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Opening Session Of 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit

Panel on pandemics shapes up

eTN Staff Writer  May 12, 2009

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has confirmed its line-up of panelists for the opening session of its 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit on "Preparing for the Inevitable - Pandemics" on May 14 at 14:00.

The panel will feature medical experts, including a World Health Organization spokesman, and (to be confirmed) a representative of the Mexican Tourism Board. Other panelists are: Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC president & CEO; Geoffrey Lipman, assistant secretary general of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), manager of TERN, the Tourism Emergency Response Network (which includes some 25 international organizations and associations involved in tourism); Jeff Rutledge, president, AIG Travel and chief executive officer, AIG Travel Assist; and John Walker, chairman of Oxford Economics, who will present the new research findings. The session will be moderated by Peter Greenberg, travel editor, network correspondent, USA, and US National Radio host.

To be held in Florianópolis, the state capital of Santa Catarina in Southern Brazil on May 14-16, the Global Travel & Tourism Summit has assumed even greater significance than usual this year as it is the first global meeting of leaders from government and the private sector to be held since the outbreak of swine flu. This important session will focus on the following themes:

- What is the latest prognosis on the possibility of a swine flu pandemic?
- What measures have been taken by governments and the industry to address the issue so far, to try to mitigate its impact?
- How effective are current crisis management plans likely to be if the threat of a pandemic materializes?
- If this were to happen, what are the estimated losses that the industry would likely suffer?
- How can the industry work in partnership with governments to ensure a rapid recovery of Travel & Tourism demand, particularly for those destinations most affected?

In this special session, WTTC and its research partner, Oxford Economics, will release new research findings that measure the potential impact of a pandemic on the global travel and tourism industry.

For up-to-date information about the summit, please visit: .

Panel on pandemics shapes up
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