Local tourism officials, businesses monitoring potential impact of Zika on tourism

Posted at 11:43 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 23:43:53-04

 On a Friday evening stroll through City Place in West Palm, Stellena and Butch Mumma have no worries.

"It is probably one of the prettiest places I've been,” Stellena says.

Well - save for one.

“We were a little concerned,” Butch says. “We talked about bringing ‘Deep Woods OFF’ from home to make sure bugs weren't going to get us. We forgot it. We forgot the OFF.”

The couple, visiting from South Carolina, say they are aware of the Zika threat to the south in Miami-Dade County - and so are tourism officials here in Palm beach county.

Officials at Discover the Palm Beaches say visitor safety is their top priority, saying ”We remain confident that the level of urgency has been raised with health officials."

Urgency also seems to be raised with at least one local hotel

The Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and spa is planning on giving out bug spray to guests for free.

They've also installed a system that treats outdoor vegetation and mosquitos.

We reached out to other tourist destinations - like City Place and the Palm Beach Outlets - to see what their plans are - but haven't heard back.

“This is part of your industry - tourists - so I can't imagine that you wouldn't want to do everything you can do to make sure people come,” Stellena says.

Stellena says she fears for what could happen if Zika makes it here.

“This place is beautiful down here, so I would hate for you guys to suffer from Zika.”

For the time being, they'll continue to enjoy their stroll through paradise.

“I think it's crazy to come here just because you're scared of mosquitoes,” she says.