Tourism is booming in Latin American countries with a high risk for the mosquito-born Zika virus.
An influx of tourists was noticed right after the US presidential election: Apparently, Americans needing to feel better about the US have flocked to Zika affected countries in record numbers.
Doro Buckels, owner of Shooting Star Tours in Guatemala City, Guatemala, talked about the trend in Zika tourism.
"We saw some interest in this type of thing with Ebola, but Ebola tourism never took off for two reasons: one, people felt pretty good about the US at the time and were not motivated to compare the US to poor countries ravaged by an epidemic; and two, even if they were, Ebola was so deadly that it necessitated travel restrictions that effectively killed tourism."
"But Zika--it's a whole different ballgame: It's become the chic disease among US liberals; there are no travel restrictions; you can be infected and not even know it; and it's probably not going to kill you, though we do recommend counseling for customers who may want to have children in their lifetime."
Some Zika tours and resorts even guarantee their guests will contract the virus.
Jo Whitman of Boulder, CO, tells why she and her husband Sapphire booked their vacation with Zikassure Tours in Columbia.
"My husband and I have a lot of liberal guilt and we thought this would be nice for our honeymoon. Zikassure Tours guarantees you will get Zika on their tour or they re-book you for free."
This year Zika tourism will generate 125 billion dollars in business for Latin American countries, and US companies are vying to bring back a portion of that bounty to further their own bottom line.
Linda Faith, Florida's Director of Tourism, said Americans should consider Zika tours in the US. Faith spoke while in Orlando at the beginning of mosquito season to promote the opening of a ZikaLand Resort.
"Many people don't want to spend the money or the time and hassle to travel to a foreign country, and they need to know that they can have a Zika experience right here in the good ol' US of A."
Whole Foods has also claimed a stake in the international Zika trade war by opening five new Zika Cafes in California. The cafes offer anyone a chance to catch Zika--but with a twist: Zika Cafe mosquitoes have a genetically modified version of the virus that doesn't cause illness or birth defects--and, Zika Cafe mosquitoes effectively vaccinate you against the real virus.
Anti-vaxxers protested at all five Zika Cafes this weekend, calling the Whole Foods concept a "stealth vaccination program."