Half of Americans believe the threat of the Zika virus in South America should compel the powers that be to cancel or at least postpone the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Allianz Global Assistance polled more than 2,100 people on May 26, through Google Consumer Surveys, and 71% of the respondents said they would not be interested in traveling to Rio de Janeiro or Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games, with 82% of respondents saying the Zika virus “impacted their opinion toward traveling to South America during the summer.”
In addition, 28% of respondents said terror acts have made them less interested in attending.
Other factors hindering interest in traveling to the Olympics include travel costs (31%), safety concerns (25%), and less specific “health concerns” (11%).
While Allianz travel bookings analysis indicates trips from the United States to Brazil are up 272% year-over-year for the period July 15-Aug 31, these summer games likely will be less lucrative than the 2012 London Summer Olympics. According to Allianz, the average trip length is only 13 days, half the average of the London summer games.
“This is bad news for any host country that spends billions of dollars bringing in the games and expects to make the return from tourism,” said Allianz Global Assistance USA spokesperson Daniel Durazo.
Allianz determined trip length based on traveler bookings from the U.S. to Brazil airports purchased from September to May in 2015 and 2016, for travel dates between July and August of this year. The bookings include airfare and packages for partners offering Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance in the booking path for the entirety of both purchase periods.