Security in the Tourism Industry
Tourism is an extremely volatile industry with most of its activities based on leisure travel. However, a significant number of tourists engage in business travel which is equally significant in this industry. A myriad of challenges are encountered in this industry which is beyond the control of tourism professionals. It is prudent to create a culture of awareness concerning the challenges which will facilitate for preparedness in response to the future challenges and reduce the negative consequences that may accompany exigent circumstances.
Security is a compelling challenge facing tourism industry. The security incident of September 11, 2001 was a sign of a main wake-up call for the tourism industry with respect to safety and security issues. It is however unfortunate that, majority of the industry leaders implemented lip-up services in response to security issues and ignored a full implementation of security policies. Majority of the tourism offices as well as visitors’ bureaus have not implemented reliable contacts with the nearest police departments. Additionally, majority of the officers in most of the existing police departments have been given little or no training in tourism protection services or tourism oriented policing. Security of visitors has to be a focus of primary concern if the existing tourism destinations will evade the heavy economic losses that might arise in the future.
The absence of tourism security affects marketing in this industry which is easily scared by poor security. The issue of tourism security goes beyond providing sufficient policemen in the streets. Enhancing tourism security guarantees attraction of baby boomers, whose contribution to the success of this industry cannot be underestimated. Although economic meltdown cannot be avoided, the generation of baby boomers reserves the potentials for the most attractive niche market in as far as tourism is concerned. This generation is anticipated to retire soonest in droves and they are likely to seek for meaningful experiences, fun as well as education in other areas.
Adopting passive equipments of security including cameras and other modes of technology though helpful, cannot replace the role of human beings in ensuring security. Although the use of innovative technological devices contributes significantly towards the enhancement of security, they must be used to complement the efforts of security professionals because they cannot give en entirely empathetic hospitality. Blending technology with human security is the best choice.