Friday, October 21, 2005

Hard travelin'

In the wake of alarming press stories always comes the anti-alarming press stories ranting about "scaremongering." Sometimes legit, sometimes suspect. The World Tourism Organisation has provided us their public health expertise, warning governments and media to avoid "unnecessary scaremongering" (as opposed to necessary scaremongering?). Unnecessary scaremongering risks "a sharp drop in international tourism."
"We must ensure that people are not deterred from travelling without good reason," said the Madrid-based agency, which will meet with the World Health Organisation shortly to discuss the looming threat to the industry.

"Unnecessary scaremongering can cause a sharp drop in tourism that squeezes the economies, especially those of developing nations and the incomes of millions of workers in this industry," warned WTO Secretary General Francesco Frangialli in a statement.


"We know that the avian flu epidemic is very likely to happen, but not what regions it could hit or for how long. But we do know from our previous experience with SARS that its effect on tourism could be substantial," he added. (AFP)
Um. Sr. Frangialli. Influenza isn't SARS. It won't stay put "in a region." If a pandemic happens, your industry will take a hit. A big hit. Plan for it. If it doesn't happen, you'll be ahead.

But complaining about scaremongering will get you nowhere. And it makes you sound bad.