Travel Stocks Dropping On Swine Flu Fears

The stocks of airlines, hotels and other travel-related companies are dropping on Wall Street this morning after similar declines in Asia, the Associated Press reports:

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. fell 8.7 percent; Carnival Corp. fell 8.8 percent; and AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, fell 14.4 percent.

It’s not clear why U.S. residents who have the disease, many of them during travels in Mexico, have all contracted relatively mild cases. None have died, even though the disease is suspected of killing more than 100 people in Mexico.

The effect is likely to be devastating on tourism in Mexico, which is already being hammered by the recession and concerns about drug-related violence, the British newspaper The Guardian reports.

Not helpful in that regard is the suggestion from an Israeli health official, reported by the Associated Press, that the virus be called “the Mexican flu” in deference to who find swine offensive for religious reasons. While the flu might have originated in Mexico, it was first identified in the United States and is now popping up worldwide.


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