14 Jun 2009

Killer virus causes Mexican tourism slump

12:14 pm on 14 June 2009

Mexico is going through its biggest drop in tourist revenue since records began in the 1980s because of the swine flu scare.

Tourism officials talk of a "lost summer" after visitors, particularly from the US and Canada, cancelled their holidays during the peak of the swine flu crisis in April.

They are not expected to return in large numbers until December.

Some airlines have dramatically reduced flights to Mexico, and cruise liners are still avoiding Mexican ports.

Alicia Dalvila from Mexico City's tourism association admits that any recovery will be slow.

Luxury hotels in the capital said just 4% of their rooms were occupied at the height of the crisis.

More than 6,000 Mexicans have contracted the virus and 108 have died.

Mexico says its epidemic has now largely subsided.