Amajor challenge facing the tourism industry today is safety and security.
Inthis essay what will be discussed is how safety and security impacts thetourism industry, difficulties faced by security professionals, therelationship between tourism security and economics, crisis and disasters andcrisis and disaster management for tourism.If people feel unsafe in anyway they could either change their chosen destination or they could cancelaltogether. This is huge pressure for the tourism industry and has affectedtourism worldwide. The increasing number of various crime acts and the threatof more has jeopardized the safety of tourists and hence most tourists willtake into consideration the many crisis and disaster situations before bookingor going abroad. Tourism security deals with much more than just criminalbehavior.
The impact of crisis and disasters on the travel and tourism industrycan be enormous. It can lead to unemployment, homelessness, deflation, and manyother social and economic troubles. Whiletourists are free to avoid destinations associated with risk, the consequencesof disastrous events on tourist destinations are certain and can be profound.This essay aims to clarify tourists risk perception associated with the safetyand security served as a basis for the analysis. Thesecurity professionals are under huge pressure in the travel and tourism sectoras it is crucial that they are fully aware of all the risks that could impactnot only the tourism industry but the safety of the people.
Many tourism professionals have avoidedaddressing issues of tourism security and tourism safety altogether. This isbecause a common (misplaced) feeling among them that even speaking about thesesubjects would frighten customers1,which is correct as most tourists would be aware and cautious of what ishapping around them at all times.When travelling abroad to anywhere in theworld, there are always risks related to travelling. Some travel related risksinclude illness and disease, conditions, accidents and injuries and threats.When travelling abroad, tourists put their lives into the hands of securityprofessionals in hope that they do their job correctly and protect them,wherever they are going.
So if customers heard tourism professionals talkingabout the safety and security, it could panic them in some way. Tourismsecurity deals with much more than just criminal behavior. Tourism specialistsmust worry about a traveller who deliberately carries a communicative diseasefrom one location to another for purpose of harming others. So not only is it aquestion of visitor safety and security, but it also involves the economicviability of the tourism host location. The security professionals have to bevery strict and follow all rules, regulations and procedures.
Even beforearriving at the chosen destination, travelling alone has many threats. Whentravelling overseas by plane, tourists have many concerns, and there is agrowing matter relating to the increasing number of air incidents. Over a thirdof European holiday makers are worried about personal safety on holiday2.Barrett, 1999 said that it wasreported cases of air rage are suggested to have increased by 400% over a fiveyear period. So when actually arriving in a foreign country, tourists may becautious of the specific country’s background and history of previous incidentsthat may have occurred. For example in November of 2015, Paris was under aterrorist bombing attack, which left everyone shook including the security, andalso in June of 2017 when a van hit pedestrians in a terror attack on LondonBridge, this was a tragic and awful event, and now people traveling to certaindestinations could be aware and looking out for such events that might happenagain, and its unpleasant for everybody when trying to enjoy travelling. It’sthe last thing people want to think about because they are trying to enjoy andlearn about other cultures and countries, yet is probably the first thing ontheir mind.
It is a sad and cruel world we live in but people can either benegative and scared and not travel and all to let the bad people win, or bepositive and say “it wont happen today”and continue living their lives. Its crazy because less than 10 years ago theworld was so different, and there was less things like that to worry about whentravelling abroad. This is why security is so important in the tourismindustry, and without it there could be many more crisis and disasters whichmay occur. An increasingamount of crisis and disasters that have affected the tourism industry, rangingfrom natural to human-influenced incidents. In modern years, the global tourismindustry has experienced many crises and disasters including terrorist attacks,political instability, economic recession, biosecurity threats and naturaldisasters. Natural disasters can breach the supply and distribution chains foreven the best prepared business3.Kash and Darling (1998: 179) claimthat it is no longer a case if an organisation will face a crisis; it is rathera question of ‘when’ and ‘what type’ and ‘how prepared’ the organisation is todeal with it4.Crisis and disasters can be like a “ripple effect”, which can turn a crisisinto a disaster and vice versa.
Crisescan range from small scale organisational issues to external factors likenatural disasters. They can occur at all levels of tourist operations frompublicised environmental, economic and political disasters to internallygenerated crisis such as accidents and sudden illnesses. Crisis are ‘disruptionthat physically affects a system as a whole and threatens its basicassumptions, its subject sense of self, its existential core’5.A more general term is an unexpected problem seriously disrupting thefunctioning of an organisation or sector or nation6.Many of the features attributed to crisis are equally applicable to disasters,therefore crisis may occur as a direct result of a disaster. Airportsecurity are very important as they protect us from terrorists and bombs,drugs, theft, and some even disguise themselves and sit on the planes fullyarmed if there is any suspicions. Without the airport security, we would be ina sad and sorry state.
They are well trained, and implement their training tothe full extent. They are always prepared for anything that could happen, andthey also provide a sense of safety because people are aware of their presence. Unfortunatelyterrorism is at an all time high worldwide. The security people are always onguard for such dreadful things that may occur anywhere in the world.
In thepast, security forces have been so quick to respond to such awful events, andhave gained far more experience in dealing with such unfortunate events. Forexample The Bataclan, in Novemebr of 2015, in Paris the security forces inFrance gained extensive knowledge in dealing with terrorists, to such an extentin the Paris Bataclan attack, within a number of hours, all the terrorists weredead. Likewise in June of 2017 in London, when a terrorist driving a rented vanmowed down pedestrians on London killing seven people and injuring many more.
The speed of the security forces response resulted in the attackers bring shotdead within minutes of being alerted. These examples show the level of trainingfor our security forces to deal with these tragic incidents, unfortunately withterrorism it is not always possible to have advanced notice of theses attackshowever when incidents occur there is a rapid response from the highly trainedprofessionals. The terrorist attacks listed also resulted in security personnelbeing injured and killed sacrificing their lives on our behalf and behalf ofthe visiting tourists. Crimes committed against tourists globally can beanything from a bankcard being stolen, handbags or luggage, to the break ins inpeoples accommodation or hired vehicles.
Security personnel are always makingpeople aware of the possibility of being targeted by these unscrupulouscriminals. Unfortunately people on holidays tend to have their guard downthat’s where security information comes into play. A police presence in wellknown criminal targeted areas should be a welcome relief to tourists. Thereis a growing threat of disaster situations to the tourism business anddestinations. Very little tourism businesses are equipped to handle the impactsof such threats, yet crisis planning should be a core capability of tourismmanagers. The tourism sector is definitely more vulnerable to external crisisand disasters than other industries. Reducing the numbers of lives lost thereare early warning and risk reduction measures. Tourism managers anddestinations should embrace the threats as a part of the tourism system, asthey cannot be changed or stopped completely as they are unexpected, soplanning for such events by one; identifying and understanding crises anddisasters, two; developing and implementing management plans and three;evalutating the success of those plans for more effective future crisis anddisaster plans.
The decision making of the tourists can be massively impactedby theses situations, impacting the industries business and society. The twomain fields of theory are the organisational crisis management and disaster andemergency management, which the tourism system has fully put into use. So inconclusion, the crisis and disaster management move to prevention and planning,growing awareness of the impacts that they have on society due to the global safetyand security of the world7.
Vacationers generally seetheir trips as an escape from the worlds problems and from worries of everydaylife. The last thing they want is being a victim of crime. Business travelersare being more aware of the safety issues and aim to shy away from high-risklocations. Questions of violence directly strike the travel industry’scapability to promote a secure and worry-free encounter and can result ingreater economic losses. No location can provide perfect security but the riskelement can be greatly reduced by developing a cooperative relationship betweenthe law enforcement and tourism industries.
Tourism is in the lead of theseeconomic changes and challenges. How the travel and tourism industry adjust tothis new environment show us a great deal about what may lie ahead. Therelationship between tourism security and economics is vital. Duringchallenging economic periods, there are ups and downs for everyone. Fortourists; those from more wealthy areas may see locations as now moreaffordable while tourists from weaker economies will have to be more careful orwill travel less. For the tourism industry; Better service must be given andinnovations and creativity will be needed, but on the other hand a lot ofpeople may loose their jobs, adding to the unemployment base and possible crimeby those who know tourism best. For the local population; There will be lesscrowded streets, may have more opportunities to use local facilities, andprices could fall, but there is also a possible hike in taxes, less money forcity services when they are needed most, could be a loss in jobs and causingsome to turn to crime. The challenges faced by the tourism industry are similarto the challenges faces by the local population, but they might also be inconflict with the local population’s needs.
From the view point of thetraveler, challenging economic periods have advantages while also havingdisadvantages.8 In conclusion to this essayabout the difficulties and pressure security professionals have, and how theyand their job could lead to crisis and disasters but also the way of managingthem, and how important the relationship between tourism security and economicsis, shows that the safety and security is a massive challenge in the tourismindustry, and is a huge thing that the tourists have to consider whentravelling. Tourist destinations would have a huge job of attracting people todifferent locations, but all in all security professionals have the most importantjob in the industry.
The safety of the whole industry, the tourists, and travelin general, lie in the hands of these professionals. There are lots of risksinvolved, and they have to be fully aware of them. They are also responsiblefor the safety of the local population. If it wasn’t for the security there maybe a lot more crisis and disasters happening worldwide. These dreadful eventsseriously affect the tourism industry today. People want to enjoy travellingand not worry about crime and terrorism, but in the world we live in today,such events are so often, that tourists really have to be aware when choosingthe destination of where they wish to travel.
Security doesn’t always have tobe against the big disasters and crisis, also about the safety of people on thestreets and more petty crime like pick-pockets and robberies. 1 Tarlow, P. (n.d.). Tourism security2 Ineson, E. (2005).
Current issues in international tourismdevelopment. Sunderland: Business education publishers.(Pg 202 p5)3 Faulkner 2001.4 Kash and Darling (1998: 179)5 Pauchant and Mitroff(1992:15)6 Laws and Prideaux (2005)7 Ritchie, B. (2009).
Crisis and disaster management for tourism.Bristol: Channel View Publications.8 Tarlow, P. (n.
d.). Tourism security.