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How Can Your Guests Be Sure They Are Safe?
By Peter Tarlow
International Tourism Month and Tourism Security & Safety
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.
Published with the kind permission of the author.
About the Author
Dr. Peter E. Tarlow is president of Tourism & More and a well-known speaker throughout the world on topics of importance to the tourism and hotel industry. He also is the writer and editor or the free tourism e-newsletter Tourism Tidbits. Tarlow can be reached at email@example.com.
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