February 21, 2006 08:00 ET

Leading Experts to Examine Effects of Pandemics, Disasters and Terrorism on Travelers, Travel and Insurance Industries

UStiA Conference February 26 - 28, Ft. Myers, Florida

RICHMOND, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 21, 2006 -- Leading experts in disaster response, anti-terrorism, hurricane research, public health and the insurance industry will examine the effects of pandemics, catastrophes and terrorism on travelers, the travel industry, and the insurance industry at the US Travel Insurance Association's annual conference to be held February 26 - 28 at the Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa, Fort Myers, Florida.

Titled "CATASTROPHES: PENDING DOOM OR MANAGEABLE RISK?," the conference will look at the types of future risks facing travelers, and how the industry can manage the risks associated with such events.

Featured speakers include: Dr. Thomas Holzheu, Senior Economist, Swiss Re Group; Stanley B. Goldenberg, Research Meteorologist, Hurricane Research Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Heidi J. Larson, Ph.D, Research Associate, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies; Michael W. Lowder, Deputy Director of Response, Department of Homeland Security -- FEMA; Michael D. McDonald, Dr.P.H., Director of the Tsunami Disaster Knowledge Management Initiative; Dr. Peter E. Tarlow, President, Tourism & More; and Tim White, Detective Chief Superintendent, New Scotland Yard.

A panel of travel and insurance industry experts will discuss the impact of natural disasters, terrorist disasters and pandemics on their respective industries. Panelists are: Sandra Carroll, CTIE, ACC Manager Travel Communications, AAA; Julia Davidson, CFO, Apple Vacations; Alain Demissy, recently retired CEO of the Mondial Assistance Group; Les Maine President, CSA Travel Protection; and Thomas J. Zavadsky, Executive Vice President, Sales & Underwriting, Travel Guard International.

Topics will include:

--  Risks and threats affecting the travel industry and U.S. travelers at
    home and abroad;
--  The impact of natural disasters and terrorism on insurance costs,
    policy provisions and tourism;
--  What the industry can do to manage risk;
--  The threat of Avian Flu and its affect on the travel industry.
For more information and details on the conference, visit the US Travel Insurance Association's website at or e-mail

Contact Information

  • Editorial Contact:
    Linda R. Kundell
    Kundell Communications
    Phone: 212-877-2798
    Fax: 212-877-3387
    E-mail: Email Contact