The Maui Fires and Other Natural Disasters: Attend the ZOOM

The World Tourism Network in association with eTurboNewsNews has assembled a world-class group of speakers to discuss global best practice approaches to dealing with natural disasters. 

As any travel professional knows all too well, the world has been plagued with natural disasters over the past month. 

The fires in Lahaina, Maui were among the most destructive of a number of forest fires that extensively damaged forests, communities, and tourism infrastructure in the USA, Canada, Spain, Canary Islands, Southern France, Italy, Greece, and right now Algeria.

Many of the places which experienced fires in late August were hit by floods in early December most notably the floods in Libya.

Added to that has been the destructive and tragic earthquake in Morocco. Many of those places impacted by these events are usually popular tourist destinations.

The WTN panel of speakers will certainly address the Maui fires and their impact on tourism to Maui specifically and Hawaii more broadly.

However, this group of speakers will take a global approach.

They will discuss the broader link between tourism, natural disasters and prevention, management, and recovery strategies to best link tourism with emergency services.

Our speakers come from four continents and each has a unique area of expertise that can help tourism professionals understand global best practices in dealing with natural disasters. We warmly invite you to take the opportunity to register for this event being held on 19 Sep (The Americas, Europe. Africa, and the Middle East) and 20 Sep (Asia Australia, New Zealand & SW Pacific)

WTN Chair Juergen Steinmetz will provide the view from Hawaii and how the Hawaiian government and tourism businesses plan to respond to and recover from the Maui fires.

Dr. Eran Ketter is a world-renowned Israeli destination marketing expert and will discuss how destinations can sensitively treat a natural disaster as an opportunity to re-image a destination.

 Dr. Bert Van Walbeek (UK)has spent over 35 years involved in helping destinations recover from a range of crises and will discuss how tourism can most effectively work with the media in the crisis and recovery process.

Richard Gordon MBE is the Director of the world-leading University of Bournemouth (UK) Centre for Disaster Management. The Centre works extensively with governments and tourism organizations worldwide to train them in best practice crisis and disaster management.

Charles Guddemi (USA) is the Director of Interoperability of the DC Office of Statewide Security. His area of expertise is in ensuring that emergency management agencies (firefighters, ambulance, Rescue, medical care, supply of food and medicine) seamlessly work together during an emergency. He also looks at how tourism businesses can work with them. 

Lt. Col Bill Foos (USA): Bill is the Vice President of Safety and Security and will discuss the critically important role of the military in working with civilian emergency management agencies in dealing with and preventing natural disasters.

Dr Peter Tarlow (USA), President of WTN and CEO of Tourism and More is a world-renowned authority on the subject of tourism safety and security and has worked tirelessly with police forces in over 30 countries to implement his world-famous TOPPS (Tourism Oriented Police Protection and Security) program.

Prof. Lloyd Waller, President of Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Centre (Jamaica) Lloyd’s expertise is in focussing on strategies for tourism destination and business resilience.  

Dr Ancy Gamage (Australia) Senior Lecturer, Management Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology: Ancy’s specialist area is the human resource dimension of tourism businesses in managing crises with emphasis on bushfire management in Victoria

Prof. Jeff Wilks (Australia) Griffith University. Jeff is one of the world’s leading experts in tourism risk and crisis management, His talk will focus on best practices for tourism businesses to be prepared for Crises.

Prof Bruce Prideaux (Australia/Thailand) Bruce lectures and Prince Songka University in Thailand and is a globally renowned expert on the linkage between climate change and the scale and severity of natural disasters. He will discuss some strategies that tourism can take to mitigate the impact of climate change on tourism.

Masato Takamatsu (Japan) CEO Tourism Resilience. Masato discusses projects he has been involved with to enhance collaboration between local communities, government, emergency management agencies, and tourism to prevent and prepare for natural disasters in Japan. Japan is the most risk-ready country on earth.

Peter Semone (Thailand/USA) Peter is the Chair of the Pacific Asia Travel Association which encompasses the tourism industries of over 70 countries. Peter will discuss PATA’s 30-year commitment to assist Asia-Pacific destinations in recovering from natural disasters.

Pankaj Pradhananga (Nepal) Pankaj is an active WTN member leading the Nepal Chapter of the World Tourism Network and is the CEO of Four Seasons Travel Travel which specializes in accessible tourism. His talk will focus on catering to the special needs of disabled travelers (10% of all global tourists) during and after a natural disaster.

Dr. David Beirman (Australia): University of Technology Sydney. David will sum up all presentations and present some ways tourism can move forward after the recent spate of fires, floods, and quakes.

Click here to register or find out more information and membership on the World Tourism Network visit

SOURCE: The Maui Fires and Other Natural Disasters: Attend the ZOOM