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The economic impact of H1N1 on Mexico's tourist and pork sectors

Authors

  • Dunia Rassy,

    1. Department of Global Health and Development, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
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  • Richard D. Smith

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Global Health and Development, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
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Correspondence to: Department of Global Health and Development, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SH, UK. E-mail: Richard.Smith@lshtm.ac.uk

SUMMARY

By examining tourist arrivals and pork output and trade statistics, this analysis estimates the economic impact to the Mexican tourism and pork sectors because of the H1N1 influenza pandemic. It also assesses the role of the international response in the context of this economic impact.

For tourism, losing almost a million overseas visitors translated into losses of around $US2.8bn, which extended over a five-month period, mostly because of the slow return of European travellers. For the pork industry, temporal decreases in output were observed in most of the country and related to H1N1 incidence (p = 0.048, r = 0.37). By the end of 2009, Mexico had a pork trade deficit of $US27m. The losses derived from this pandemic were clearly influenced by the risk perception created in tourist-supplying and pork trade partners.

Results suggest that the wider economic implications of health-related emergencies can be significant and need to be considered in preparedness planning. For instance, more effective surveillance and data gathering would enable policy to target emergency funding to the sectors and regions hardest hit. These results also stress the importance of being familiar with trade networks so as to be able to anticipate the international response and respond accordingly. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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