Concerns over the coronavirus are causing some travelers to reconsider their plans, canceling flights and hotel reservations around the country. Some hotels in South Florida are already feeling the impact and that could mean deep discounts for consumers looking for a staycation.
"Greater Miami and the beaches are open for visitors," said Wendy Kallergis of the Greater Miami and Beaches Hotel Association.
Wendy said Thursday they were already seeing some cancellations.
“It’s really groups or guests that were coming around this time or next week,” she said. “Or throughout the next month.”
That’s why Wendy said several local hotels were already offering incentives and specials, including the Cadillac Hotel and Beach Club where they were offering a 50% discount for suite stays booked for April 1st through September 30th.
“The hotels are … preparing for giving some special packages,” she said.
And it’s not just hotels. NBC 6 Responds did a quick search on a popular travel website Thursday and found a roundtrip flight from Miami to Atlanta for under $100 and one to New York for as low as $130. It’s a trend several local travel agents told NBC 6 they were seeing, with one saying a flight they had booked for a client two weeks ago for $900 was going for about $400 now.
A travel expert for AAA told NBC 6 she had even seen an 11-day Alaskan cruise going for $799.
“People are purchasing their vacations one to two years out,” said Jessica Brady, a AAA travel expert. “You very well can take advantage of a great deal now that will pay for your vacation in 2021.”
Consumers should consider that because the coronavirus is already out there, they won’t be able to buy coverage through traditional trip insurance. Travel insurance experts recommend purchasing a cancel-for-any-reason policy instead. Those usually cost more than traditional policies and typically allow consumers to recoup up to 75% of the total cost of their trip if they decide to cancel.