Monday, October 20, 2014

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Ebola Virus Fears Already Costing Africa's Travel Industry

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TWC News: Ebola Virus Fears Already Costing Africa's Travel Industry
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A virus of fear surrounding the Ebola outbreak is taking a toll on the African travel industry. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

After a trip to West Africa earlier this summer, New York City based photojournalist Alison Wright is now heading to East Africa and South Africa on other documentary assignments, but this time she's packing a bit of trepidation along with her camera equipment.

"It's actually the interior flights of the plane that have me a little more worried than usual. I am bringing alcohol to kind of clean down my area, not to be overly concerned, but I do think it's worthwhile taking precautions only because I have seen how easily things have spread in these countries," says Wright.

In the midst of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, namely, the untouristed countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, Wright says she will think twice about her routine behavior.

"There's a concern when you constantly are lifting your camera equipment up to your face, and there's always that possibility, people always want to take a peek through your camera and I don't tend to do that anymore," says Wright.

A couple of people booked in Alison's photo tour workshop dropped out, a growing sentiment among legions of Africa-bound tourists scared off by the possibility of contracting a deadly disease.

Yahoo Travel is reporting that collectively, U.S. based African tour operators are predicting a loss of at least $2 million in just one week due to cancellations from a fearful traveling public.

"I think for people taking safaris you have to weigh your risks and what you are comfortable with. But at the end of the day nothing has been reported in the safari countries. No cases of Ebola have been reported in South Africa or Kenya," notes Yahoo Travel Editor in Chief Paula Froelich.

When it comes right down to it, a geography lesson might help those with plans to visit Africa make up their minds about taking the trip.

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP