As the number of H1N1 virus cases within the U.S. and abroad has continued to rise over the past few months, Accent has closely monitored developments associated with the illness. One of the largest epidemics since SARS in 2003, Swine Flu has had a global reach, affecting populations and industries at home and abroad. As always, Accent continues to ensure the safety and security of their clients, responding with each progressive recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Accent is taking every necessary precaution and has communicated these steps with all affected parties, proactively releasing information regarding health and safety updates and fielding any individual questions or concerns from program participants. In addition to these health updates, Accent has thoroughly researched all hospitals equipped to handle H1N1 patients in the vicinities of our program hotels. Informing all of our participants of new travel procedures, such as temperature checks instated in numerous international airports, including those in Turkey, Czech Republic, Japan and China, Accent continues to work tirelessly to ensure that students do not face any surprises while traveling.
Director of Client Services, Adrienne Branca, commented, “Our primary concern is that our clients have all of the information they need and that we can ensure the health and safety of each Accent program participant. We have anticipated potential complications and anxieties for each student and each leader, and we have taken the steps to ensure the highest quality programs and support, despite rising concerns. Each of our program participants has received all pertinent information in advance of travel, and we feel that no question or concern is too minor to address.”
Beyond simply informing clients of safety precautions, Accent is actively taking precautionary measures to preemptively avoid the spreading of the H1N1 virus. The company’s on-site team members, including guides, drivers, and local country managers have been trained to reinforce proper hygiene practices and remain alert to flu symptoms among travelers. All motorcoaches will be equipped with a supply of hand sanitizer or alcohol wipes, and Accent has also encouraged students to bring travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer with them on their Accent programs.
Foreseeing that some destination sites might alter visa and reporting requirements and processes, Accent preemptively addressed complications to ensure student travel and to avoid last minute concerns with reporting and visa approval. Understanding that customers may be alarmed by reports of potential quarantining associated with the virus, Accent ensures that all ground services and home offices are equipped to lead programs in the case of such an occurrence, while this same support staff is equipped to respond to individual student needs. To date, none of the Accent participants has been denied entry into a destination site, and Accent has fully and successfully served clients in every necessary capacity, averting complications created by the epidemic.
Accent General Manager Alice Ganier-Rolli said, “The unexpected occurrence of the H1N1 virus has served as a test of Accent’s ability to serve our university clients. We have met the challenge and remain diligent in our preparation and response to this evolving global health event.”