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Facing up to the threat of Africa’s Ebola virus

Facing up to the threat of Africa’s Ebola virus
October 20, 2014

While African safari operators are reporting declining business as a result of fears about the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, international venue managers are monitoring the impact of recent Ebola incidents.

A recent survey carried out by SafariBookings.com saw significant decline across the sector in bookings since the Ebola outbreak, even in places nowhere near the affected area of Africa. 

According to tour operators, many tourists see Africa as a single country when it comes to risk assessment, not realising that the east or south of the continent – where the vast majority of safari tours are conducted – are just as far from the outbreak area as Europe or South America.

At present, major safari countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Zambia have had no confirmed Ebola cases, with a very low risk of exposure. All have strict precautionary measures in place, comparable to those of countries in Europe and North America. 

Of those surveyed, 69.7% of the 506 companies surveyed reported a decrease in bookings since the outbreak, with 54 of those (10.7%) reporting more than a 70% decrease in bookings. 

In the USA, the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) is actively monitoring the impact of recent Ebola incidents. At the direction of IAVM Chair Kim Bedier, CFE, and through collaboration with the IAVM’s Industry Affairs Council (IAC), a task force has been formed to work on relevant communications to the IAVM community.

The IAVM is also encourage members to join discussions in VenueNet, and to look for more information in the very near future.

Click here to access VenueNet, the IAVM member forum.

To visit the Safari Bookings website go to www.safaribookings.com


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