Almost half the respondents from two CivicScience polls last week said they either canceled Disney vacations or decided not plan one currently because of Zika.
Disney spokeswoman Rena Langley said the resort has seen no impact from Zika on cancellations for future bookings. She didn’t have details on whether people who cancel give reasons for doing so. She had no other comment on the survey.
Financial services firm BTIG cited the statistics in a research note about Disney.
“Given how far out Disney World vacations are often planned, it is unclear” when travelers’ worries will impact attendance, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield wrote. “However, given how meaningfully the cancellation/deferral rate appears to be, this is clearly a key question Disney should be pushing management to talk about.”
The first survey included 2,592 people. A second survey almost doubled the number of respondents. For almost 85 percent, the question was a moot point because they had not been planning a Disney trip.
The surveys focused only on domestic travelers. Those make up the majority of Orlando’s visitors. Greenfield noted that big spenders appeared especially concerned. Those making more than $150,000 were 61 percent more likely to have canceled or decided against a trip due to Zika.
Visit Orlando, the region’s convention and visitors bureau, said in an email that “our independently conducted consumer research indicates there are currently only minimal concerns on intent to visit Orlando. Likewise, we are not seeing any softening of advance bookings in Orlando through the end of the year due to potential Zika concerns.”
Orlando has not reported any locally transmitted Zika cases. There have been locally transmitted cases in Miami and the Tampa Bay area.
Concerns about the virus, however, prompted Disney, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld to begin giving out mosquito repellent last month.
There has already been a slowdown in Orlando tourism traffic. That has been attributed to factors including a slowdown in Brazilian visitation, the Pulse nightclub shooting and a lack of compelling new attractions this summer.
“We are growing increasingly concerned with Orlando travel trends,” Greenfield said in his note.