WTO Plans Avian Flu Discussions

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced will take advantage of the ITB Berlin travel fair to hold the first in a series of briefings on avian influenza. Participants in the discussion will include UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli and Peter de Jong of PATA. The goals, according to the UNWTO, are to inform those who hold a stake in global tourism of the importance of preparedness, as well as to begin the process of extending information and response. "The incidences of avian flu are growing, and tourism will eventually be affected," Frangialli wrote to member states on Feb. 27, seeking their support. In his letter, Frangialli noted that several measures have already been taken, including setting up a structure that builds on experience with crisis management, establishing a Web site that serves as a reference point for member states, and engaging industry stakeholders in the public and private sector.

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