In January 2016, the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency over the spread of the Zika virus, advising pregnant women against travel to affected countries, mostly in the Caribbean and Latin America.
LOTUS proactively set in motion a number tactics to successfully manage and respond to the crisis.
LOTUS liaised with leading travel industry trade association ABTA, ahead of drafting a statement on behalf of Latin American Travel Association (LATA) which was issued to a wide list of targeted media, travel and tourism trade bodies and associations, and uploaded onto the LATA website. It was published in publications including The Daily Telegraph, Travel Weekly and TTG.
We also closely monitored updates on Zika, set up media alerts on Meltwater to live monitor media and social coverage, and updated and issued the LATA statement daily.
LOTUS also organised a ‘Zika round table’ which was attended by Latin American ambassadors, tourist boards, tour operators and a medical researcher. The aim of the round table was to bring together professionals from the Latin American tourism industry whose businesses or destinations had been directly affected by Zika. The round table resulted in discussions about the most effective way of managing the crisis.
Subsequently, LOTUS drafted a Zika Q&A for membership usage and uploaded it onto the LATA website. This was also issued to media, resulting in coverage positioning LATA as highly proactive.
- Latin American Travel Association’s members were impressed with the prompt and proactive course of action
- Broadcast coverage on CNN with Byron Shirto, Chairman of LATA
- All coverage positioned LATA as a “go-to” authority on the Zika virus and raised the profile of the association in the UK trade and consumer media