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Zika Hits Tourism Industry

September 23rd, 2016 by flanews

Just under 900 people in the state have tested positive for the Zika virus, and as Matt Galka tells us, while the virus continues to take it’s toll on people, Florida’s biggest industry is starting to get bit.

Florida’s $90 billion dollar cash cow, the tourism industry, is feeling the sting of Zika.

$24 billion dollars alone comes from Miami-Dade – where local transmission of Zika started in the state.  And worried people are cancelling their travel plans.

Hotel rooms sold in the Miami beach area are down more than 2 percent compared to the same time last year. Visit Florida isn’t taking the threat lightly

“Having Zika in Miami doesn’t help, and it’s certainly a cause for concern, it’s an issue that is very well known among travelers around the country and around the world,” said CEO Will Seccombe.

But the state’s tourism agency says they can get through it.

“It’s a blip, it’s important that we not hide from that, and make sure that we continue to let people know that this is a challenge, and continue to support our government, local officials, doing everything they can to get the word out,” said Seccombe.

A zika zone in the Wynwood area was cleared this week. The Governor hopes a night out next week shows people it’s safe to go.

But even with everything South Florida has to offer – Zika fears might deter the itch to head south for worried people around the country.

The Governor added another $25 million dollars of state funds to aid in the fight against the virus this week. The state’s Department of Health is set to grant the money to researchers and developers working on a vaccine.

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