A case study of best practice - Visit Scotland's prepared response to an influenza pandemic

S. Page, I. Yeoman, C. Munro, J. Connell, L. Walker

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81 Citations (Scopus)


In October 2005, a media frenzy began to develop globally with the spread of Avian Influenza (hereafter Avian Flu) from South East Asia to Northern Europe. The media interest was largely a result of the impact on chickens as a food source and also the potential of Avian Flu to mutate and trigger a global flu pandemic. Interestingly throughout virtually all of the media frenzy, the most obvious impact on tourism has been overlooked or only mentioned in passing. At the same time, Visit Scotland, the Scottish National Tourism Organisation has undertaken a scenario planning exercise to plan for such an eventuality. This paper draws upon some of the research undertaken as part of that scenario planning exercise to illustrate how it represents a case study of best practice, both in planning for a flu pandemic and also in terms of sharing this knowledge with NTOs and tourism organisations globally via the World Tourism Organisation and other communication channels. Two important messages emerge from this study: that the tourism industry does not need to panic and that media messages need to be scrutinised carefully, and appropriate response strategies prepared so that the destination's prepare for any outbreak without adversely damaging their image as a place to visit. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-393
Number of pages33
JournalTourism Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


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