I am very much a Swine Flu sceptic. I am not a swine Flu denier - clearly it is a dangerous strain of the flu. Rather I believe that there is too much fear going around compared to the fatality rate.

Wikipedia is reporting a suspected 101 fatalities to date. While that is terrible for those impacted, we need to take the number, risks and world response into perspective compared to the numbers that die each year in South East Asia from Malaria and in Southern Africa from HIV/AIDS. Some of the responses have been so wildly out of proportion that they defy belief. For example, serious debates were starting in Sydney last week as to how much food we should stockpiling, doctors were reporting people under the flight path worried that they could be picking up the illness from incoming passengers, in Egypt mass pig slaughters are ensuing. All of which is clearly ridiculous.

Aside from the realities for the flu versus the “pandemic panic”, it is clear that there will be a negative impact on Mexico as a travel destination. The combination of the Pandemic Panic with the Decapitation Dread of the drug war and Kidnapping Kaos from travellers being snatched from beaches has caused mass cancellations for bookings to Mexico. I am reminded of the huge reduction in visitors to Hong Kong and Macau during the dark days of SARS in 2003.

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  • Tim Hughes

    Tim Hughes puts the boot into the highs and lows of the online travel business (with an Australasian/Asian bias) with some blog…

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