Mexico's Ailing Tourism Hit by Swine Flu
Outbreak whacks industry already reeling from drug violence
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 27, 2009 5:09 AM CDT
A family wearing surgical masks to ward off infection wait for a relative to arrive at the airport in Mexico City yesterday.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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(Newser) – The swine flu outbreak is wreaking havoc on Mexico's tourism industry, already severely weakened by a worsening drug war. Tourism dropped 20% over the weekend, the head of a hotel association tells the New York Times. With most attractions closed, tourists already in the capital were seen in masks as they rode double-decker buses. Death toll estimates from the flu are now as high as 100, with more than 1400 sick.

Some tourists are finding early flights out of the country, worried they may be banned from home if the situation worsens. But there was no immediate rush of tourists at the airport, and others joked that traditionally busy sights are less crowded. The US embassy has issued a Mexico travel warning, and officials will suspend the processing of thousands of tourist visas to Mexico this week.