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WTO Places Travel Advisories On Priority List

The World Tourism Organization‘s quality support and trade committee met last month for the first time under the new chairmanship of Portugal and addressed the issues of travel advisories, trade liberalization and health in international travel.

The challenge, it said, is to manage travel advisories in such a way as to maximize the protection of travelers and minimize the impact on travel, trade and development. While this is an issue in the hands of industrial countries today, the potential flow of travelers from developing markets indicates two-way trading considerations, the committee stressed.

WTO Secretary-General Mr. Francesco Frangialli underlined that the governments in cooperation with the international tourism industry “have to make a step forward in implementing travel advisories in accordance with the Global Code of Ethics.”

While the quality of cautionary travel advisories is undoubtedly improving with experience, there are currently a number of continuing concerns, for example lack of geographical specificity and the nature of the threat, consultation with the affected State, updating and review of the advisory, and inconsistencies amongst advisories issued by different states.

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