Swine Flu Cripples Tourism Industry
by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - You may want to think twice before packing your bags and taking that long awaited vacation, especially if you have a ticket to Mexico.

"Cruise lines like Carnival, Princess, Caribean, Pioneer; they're all stopping call to Mexico ports,"  Bob Landreth with Travel Associates International, said.

In light of the swine flu outbreak, health officials advise everyone to hold off on traveling to Mexico if you don't necessarily have to, and that could potentially devastate an already struggling tourism industry.

"There are people who say, I don't want to go at all, and we look at other destinations, but we've always done that," Landreth said.

Landreth says Mexico is one of the more affordable travel destinations, but now with the flu scare, making changes can sometimes be challenging.

"It's hard to find good cost effective flights for some people," Landreth said.

Physician's Assistant Tiffany Locke says you can never be too careful.

"Cancel or postpone your trip. It's not worth the risk to your family and children, or the people you come in contact with back here in the U.S," Locke said.

Locke says those who insist on traveling should take proper medical precautions.

"We do have travel medicine here. We give prescriptions for antibiotics and send them to healh departments for other vaccines," Locke said.

As for those who are eager to travel despite the swine flu outbreak, think of alternatives for the time being.

"If they need to cancel or rebook, we'll do what we can to to help them," Landreth said.