response in every country impacted. Most airlines, cruise lines and tour operators from originating countries are being flexible, by offering alternative plans or refunds to pregnant women and their families who prefer not to travel to affected areas at this time.”