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UNWTO Stresses Avian Flu Readiness, Communication at ITB Briefing

March 10, 2006 By: Frederick Folmer Travel Agent

At the ITB travel trade show in Berlin, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Friday held the first of what it said would be four briefing sessions to discuss proactively the effects of a potential outbreak of an avian flu pandemic. UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli stressed that the human toll of the disease has been limited, and does not (at the moment) inhibit travel whatsoever. Frangialli said meetings had already taken place with the World Health Organization over the global preparedness for avian flu, and that the WTO secretariat would be reorganized "to be better prepared" for a possible global pandemic. "There is no problem for the industry today," he said. "There is absolutely no risk for traveling to any destination in the world." Among the measures to be taken, UN System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC) Coordinator David Nabarro said in a video statement at the briefing, would be the creation of a global information portable providing data to all destinations and tour operators.

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