Travelers undeterred by threat

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe tour company’s most popular destinations are Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Hien said. The summer months of June, July and August are peak season for travel to Asia as people take advantage of school vacations to take long-distance trips. The travel industry took a hit during the SARS outbreak when there were more than 8,000 known cases. Some airports in Asia installed thermal scanning checkpoints to screen travelers. Today, it’s the gas prices. Anna Chan of Lincoln Tours & Cruise Center in Monterey Park said she has not heard much talk about bird flu, but believes ticket prices have had an impact. As some in the San Gabriel Valley’s large immigrant population prepare for summer vacations visiting friends and family in Asia, news of a deadly bird flu does not appear to be impacting the travel season. While the SARS outbreak of 2003 prompted many to stay home, spread of the bird flu, which so far only rarely infects humans, is not considered a serious threat. “They’re not really that concerned,” Shelly Hien of Sun Da Tours in Monterey Park said of her customers, as the agency’s three staff answered one phone call after another. Human cases of the bird flu have been confirmed in laboratory tests in nine countries, with most in Asia. “It costs over $1,000 to fly anywhere in Asia” this summer, Chan said, adding that it costs an average of $300 more to fly than last summer. Arcadia resident Eva Lim, 30, said demand for flights to Asia is relatively inflexible because travelers are not going just for leisure, but to see family and friends. “I have to go,” she said. Lim said she believes any threat the bird flu presents can be overcome, “as long as you take care of yourself and wash your hands,” she said, a precaution physicians say certainly can’t hurt. Lim did not fly to her home country during the SARS outbreak. That disease was more of a concern because people had died in Hong Kong because of it. While travel was discouraged then, the bird flu outbreak has not reached that level. “At this point we’re not recommending that people don’t go, but that they do take a few extra precautions,” said Christine Pearson, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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