UPDATE 2-Travel industry faces growing concern over Zika virus

martes 26 de enero de 2016 19:44 GYT

(Adds number of cruise cancellations starting in paragraph 13)

By Melissa Fares and Amy Tennery

Jan 26 (Reuters) - Airlines, hotels and cruise operators serving Latin America and the Caribbean are facing growing concern among travelers spooked by the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The outbreak of the virus, linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, comes as a record percentage of Americans plan a vacation in coming months and a near-record proportion of them look to take advantage of a strong U.S. dollar by going abroad.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned travelers via Twitter to consider postponing travel to areas with ongoing Zika transmission.

Canada and Chile are the only countries in the Americas the virus is not expected to reach, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

United Airlines said it was allowing customers who had reserved tickets for travel to Zika-impacted regions to postpone their trips or obtain refunds with no penalty.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd and rival Carnival Corp said they would allow expectant mothers covered by the CDC advisories to reschedule cruises to a later date or switch to an itinerary outside the affected countries.

But some Twitter users lamented their inability to get a refund from tourism operators.   Continuación...