Coronavirus not impacting business for Bettendorf travel agency

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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - Despite travel concerns over the Novel Coronavirus, a Bettendorf travel agent said her business is not experiencing many vacation cancellations.

“I think that the folks in the Midwest, no matter how bad our winter is, they want to get out of here. So actually we've been really busy. I think we've had a busier winter than last winter,” Teresa Gonzalez, owner and manager at Gulliver’s Travel Duck Creek in Bettendorf, said.

Monday, American cruise ship passengers being held off the coast of Japan since Feb. 3, including some who tested positive for the Coronavirus, returned back to the United States.

14 Americans who tested positive are being held in quarantine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

"These individuals were brought here because we have the personnel, we have the facilities, we have the resources and the expertise to handle these kind of individuals," University of Nebraska Medical Center Dr. Christopher J Kratochvil said at a press conference.

Gonzalez believes people should feel safe traveling to other parts of the world.

“I think travelers who are in China or Hong Kong would be concerned. I think the passengers around here should feel pretty confident because they are taking so many precautions to stop the spread,” she said, “In the 30 years I’ve been here, I’ve seen a couple different things like this come through, like H1N1 for example. I feel like there was not as good of information on how to stop the spread. And now that there is, it's actually making quite a difference.”

The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship, where passengers were being held quarantined, is just one of hundreds of cruise ships around the world.

“Cruise ships are taking every precautions necessary. Screening people before they get on the ship. The cruise ship that was out there was off the coast of Japan. Everything in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, everything is very safe,” she said.

If you do book a vacation, stay informed on current travel advisories from the federal government. Gonzalez also recommends purchasing travel insurance.

You can check current Novel Coronavirus information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here or view current travel advisories from the U.S. Dept. of State here.

Globally there have been more than 71,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases. More than 1,800 people have died, but only four outside of mainland China.