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Virus threatens industry hopes for recovery

Latest forecasts from PATA for international arrivals to Thailand and the Asia Pacific region contain some very modest grounds for optimism – but the spread of the Type A (H1N1) influenza virus is posing yet another serious threat to the travel and tourism industry.
Updates published this week by PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre indicate that Southeast Asia will this year suffer a fall of around four percent in international arrivals compared to 2008. PATA has also revised forecasts for all Asia sub-regions for 2010. The initial prediction of a growth of some 12.7 percent in international arrivals for Southeast Asia has been downgraded to 6.8 percent (compared to 2008 figures).
But there is every chance that the continuing spread of the Type A (H1N1) influenza virus will further undermine the confidence of business and leisure travellers and prompt drastic preventative measures by national governments and other public and private sector organisations that will also hinder cross-border traffic. PATA remains in close contact with its members, industry stakeholders and authoritative bodies such as the World Health Organization and the UNWTO on this vital issue.
“It is clear that we must now apply the knowledge, expertise and lessons learned from the SARS crisis of 2003 and recent outbreaks of the Avian Influenza A (H5N1). PATA is ready to work closely with its members and the wider travel and tourism community to ensure that the industry is ready to deal with this latest challenge,” says Association President and CEO Greg Duffell. Mr Duffell (pictured above right) summarised these latest PATA updates in a presentation to members of Skal Thailand. Also pictured are Bruce Hancock from Asian Oasis and Skal Thailand President Andrew Wood.

PATA is to post a Type A (H1N1) advisory bulletin with FAQs on its website later this week using latest information tabled at today’s teleconference of the Tourism Emergency Response Network (TERN). TERN is a closely knit grouping of the leading tourism associations of the world formally launched in Washington DC in April 2006 under the auspices of Francesco Frangialli, then Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization.

This article is quoted from the newsletter PATAnews from PATA . The article was originally published on 2009-06-15.

This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Asia, Cooperation and network, Development, Performance and management.

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