LAS VEGAS: The 26th Las Vegas International Tourism Safety and Security Conference in 27 years was concluded last week. Next year a whole new concept of tourism security conferences is in the making. The new face in 2020 will reflect the changing times as tourism security continues to be an issue around the world.
The weekly riots in Paris and the recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka demonstrate once again just how sensitive the tourism and travel industries are to the needs of security and safety (S&S). Professionals in S&S debate these issues with a great deal of emotion not only among themselves but also with their colleagues from all aspects of the travel and tourism industry.
The ideas come from past conferences and are meant to stimulate creative thought among those who work in the travel industry. These suggestions are not meant to be specific for any one particular locale or business nor are they an exhaustive list of problems or solutions. When thinking about security for your place of lodging, community or tourism business, consider some of these ideas:
All too often tourism and travel professionals are so overwhelmed by issues of S&S that they fail to define which problems are central for their locale or business. At past tourism conferences some of the major safety and security problems the delegates defined were: the need to protect tourists not only from crimes against them but also from acts of terrorism. Delegates addressed safety issues such as: outbreaks of infectious diseases such as meningitis, ways to protect tourists from legionnaires disease and aids, methods to assure pure food and water. Speakers and delegates from around the world agree that for tourism to prosper, it must create travel possibilities in which the problems such as: diarrhea and typhoid cease to threaten the visitor. The delegates also recognized that the hospitality industry needs to be prepared to deal with natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, as well as man-made problems such as traffic accidents and equipment failures. It was suggested that as the world is so varied, that tourism professionals must define those problems that are most pressing for their own region and/or business and develop methodologies that fit local budgets and cultures.
-Identify problems that will impact tourism/travel moving into the third decade of the twenty-first century. Not only should current problems be addressed but it behooves the S&S professional to anticipate problems that may not yet have occurred. Past Conference speaker have identified some of the problems that may also be future problems.