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No threat to human health from foot&mouth in europe, says IH&RA

Meeting in Brussels recently with James Provan, Vice President of the European Parliament, Alain-Philippe Feutre, CEO of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA<.>), and representatives of some of the major hospitality chains, including Bass Hotels & Resorts, voiced concerns over the impact on tourism of the current outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease and discussed appropriate means to address them.

Citing official statements by European and US Health and Food Safety Authorities that Foot & Mouth disease poses no threat to human health, IH&RA stressed the need to convey this message urgently to the international travelling public and media. As the only international trade association representing the interests of the hospitality industry worldwide, the IH&RA is concerned that confusing and inaccurate reports on the disease in the international press are effectively deterring travel to Europe.

While considerable media attention has rightly been paid to the plight of the farming sector, tourism all over Europe is also being seriously impacted by the outbreak and will continue to be affected right throughout the summer season and beyond. At their spring meeting in Amsterdam on 9 and 10 April, the Chief Executive Officers of the National Hotel & Restaurant Associations belonging to the IH&RA expressed their concern for the impact the disease was having on the hospitality industry. Consumers are postponing or cancelling holidays in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe on the erroneous belief that their personal safety is at risk. The level of forward bookings is slowing considerably. Should this trend continue, it will result in substantial unemployment, business failures and ultimately, in loss of confidence in tourism and hospitality, the world's largest industry.

To allay the confusion in the public mind, IH&RA calls for a clear statement from the EU Commissioners, David Byrne and Erkki Liikanen, responsible respectively for Food Safety and Tourism, that there is no risk to human health from foot & mouth disease and that the safety of food in Europe is therefore not affected.

IH&RA also calls on the Commission to put in place as rapidly as possible a major communication programme in Europe's main overseas markets to support the promotion of Europe as a safe and sound tourism destination. …

Meeting in Brussels recently with James Provan, Vice President of the European Parliament, Alain-Philippe Feutre, CEO of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA<.>), and representatives of some of the major hospitality chains, including Bass Hotels & Resorts, voiced concerns over the impact on tourism of the current outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease and discussed appropriate means to address them.



Citing official statements by European and US Health and Food Safety Authorities that Foot & Mouth disease poses no threat to human health, IH&RA stressed the need to convey this message urgently to the international travelling public and media. As the only international trade association representing the interests of the hospitality industry worldwide, the IH&RA is concerned that confusing and inaccurate reports on the disease in the international press are effectively deterring travel to Europe.



While considerable media attention has rightly been paid to the plight of the farming sector, tourism all over Europe is also being seriously impacted by the outbreak and will continue to be affected right throughout the summer season and beyond. At their spring meeting in Amsterdam on 9 and 10 April, the Chief Executive Officers of the National Hotel & Restaurant Associations belonging to the IH&RA expressed their concern for the impact the disease was having on the hospitality industry. Consumers are postponing or cancelling holidays in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe on the erroneous belief that their personal safety is at risk. The level of forward bookings is slowing considerably. Should this trend continue, it will result in substantial unemployment, business failures and ultimately, in loss of confidence in tourism and hospitality, the world's largest industry.



To allay the confusion in the public mind, IH&RA calls for a clear statement from the EU Commissioners, David Byrne and Erkki Liikanen, responsible respectively for Food Safety and Tourism, that there is no risk to human health from foot & mouth disease and that the safety of food in Europe is therefore not affected.



IH&RA also calls on the Commission to put in place as rapidly as possible a major communication programme in Europe's main overseas markets to support the promotion of Europe as a safe and sound tourism destination.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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