Industry News – Interactive Travel Assoc. Says Flu Not Proving Fatal to Travel

The Washington D.C.-based Interactive Travel Services Association (ITSA) said that the American traveling public is following President Obama’s advice to “use prudence, not panic” in planning travel in the wake of the H1N1 flu outbreak in Mexico. ITSA’s Executive Director Art Sackler issued reassuring news on May 5, following an informal poll of his online agent membership, which includes companies like Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Sackler reported that “according to Global Distribution System and Online Travel Company members of the Interactive Travel Services Association, business and leisure travel continues, despite a decline to Mexico as travelers proceed with caution. Our members are seeing very few cancellations outside of Mexico.”

Sackler said many ITSA members were waiving change and cancellation fees in order to rebook clients to new travel destinations. “There are no advisories concerning travel to or throughout the US, to Europe, the Caribbean and a host of other destinations,” Sackler’s ITSA announcement added. “Travelers can take advantage of extraordinary savings and value now for business and leisure trips in many locations outside of Mexico. By exercising caution and some common sense, and guided by the advice of WHO [World Health Organization] and CDC [Center for Disease Control], travelers can still go ahead with their plans without undue concern throughout much of the world.”

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