Travel Expert Urges Common Sense Precautions to Overcome Fears of Zika
SAN JUAN – Broadcasting live from Puerto Rico, popular travel news journalist Peter Greenberg encouraged visitors to set their fear of Zika aside when making travel plans. Greenberg is one of many travel experts who say that as long as travelers (and locals) follow the preventive tips outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they can have a safe and worry-free trip.
“The weather is great, people are outside parasailing and having fun [in Puerto Rico]…As long as you pack common sense and some intelligence, and your own preventive medicine in consultation with your physician, there are very few places you shouldn’t go,” Greenberg noted during his radio show. Greenberg was blunt, letting visitors know there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of: “Fear,” he said, is “the worst four-letter word that starts with ‘f’ as it applies to travelling.”
Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC) Executive Director Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort echoes those sentiments, “Education is the key to relishing new adventures without the fear of risk, real or perceived. Accurate information is fear’s best antidote. Educated travelers, following CDC guidelines will enjoy a worry-free experience in Puerto Rico.”
Beyond encouraging travelers to follow the CDC guidelines, the PRTC and the travel industry—in close collaboration with the CDC and the local department of public health—have engaged in an education campaign focused on preparation, prevention and precaution to protect residents and visitors. Puerto Rico is helping prevent the spread of the Zika virus through a comprehensive program that includes spraying public areas with mosquito repellent, eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, establishing a 3-1-1 telephone hotline and Twitter account to enable reporting of high-risk areas and providing Zika safety tips to residents and visitors.
Additionally, the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association (PRHTA)–which has more than 500 corporate members, among them large, medium and small hotels; restaurants; Airlines; and other businesses that serve the industry–is encouraging hotels to make EPA-approved insect repellent available to guests upon check-in and throughout common areas, as well as providing welcome kits to members that contain the latest CDC guidelines and information regarding Zika safety including an infographic detailing how to correctly apply bug spray.
Pregnant women are advised against travel to areas with the Zika virus. All travelers are encouraged to keep informed and check updated information on the CDC website.