Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Mon March 21 2016

How Zika Warnings Are Good News For US Spring Break Destinations

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | March 21, 2016

How Zika Warnings Are Good News For US Spring Break Destinations

PHOTO: Orlando is one of the most popular destinations for spring break. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)

Spring break is here and it is shaping up to be one of the biggest ever, with more Americans hitting the road than ever before – 140 million to be exact. However, a new Swithfly survey has found that most U.S. travelers are staying close to home this spring break.

This year’s top destination, according to the survey, is Orlando. It’s easy to see why this Florida destination is so popular. Theme parks are a huge draw for families, and Orlando is also attractive with college spring breakers who flock to its beaches – some of the only ones in the country where drinking is legal. Thrillist even called Orlando’s beaches one of the best places to get your drink on.

And the fun doesn’t stop in Orlando. Seven out of the 10 top spring break destinations in the survey are in the U.S. The only foreign destinations are Cancun, Mexico City and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The full list is as follows:

Las Vegas


Mexico City


READ MORE: Travel Agents Share Their Top Spring Break Family Getaways for 2016

Los Angeles

Punta Cana

New York City


Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

These destinations, while mostly domestic, are not surprising choices for spring breakers – whether traveling as a family or just celebrating the traditional Easter holiday with a getaway. All of the locations on the list are traditional warm-weather destinations for travelers, with the obvious exception of New York.

However, the findings are noteworthy because, with so many Americans traveling for spring break, most have opted not to travel internationally to Latin America – traditionally a region popular among spring break jetsetters. The data suggests that warnings about the effects of the Zika virus may be having an impact on travelers’ choices when it comes to selecting a destination.

New Zika warnings in Cuba come on the heels of this survey. The CDC has just warned travelers about visiting the island nation that has now been added to a list of countries in the Caribbean where the virus is spreading. The announcement comes at an unfortunate time – President Obama’s trip to the region has only just begun.

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