Travel Leaders Group surveyed over 1,100 travel agents to gauge cancellations, altered and delayed travel plans among clientele due to the Zika virus.

Plymouth, MN (February 8, 2016) – Today, Travel Leaders Group released detailed findings from a special survey of its agents conducted last week to gauge the impact of the Zika virus on vacation travel. According to results, the vast majority of clients are continuing with their original travel plans to destinations where there have been confirmed cases of the Zika virus. When asked “How many clients are cancelling their travel plans because of the Zika virus,” 74.1% of Travel Leaders Group’s travel agents reported “none” for clients in their 20s and 30s; 89.8% stated no cancellations for clients in their 40s and 50s; and 93.0% stated there are no cancellations for clients 60 years and older.  In addition, 94.5% indicated they have had no cancellations for their Destination Wedding clients, and 93.3% said they had no cancellations for their Honeymoon clientele. Conducted February 3-5, 2016, the results are based on responses from 1,102 Travel Leaders Group travel agent experts.

“Understanding the seriousness of the Zika virus, our agents have been providing detailed information to their clients over the course of the last few months – particularly to those who are pregnant or may be trying to start a family – so that they may make informed decisions about their travel plans. Our job is to advocate for our clients, and our clients’ safety is always our top priority,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.  “Even we were a bit surprised to learn just how limited the impact of the Zika virus has been on the overwhelming majority of our clients’ travel plans. The World Health Organization has been clear in stating it ‘found no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus’ and, armed with the facts, most travelers are opting to travel even as they heed expert advice for avoiding mosquito bites.”

Key Findings for Travelers in their 20s and 30s:

  • Cancellations: According to Travel Leaders Group’s survey data, 74.1% of travel agents stated “none” of their clients in their 20s and 30s are cancelling (and not rebooking) their travel plans due to the Zika virus, while another 21.6% indicated that six or fewer clients are cancelling their travel plans (11.1% said it was limited to 1-2 clients).
    • For those indicating clients in their 20s and 30s are canceling travel plans because of Zika virus, 89.8% of cancellations are due to a pregnancy or possible pregnancy.
  • Altering Travel Plans: 78.1% said “none” of their clients in their 20s and 30s are altering travel plans and traveling to a different destination due to the Zika virus.
    • For those few selecting alternative destinations, the Top 5 are: the Continental U.S., Hawaii, Europe, Alaska, and Bermuda.
  • Delaying Travel Plans: “When asked, “How many clients in their 20s and 30s are delaying their original travel plans due to the Zika virus?” 83.0% of Travel Leaders Group travel agents stated “None of my clients” and 13.6% indicated six or fewer clients were delaying plans (7.7% said it was limited to 1-2 clients).

Key Findings for Travelers in their 40s and 50s:

  • Cancellations: According to the survey data, 89.8% stated “none” of their clients in their 40s and 50s are cancelling (and not rebooking) their travel plans due to the Zika virus, while 5.1% indicated “1-2 clients” are cancelling their travel plans.
  • Altering Travel Plans: 89.5% said “none” of their clients in their 40s and 50s are altering travel plans and traveling to a different destination due to the Zika virus.
    • For those selecting alternative destinations, the Top 5 are: the Continental U.S., Hawaii, Europe, Alaska, and Canada.
  • Delaying Travel Plans: When asked, “How many clients in their 40s and 50s are delaying their original travel plans due to the Zika virus?” 91% of Travel Leaders Group travel agents stated “None of my clients” and 4.6% indicate “1-2 clients.”

Key Findings for Travelers 60 and Older:

  • Cancellations: According to the survey data, 93.0% stated “none” of their clients 60 years or older are cancelling (and not rebooking) their travel plans due to the Zika virus, while 4.6% indicated “1-2 clients” are cancelling their travel plans.
  • Altering Travel Plans: 92.6% said “none” of their clients in this age range are altering travel plans and traveling to a different destination due to the Zika virus.
    • For those selecting alternative destinations, the Top 5 are: the Continental U.S., Europe, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada
  • Delaying Travel Plans: “When asked, “How many clients in their 60s and older are delaying their original travel plans due to the Zika virus?” 94.5% of Travel Leaders Group travel agents stated “None of my clients” and 2.8% indicated “1-2 clients.”

Key Findings for Destination Weddings:

  • Cancellations: According to Travel Leaders Group’s survey data, 94.5% of travel agents stated “none” of their Destination Wedding clients are cancelling (and not rebooking) their travel plans due to the Zika virus, while 3.1% indicated “1-2 clients” are cancelling their travel plans.
    • For the fraction of those indicating Destination Wedding clients are cancelling travel plans due to the Zika virus, 96.3% of the agents said cancellations are due to a pregnancy or possible pregnancy.
  • Altering Travel Plans: 95.4% said that “none” of their Destination Wedding clients are altering travel plans and traveling to a different destination due to the Zika virus.
  • Delaying Travel Plans: When asked, “How many Destination Wedding clients are delaying their original travel plans due to the Zika virus?” 96.4% of Travel Leaders Group travel agents stated “None of my clients” and 2.6% indicate “1-2 clients.”
  • Heading into 2016, Travel Leaders Group travel agents were asked to identify the Top International “Destination Wedding” Destinations being booked by their clients. Survey participants could select up to five destinations. The 10 most popular international destinations included:
Cancun, Mexico 64.5%
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 41.1%
Montego Bay, Jamaica 36.1%
Playa del Carmen/Riviera Maya, Mexico 32.2%
Negril, Jamaica 28.1%
CRUISE – Caribbean 22.1%
Ocho Rios, Jamaica 21.7%
Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico 16.0%
St. Lucia 12.8%
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 11.9%

 

Key Findings for Honeymoon Travel:

  • Cancellations: According to Travel Leaders Group’s survey data, 93.3% of travel agents stated “none” of their Honeymoon clients are cancelling (and not rebooking) their travel plans due to the Zika virus, while 4.2% indicated “1-2 clients” are cancelling their travel plans.
    • For the fraction of those indicating Honeymoon clients are cancelling travel plans due to the Zika virus, 93.1% said cancellations are due to a pregnancy or possible pregnancy.
  • Altering Travel Plans: 90.2% said “none” of their Honeymoon clients are altering travel plans and traveling to a different destination due to the Zika virus.
    • For those selecting alternative destinations, the Top 3 are: Hawaii, the Continental U.S., and Europe.
  • Delaying Travel Plans: When asked, “How many Honeymoon clients are delaying their original travel plans due to the Zika virus?” 95.3% of Travel Leaders Group travel agents stated “None of my clients” and 2.6% indicate “1-2 clients.”
  • Heading into 2016, Travel Leaders Group travel agents were asked to identify the Top International Honeymoon Destinations being booked by their clients. Survey participants could select up to five destinations. The 10 most popular international Honeymoon destinations included:
Cancun, Mexico 46.7%
CRUISE – Caribbean 37.0%
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 27.0%
Montego Bay, Jamaica 21.7%
Playa del Carmen/Riviera Maya, Mexico 18.5%
Negril, Jamaica 17.1%
St. Lucia 16.0%
Rome, Italy 13.2%
Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico 13.0%
Bora Bora 12.4%

 

The Zika virus survey results are based on travel agent responses from Travel Leaders Group’s flagship Travel Leaders brand and Nexion, Protravel International, Results! Travel, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units. The top Destination Wedding list is based on survey results from 608 Travel Leaders Group travel agent experts and the top Honeymoon list is based on survey results from 972 Travel Leaders Group travel agent experts; those experts were surveyed as part of the 2016 Travel Trends Survey conducted November 17-December 8, 2015.

Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generates gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion annually. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both leisure and corporate, consistently ranking as one of the top travel companies nationwide.

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About Travel Leaders Group
Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers – through our beginnings as Carlson Leisure Group, a division of Carlson Companies, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group and through the additions of Nexion, Vacation.com and Protravel International – Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. With annual sales of approximately $20 billion through over 6,500 locations, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest traditional travel agency companies.