Over the past year, the swine flu virus has been at the forefront of our various media vehicles from front page newspaper articles to breaking news on the BBC news channel and everyone around the world has been taking ever increasing measures to reduce the effects of a “pandemic”. It has become apparent that the H1N1 virus is also affecting those populations in isolated areas of the world more than it is in the most populated areas.
According to a recent article on the National Geographic website, those living in isolated rural areas are suffering a H1N1 infection rate four to five times higher than that of the general population.
“The world's indigenous people—tribes and other groups who inhabit the lands where their cultures arose—are at greatest risk from the swine flu pandemic”, native-rights groups say.
If this is true, this raises questions for Responsible Tourism practitioners visiting native populations of the destination, sometimes in isolated regions of the world. Are there measures being taken by tour operators to prevent the spreading of the H1N1 virus? Should we be adding a Responsible Tourism policy which addresses this kind of issue? I have noticed that it has been a topic of debate at various Responsible Tourism conferences.
Send me your thoughts, I'd like to hear them.
To read the article which inspired this blog, click here.
Contact me at Thomas@westafricadiscovery.co.uk