Allianz Global Assistance has released the results of a new survey on American feelings about the Olympics and the Zika virus. I’ve previously offered my perspective on travel to places where you run the risk of contracting Zika, and in short, I feel that caution is justified. If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant in the next couple of years, it’s a very serious matter, and so I’d consider postponing the trip. Because of Natalie being pregnant, we recently canceled trips to Costa Rica and Cuba as we didn’t want to risk it. There are also reports of the virus also being transmitted sexually.
The Allianz survey found that 71% of Americans are not interested in traveling to Rio de Janeiro or Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games that begin this August. And 82% of respondents said that the Zika virus has “impacted their opinion toward traveling to South America during the summer.” Of that second group, 42% said that they would definitely not go, 23% said they would be less interested in going and 18% said they would go but be worried about the Zika virus during their trip. Going a step further, 49% of the Americans surveyed believe that the Olympics should have been delayed (34%) or canceled (15%) “to protect people from the virus.”
“Unfortunately for countries where Zika can be found, not even the iconic Summer Olympics are enough to draw in American tourists,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA.
Zika is not the only thing holding people back from traveling to Rio. A full 28% of Americans are hesitant to go to the Olympics because of the influence acts of terror have had on them. Other considerations for those not traveling to the Olympics include travel costs, safety concerns, health concerns, a lack of interest in sports, and difficulty getting tickets.
Allianz also reports that those going to the games are getting in and out quicker than they may have previously done.
“Travelers are proceeding with caution by either completely disregarding travel to Brazil or by hyper focusing their trips to Rio without extending their stays past the Olympics,” said Durazo.
Allianz suggests that if you do intend to travel to Brazil, or anywhere, you should protect yourself with travel insurance. Here’s more on airline policies and my thoughts on why travel insurance is important. Allianz offers travel insurance through most major US airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, and directly to consumers.
What do you think? Do you plan to travel to the games this year?
Disclaimer: Johnny Jet works as an ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and receives financial compensation.
For more information about Allianz Global, visit AllianzTravelInsurance.com.