updated 5/24/2011 6:46:37 AM ET 2011-05-24T10:46:37

BALTIMORE, May 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Africa Travel Association 's (ATA) signature event will be held in Dakar, Senegal. The five-day congress provides a unique networking, learning and agenda-shaping platform for hundreds of travel professionals in Africa, including African mandataries, tourism ministers, industry experts representing tourism boards, travel agencies and tour operators, ground operators, airlines and hotels. The travel medicine industry will be represented by Passport Health's Corporate Director, Mr. Jorge Eduardo Castillo, who also serves as an International Board Member for the ATA. Passport Health is the leading provider of travel medical services and immunizations in the U.S. The company's travel medicine specialists counsel and prepare travelers whether they are traveling for business, leisure, mission or volunteer work.

"I am honored to have been selected to speak at this prestigious event and I am looking forward to forging relationships with industry leaders," said Mr. Castillo. He will be a panelist in an education session titled "Working with tour operators on both sides of the Atlantic,"where he will focus on Travel Medicine and Travel Health Education as crucial components of a comprehensive, multi-national campaign to increase safe tourism and business in Africa.  The panel will be lead by Ms. Lisa Simon, President, National Tour Association (NTA).

"Unfortunately, there are some who perceive Africa as a dangerous place because of its reputation for dangerous diseases," commented Mr. Castillo. "The reality is that diseases are present in Asia, South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean as well.  International travelers must be educated, immunized and well prepared so that their trip unfolds without a hitch," he added. In addition to travel vaccinations, travelers should be aware of security issues, visa restrictions and food and water precautions.  "Passport Health is a one-stop destination for the international traveler," he said.  "For example, we partner with organizations like Travisa, which took care of my visa and passport, Global Rescue, which is my travel and evacuation insurance provider, and SteriPEN, the company which is providing me with a ultraviolet-light portable water purifier the size of a pen," he concluded.  Passport Health has a full line of hard-to-find specialty travel products specifically designed to keep travelers healthy during their trip.

Mr. Castillo will also be leading a second education session titled "New On-Line & Social Media Marketing Tools – Best Practices and Success Stories," where he will be joined by Mr. Diego J. Lofeudo, Director of Market Management, Eastern Mediterranean and Africa, Expedia Travel.  The focus will be elevating Africa marketing into the 21st century by using online and social media marketing tools.

About Passport Health:Passport Health is an innovative network of travel immunization clinics with offices in 36 states and 185 offices nationwide.  The company's business model is unique in the medical service industry.  The Vaccine Specialists® counsel travelers before their departure and provide them with destination-specific travel information, a complete line of travel and wellness immunizations, specialty travel products and travel and evacuation insurance.

Passport Health has positioned itself to support the needs of corporations with its flexible on-site immunization programs—including on-site flu clinics, on-site travel medical services and on-site wellness clinics.  The company gained national attention when it mobilized doctors and nurses to publishing and postal facilities along the east coast after the 2001 Anthrax attacks. Their experts also prepared relief workers and relatives of victims of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and responded to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, in 2005, by deploying nurses to the Gulf Coast to vaccinate utility and relief workers.  

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CONTACT:  Media Contact:
          Tammy Broghammer
          tammy.broghammer@passporthealthusa.com
          410.727.0556

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