UNWTO ready for anything

UNWTO has unveiled part of its new emergency response system, designed to help the tourism sector to respond to natural and man-made disasters.

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By  Joseph Mortimer Published  November 26, 2006

UNWTO has unveiled part of its new emergency response system, designed to help the tourism sector to respond to natural and man-made disasters. The BETA site, developed my Microsoft, is a comprehensive emergency response portal linked to major public and private sector networks and emergency response databases that UNWTO is currently developing, enabling companies involved in tourism to track the progress of disasters and assist with response activities. ”In times of medical crisis or natural disasters, tourism operators and tourists will have a place to access reliable information and the guidance of the UNWTO when it is most needed,” said Frank McCosker, managing director, global strategic accounts Microsoft. UNWTO has been focusing recent attention on contingency planning in the event of an outbreak of avian flu. The Tourism Emergency Response Network (TERN) is a grouping of global, regional and national industry organisations collaborating to exchange information and develop public messages in relation to a potential flu pandemic. "Our goal is to serve the industry and eventually tourists themselves with this new tool which has been made possible through the close working relationship with Microsoft,” said Geoffrey Lipman, assistant secretary general, UNWTO. In coming months the system would go ‘live’, providing 24/7 “tracking of major emergencies from a tourism perspective”, he added.

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