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A
major challenge facing the tourism industry today is safety and security. In
this essay what will be discussed is how safety and security impacts the
tourism industry, difficulties faced by security professionals, the
relationship between tourism security and economics, crisis and disasters and
crisis and disaster management for tourism.

If people feel unsafe in any
way they could either change their chosen destination or they could cancel
altogether. This is huge pressure for the tourism industry and has affected
tourism worldwide. The increasing number of various crime acts and the threat
of more has jeopardized the safety of tourists and hence most tourists will
take into consideration the many crisis and disaster situations before booking
or going abroad. Tourism security deals with much more than just criminal
behavior. The impact of crisis and disasters on the travel and tourism industry
can be enormous. It can lead to unemployment, homelessness, deflation, and many
other social and economic troubles. While
tourists are free to avoid destinations associated with risk, the consequences
of disastrous events on tourist destinations are certain and can be profound.
This essay aims to clarify tourists risk perception associated with the safety
and security served as a basis for the analysis.

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The
security professionals are under huge pressure in the travel and tourism sector
as it is crucial that they are fully aware of all the risks that could impact
not only the tourism industry but the safety of the people.  Many tourism professionals have avoided
addressing issues of tourism security and tourism safety altogether. This is
because a common (misplaced) feeling among them that even speaking about these
subjects would frighten customers1,
which is correct as most tourists would be aware and cautious of what is
happing around them at all times.When travelling abroad to anywhere in the
world, there are always risks related to travelling. Some travel related risks
include illness and disease, conditions, accidents and injuries and threats.
When travelling abroad, tourists put their lives into the hands of security
professionals in hope that they do their job correctly and protect them,
wherever they are going. So if customers heard tourism professionals talking
about the safety and security, it could panic them in some way. Tourism
security deals with much more than just criminal behavior. Tourism specialists
must worry about a traveller who deliberately carries a communicative disease
from one location to another for purpose of harming others. So not only is it a
question of visitor safety and security, but it also involves the economic
viability of the tourism host location. The security professionals have to be
very strict and follow all rules, regulations and procedures. Even before
arriving at the chosen destination, travelling alone has many threats. When
travelling overseas by plane, tourists have many concerns, and there is a
growing matter relating to the increasing number of air incidents. Over a third
of European holiday makers are worried about personal safety on holiday2.
Barrett, 1999 said that it was
reported cases of air rage are suggested to have increased by 400% over a five
year period. So when actually arriving in a foreign country, tourists may be
cautious of the specific country’s background and history of previous incidents
that may have occurred. For example in November of 2015, Paris was under a
terrorist bombing attack, which left everyone shook including the security, and
also in June of 2017 when a van hit pedestrians in a terror attack on London
Bridge, this was a tragic and awful event, and now people traveling to certain
destinations could be aware and looking out for such events that might happen
again, and its unpleasant for everybody when trying to enjoy travelling. It’s
the last thing people want to think about because they are trying to enjoy and
learn about other cultures and countries, yet is probably the first thing on
their mind. It is a sad and cruel world we live in but people can either be
negative and scared and not travel and all to let the bad people win, or be
positive and  say “it wont happen today”
and continue living their lives. Its crazy because less than 10 years ago the
world was so different, and there was less things like that to worry about when
travelling abroad. This is why security is so important in the tourism
industry, and without it there could be many more crisis and disasters which
may occur.

 

An increasing
amount of crisis and disasters that have affected the tourism industry, ranging
from natural to human-influenced incidents. In modern years, the global tourism
industry has experienced many crises and disasters including terrorist attacks,
political instability, economic recession, biosecurity threats and natural
disasters. Natural disasters can breach the supply and distribution chains for
even the best prepared business3.
Kash and Darling (1998: 179) claim
that it is no longer a case if an organisation will face a crisis; it is rather
a question of ‘when’ and ‘what type’ and ‘how prepared’ the organisation is to
deal with it4.
Crisis and disasters can be like a “ripple effect”, which can turn a crisis
into a disaster and vice versa.

Crises
can range from small scale organisational issues to external factors like
natural disasters. They can occur at all levels of tourist operations from
publicised environmental, economic and political disasters to internally
generated crisis such as accidents and sudden illnesses. Crisis are ‘disruption
that physically affects a system as a whole and threatens its basic
assumptions, its subject sense of self, its existential core’5.
A more general term is an unexpected problem seriously disrupting the
functioning 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.

 

Airport
security are very important as they protect us from terrorists and bombs,
drugs, theft, and some even disguise themselves and sit on the planes fully
armed if there is any suspicions. Without the airport security, we would be in
a sad and sorry state. They are well trained, and implement their training to
the full extent. They are always prepared for anything that could happen, and
they also provide a sense of safety because people are aware of their presence.

 

Unfortunately
terrorism is at an all time high worldwide. The security people are always on
guard for such dreadful things that may occur anywhere in the world. In the
past, security forces have been so quick to respond to such awful events, and
have gained far more experience in dealing with such unfortunate events. For
example The Bataclan, in Novemebr of 2015, in Paris the security forces in
France gained extensive knowledge in dealing with terrorists, to such an extent
in the Paris Bataclan attack, within a number of hours, all the terrorists were
dead. Likewise in June of 2017 in London, when a terrorist driving a rented van
mowed down pedestrians on London killing seven people and injuring many more.
The speed of the security forces response resulted in the attackers bring shot
dead within minutes of being alerted. These examples show the level of training
for our security forces to deal with these tragic incidents, unfortunately with
terrorism it is not always possible to have advanced notice of theses attacks
however when incidents occur there is a rapid response from the highly trained
professionals. The terrorist attacks listed also resulted in security personnel
being injured and killed sacrificing their lives on our behalf and behalf of
the visiting tourists. Crimes committed against tourists globally can be
anything from a bankcard being stolen, handbags or luggage, to the break ins in
peoples accommodation or hired vehicles. Security personnel are always making
people aware of the possibility of being targeted by these unscrupulous
criminals. Unfortunately people on holidays tend to have their guard down
that’s where security information comes into play. A police presence in well
known criminal targeted areas should be a welcome relief to tourists.

 

There
is a growing threat of disaster situations to the tourism business and
destinations. Very little tourism businesses are equipped to handle the impacts
of such threats, yet crisis planning should be a core capability of tourism
managers. The tourism sector is definitely more vulnerable to external crisis
and disasters than other industries. Reducing the numbers of lives lost there
are early warning and risk reduction measures. Tourism managers and
destinations should embrace the threats as a part of the tourism system, as
they cannot be changed or stopped completely as they are unexpected, so
planning for such events by one; identifying and understanding crises and
disasters, two; developing and implementing management plans and three;
evalutating the success of those plans for more effective future crisis and
disaster plans. The decision making of the tourists can be massively impacted
by theses situations, impacting the industries business and society. The two
main fields of theory are the organisational crisis management and disaster and
emergency management, which the tourism system has fully put into use. So in
conclusion, the crisis and disaster management move to prevention and planning,
growing awareness of the impacts that they have on society due to the global safety
and security of the world7.

 

Vacationers generally see
their trips as an escape from the worlds problems and from worries of everyday
life. The last thing they want is being a victim of crime. Business travelers
are being more aware of the safety issues and aim to shy away from high-risk
locations. Questions of violence directly strike the travel industry’s
capability to promote a secure and worry-free encounter and can result in
greater economic losses. No location can provide perfect security but the risk
element can be greatly reduced by developing a cooperative relationship between
the law enforcement and tourism industries. Tourism is in the lead of these
economic changes and challenges. How the travel and tourism industry adjust to
this new environment show us a great deal about what may lie ahead. The
relationship between tourism security and economics is vital. During
challenging economic periods, there are ups and downs for everyone. For
tourists; those from more wealthy areas may see locations as now more
affordable while tourists from weaker economies will have to be more careful or
will travel less. For the tourism industry; Better service must be given and
innovations and creativity will be needed, but on the other hand a lot of
people may loose their jobs, adding to the unemployment base and possible crime
by those who know tourism best. For the local population; There will be less
crowded streets, may have more opportunities to use local facilities, and
prices could fall, but there is also a possible hike in taxes, less money for
city services when they are needed most, could be a loss in jobs and causing
some to turn to crime. The challenges faced by the tourism industry are similar
to the challenges faces by the local population, but they might also be in
conflict with the local population’s needs. From the view point of the
traveler, challenging economic periods have advantages while also having
disadvantages.8

 

In conclusion to this essay
about the difficulties and pressure security professionals have, and how they
and their job could lead to crisis and disasters but also the way of managing
them, and how important the relationship between tourism security and economics
is, shows that the safety and security is a massive challenge in the tourism
industry, and is a huge thing that the tourists have to consider when
travelling. Tourist destinations would have a huge job of attracting people to
different locations, but all in all security professionals have the most important
job in the industry. The safety of the whole industry, the tourists, and travel
in general, lie in the hands of these professionals. There are lots of risks
involved, and they have to be fully aware of them. They are also responsible
for the safety of the local population. If it wasn’t for the security there may
be a lot more crisis and disasters happening worldwide. These dreadful events
seriously affect the tourism industry today. People want to enjoy travelling
and 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 choosing
the destination of where they wish to travel. Security doesn’t always have to
be against the big disasters and crisis, also about the safety of people on the
streets and more petty crime like pick-pockets and robberies.

1 Tarlow, P. (n.d.). Tourism security

2 Ineson, E. (2005). Current issues in international tourism
development. 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.

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