In Mexico, H1N1 threat proves worse than the flu itself

Crisis communications excelled early but tourism follow-up has lagged.

Crisis communications excelled early but tourism follow-up has lagged

I’m just back from a summer vacation to Mexico, where I’ve been thinking about you.

My wife, two daughters and I went on our annual scuba diving trip to Cozumel, Mexico, to find the island is virtually deserted because tourists are afraid they’ll get swine flu (H1N1).

One tourism official tells me the impact is worse than the last five hurricanes combined.

Some may say Mexico is the victim of the old adage, “No good deed goes unpunished.” I would say that is only partially true.

To Mexico’s credit, it did alert the world quickly about a possible pandemic. The World Health Organization responded with a bevy of travel advisories indicating it would be a risk to travel by cruise ship to islands such as Cozumel. The cruise companies responded by canceling most of its trips to the island.

Experts applaud Mexico, indicating this is the first time that country actively engaged in such crisis response/communications. For this, some would say, the drop in tourism is their punishment for the good deed of being proactive.

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