A pair of hotels at Vancouver International Airport has been forced to close at least partially or completely as a result of a norovirus outbreak this past weekend.
Citing Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Global News reported about 40 staff members and 40 guests from the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel have been affected by the illness, which was first reported Saturday.
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Meanwhile, a food handler from the nearby Hilton Vancouver Airport who was assisting at the Sheraton on Friday and two bartending staff members also fell ill, according to VCH.
The Sheraton, which hosted a large conference over the weekend, remains completely shut down as of Wednesday as the property must be fully cleaned, that includes the kitchen, the Starbucks and Harold’s Bistro in addition to the hotel’s rooms and public areas.
The kitchen and restaurant at the Hilton are closed for cleaning as well. However, the hotel remains open and is taking guests, Global News reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes norovirus as a “very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea” that can affect anyone. People can fall ill by having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water and or putting their unwashed hands in their mouth after touching contaminated surfaces. Symptoms can last up to three days.
In January, 277 guests and crew members fell ill from a norovirus outbreak aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. However, the CDC recently announced a drop in outbreaks, reporting that only 10 cruise ships reported major outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses in 2018.
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New Tool Tracks Travelers’ Perceptions of Safety Throughout Reopening Phase
MMGY Global has launched a brand new Travel Safety Barometer tool to help the travel and tourism industry monitor American travelers’ perceptions of safety as society gradually reopens in the wake of COVID-19.
Measured on a scale from 0 (extremely unsafe) to 100 (extremely safe) and based on a monthly survey of 1,200 American travelers, Travel Safety Barometer metrics are published for a series of categories, including domestic and international travel, transportation, lodging, cruising, dining and entertainment.
Currently, MMGY Global’s data suggests that domestic leisure travel, which scores just 34, will bounce back before international (22) or even business travel (29).
The recent Travel Intentions Pulse Survey (TIPS) conducted by MMGY Travel Intelligence found that two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) feel safest when traveling by personal vehicle, so it’s little surprise that the Driving Safety Barometer is highest at 72, more than double that of taking a flight (30). Transportation overall scores a 56.
Lodging is much lower at 35, while dining and entertainment are just slightly behind at 33.
With cruise lines temporarily suspending operations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing a no-sail order through late-July, MMGY Global’s Cruise Safety Barometer scores the lowest of any category at 18.
“Travelers’ perceptions of safety are shaped by everything from the latest news headlines and personal experiences to social media. The Travel Safety Barometer will highlight how consumer perceptions of safety evolve as states, countries and travel-related businesses cautiously begin to reopen, allowing the industry to adjust their operational and marketing strategies accordingly to meet consumer needs,” said Chris Davidson, executive vice president of insights and strategy, MMGY Travel Intelligence, in a statement accompanying Thursday’s announcement.
“There is much work to be done by the industry to put in place measures to protect the public’s health and well-being,” added Davidson. “Once this is accomplished, the next challenge becomes how will destinations, hotels, airlines, cruises and other travel businesses provide peace of mind to travelers who perceive them to be unsafe.”
Visit MMGYIntel.com to download the full report.
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