Page published: 8 March 2011
Experts from Bournemouth University (BU) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO ) led the discussions on global disaster management this month when they met with some of Europe's leading tour operators in London.
BU academics, along with UNWTO expert Dirk Glaesser, held a focus group at the Association of British Travel Agents' (ABTA) offices on March 3 as part of an ongoing UNWTO research project.
In November BU's International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR) was commissioned to undertake vital research into global disaster management for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). The meeting in London brought together key personnel from some of Europe's leading tour operators who attended to discuss issues relating to disaster management with the teams.
Professor John Fletcher, Director of ICTHR, said: "This is highly topical given the current crises in the Middle East where tourists are being evacuated from troubled areas including Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and the earthquake that shook New Zealand. The outcome of this meeting will help the research team formulate the scenario for the forthcoming Delphi exercises that will engage tourism, disaster management and media experts from around the world."
The UNWTO research project, entitled 'The Integration of Tourism into National Emergency Structures and Processes', involves BU experts providing governmental institutions concerned in emergency planning with practical guidance on the special needs and concerns of the travel and tourism sector during an emergency. The BU team is made up of Professor Fletcher, Richard Gordon MBE, Director of the Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC), Dr Yeganeh Morakabati of Plymouth Business School and Professor Bruce Prideaux, who is a Visiting Professor at BU's School of Tourism and an expert in tourism crisis management.
The project coincides with the launch of the BUDMC's short CPD course, Tourism & Disasters, which has been designed specifically for tourism professionals. The course is designed for middle to senior professional managers and operators in the travel and tourism sector and draws upon our widely acclaimed international disaster management training programme. Postgraduate students studying tourism management at BU are also encouraged to attend this course as part of their wider training and education.
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