Zika Update – July 30th, 2016

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Zika Update
July 30, 2016
Greater Miami and The Beaches Travel and Tourism Industry


With the recent headlines regarding the likelihood of local transmission of the Zika virus in a small area of Miami-Dade County, there are many questions regarding what this means for visitors to our destination. Notable in the New York Times is the quote by Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “health authorities are not advising people to stay away from the [Wynwood] neighborhood.”
“Greater Miami and The Beaches is open for business,” says William D. Talbert, III, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). “It is the time of year visitors enjoy the excellent events and accommodations offered throughout our destination, including Miami Spa, Miami Spice and so much more.”
“Hotels are encouraged to continue support of Miami-Dade County’s mosquito control efforts, especially the Drain and Cover program,” adds Wendy Kallergis, President & CEO of the Greater Miami and The Beaches Hotel Association (GMBHA).
Following are some of the facts, and a few of the measures your organization can take to keep guests safe and informed.

  • On July 29, 2016, Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a release stating that 2 cases of Zika in Miami-Dade County are likely to be determined as locally-acquired. The area under investigation is approximately one square mile of Miami-Dade County’s more than 2,400 square miles in the area north of Downtown Miami between Biscayne Boulevard to the east; NW 5th Avenue to the west; 20th Street on the south; and 38th Street on the North.
  • The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County has deployed staff to the suspected area of local transmission to conduct outreach which includes door-to-door visits and identification of breeding areas for testing and mosquito control.
  • The CDC has not issued travel advisories into Miami-Dade County or any other destination in the state of Florida. In addition Miami-Dade County’s mosquito-control team is continually testing mosquitos for Zika and to date, none of the mosquitos have tested positive for Zika. This is a reassuring sign and further evidence that travel into Miami and The Beaches remains safe.
  • The GMCVB encourages hoteliers and the local tourism community to inform guests, visitors and patrons to practice safe mosquito control measures. For more information on recommended mosquito safety practices please click here.
  • The Florida Department of Health has requested that all consumer questions continue to be directed to the state Zika Virus Information Hotline at 855-622-6735.

The safety and well-being of the 15.5 million visitors to Miami and the Beaches is a top priority for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association. As such, we are in close contact with the Florida Department of Health, Miami-Dade County Mayor’s office as well as the state tourism board – VISIT FLORIDA – to align on best practices as it pertains to mosquito borne illnesses and our visitors.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it evolves. However, we would also like to know if you are experiencing any disruptions in business or cancellations because of the situation. Please email Partner@GMCVB.com any details you can provide and feel free to forward any emails that you may be receiving from your customers, be it for leisure or group.

William D. Talbert III, CDME
President & CEO
Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
  Wendy Kallergis
President & CEO
Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association

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