News for the Hospitality Executive
Tourism Tidbits - How Can Your Guests Be Sure They Are Safe?
Tourism Month and Tourism Security & Safety
Dr. Peter Tarlow
The city of Las Vegas will hold
its 19th conference on tourism security and safety during the month of
May. The choice of this month is not an accident as May is the
international month for tourism, and the first rule of good hospitality
is taking care of our guests. All too often tourism professionals see
themselves as marketers rather than hosts. The reality, however, is
different. Visitors eventually will not come to places where people are
afraid for their lives, where crime is rampant, where they need to fear
pandemics and tourism officials show more concern for spin then solving
the problem. This last sentence should not be read as an accusation,
but rather a challenge. In an ever-changing world where life seems to
become both increasingly more challenging and dangerous, it is the
responsibility of the tourism industry to protect its guests and to
find ways for them to enjoy themselves without fear of disease, food
poisoning, any form of physical assault, or an act of terrorism.
Today's travelers and tourists, for the most part, seek out
places/experiences where there is a sense of security and safety.
Although there is a small minority of travelers who seek out the
dangerous, most visitors want to know what the industry is doing to
protect them, and how well prepared a local industry is in case a
security or safety issue should occur.
Traditionally, many tourism professionals have avoided addressing issues of tourism security and tourism safety all together. There was a common feeling among these professionals that visitors will wonder if too much security indicates that they should be afraid and that even speaking about these subjects will frighten customers. Thus, especially in the years prior to September 11, 2001, the industry often took the position that the less said about tourism security and safety the better. To help make your community or attraction safer and at the same time to improve your marketing efforts, Tourism & More suggests that you consider some of the following ideas.
A good overall security program is much more that simply hiring a few extra guards. Tourism surety is a highly professionalized plan that permits the protection of everything from the site to the visitor, to the community's very reputation. While good security programs do not promise total safety and security, they do lessen the risk of negative events, prepare a la location to minimize negative effects should an incident occur, and produce the political will to permit the community to recover.
About the Author:
Dr. Peter E. Tarlow is the President of T&M, a founder of the Texas chapter of TTRA and a popular author and speaker on tourism. Tarlow is a specialist in the areas of sociology of tourism, economic development, tourism safety and security. Tarlow speaks at governors' and state conferences on tourism and conducts seminars throughout the world and for numerous agencies and universities.
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Dr. Peter Tarlow
1218 Merry Oaks,
College Station, Texas, 77840-2609, USA.
Telephone: +1 (979) 764-8402
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