Concerns about the Zika virus are causing some people in the region to alter their vacation plans.
New Jersey has confirmed 54 cases of Zika — all of them brought back by travelers to countries where the disease is prevalent.
Rob Thaler, who owns Sea and Air Travel Agency in Fair Lawn, said worries about Zika are making some of his customers reluctant to head to South and Central America or the Caribbean, but they still want to get away.
“There’s a great deal of interest and popularity with people going to Alaska and going out West to the national parks and perhaps focusing more on North America than going to South America,” he said.
Alan Perry, the president of Perry Travel in Jackson, said concerns about Zika are influencing where vacationers want to go.
“Especially young couples, if they’re planning on having children or getting pregnant, they’re staying away from going to places like Puerto Rico, the islands, Brazil,” he said. “I just had somebody cancel a cruise from Puerto Rico and go to Canada instead.”
Debbie Paine at the All Points Vacation agency in Wall Township says Zika is not stopping her customers from going on planned trips, but they’ll be packing appropriately for regions that are home to the mosquitoes that spread the virus.
“Most of my honeymooners are booked anywhere from six to nine months to a year in advance, and I haven’t had any of them change their destination as of yet. They’re not cancelling and getting scared,” she said. “They’re just bringing the precautions and they’re making sure they’re covered up and they’re wearing their bug spray.”