Risk And Safety As Related To Tourism Tourism Essay Example
Risk And Safety As Related To Tourism Tourism Essay Example

Risk And Safety As Related To Tourism Tourism Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2083 words)
  • Published: October 14, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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The main global issue is the evaluation of risk and safety perception among potential tourists in relation to tourism. This is particularly important in the current political and socio-economic climate, where travelers face increasing risks outside their usual place of residence. There is a significant likelihood that individuals may encounter terrorism, international conflict, health hazards, or natural disasters.

The tourism industry must have a comprehensive understanding of how international tourists perceive risk and safety in order to thrive. Therefore, ensuring safety becomes a prerequisite and minimum standard for the fundamental operations of this industry.

Research and attention towards risk and safety within the tourism sector are essential. While some researchers explicitly differentiate between safety and security, not all researchers in tourism and hospitality do so. It is important to recognize that tourism security and safety differ from other types of security measures. S


ome experts propose an alternative definition where both concepts are combined under "tourism security" (Tarlow, 2007b).

Ensuring safety and security at destinations plays a crucial role in promoting the growth of tourism (Cavlek, 2002). According to Tarlow (2007b), tourism is a global and highly competitive industry.

The text discusses the resilience of international tourism in overcoming challenges such as economic crises, natural disasters, wars, and epidemics.
The text highlights the significance of tourists' expenditure on tourism products and their subjective and experiential perception. Crime and safety concerns pose a greater threat than any other negative factor, greatly affecting tourism. The UNWTO's Tourism 2020 Vision predicts that international arrivals will reach approximately 1.6 billion by 2020, underscoring the global importance of this industry. Hazards associated with tourism are divided into five main categories: terrorism, war/political instability, health issues, crime

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and cultural/language difficulties. These hazards not only jeopardize tourists but also impact host societies and the home countries of tourists. For instance, crimes like robbery, rape or murder can occur.

The passage below discusses various challenges that may arise when traveling such as communication obstacles due to cultural differences, misunderstandings, and difficulty adjusting to foreign lifestyles. Equipment issues during travel or at destinations can also be problematic along with the potential for not receiving value for money. If travel expectations are unmet, there is a risk of financial loss or wastage. Falling ill during the trip or at its conclusion without receiving vacation benefits due to poor performance from the travel service or product is another concern. Additionally, physical danger and accidents that could harm one's well-being are potential risks to consider.Furthermore, the traveler may be affected by political instability in the country they are visiting. This can have psychological consequences as well, as the travel experience may not align with their personality or self-image, potentially damaging their self-esteem and reputation. Additionally, there is a chance that personal satisfaction or self-actualization may not be achieved through the travel experience. These factors have been discussed by Sonmez and Graefe (1998a), Basala and Klenosky (2001), and Dimanche and Lepetic (1999). Safety and security play a crucial role in the tourism industry, as tourists' perception of safety greatly influences their decision to travel internationally. If a destination is perceived as unsafe, tourists are likely to avoid it. Therefore, providers of tourist facilities must prioritize protecting guests' safety while meeting their vacation expectations. Recognizing the significance of perceptions of travel risk, anxiety, and safety in international travel is essential. Despite

its importance, researchers have not given much attention to the safety aspect of tourism health and safety management. However, providing quality service in the tourism sector globally requires addressing this issue. "Safety and security" has been identified as one of the five global forces that will drive the tourism industry in the new millennium. Successful tourism development involves mitigating risks associated with destinations.
In the tourism industry, prioritizing safety and security is crucial for delivering high-quality service. Compared to other economic activities, safety is a critical dimension in this industry. Tourist destinations often face higher vulnerability among tourists to crime. According to Ryan (1993), a destination's safety reputation can be negatively impacted by the perception of crime, thus affecting tourism. To ensure a quality tourist experience, creating a safe environment for tourists is essential. Pizam et al. (1997) and Neumayer (2004) highlight that safety and security are vital for success in this sector. The UNWTO emphasizes that providing a quality tourist product relies on ensuring safety and security (UNWTO, 2003). Meeting these standards means that tourism products or services should not pose any threat to consumers' life, health, interests, or integrity. This includes implementing health measures, maintaining cleanliness in accommodations, and providing accurate information. Tourists are more vulnerable due to their characteristics identified by Sparks (1982), such as carrying large sums of money (Fujii and Mak, 1980; Chesney-Lind and Lind, 1986) as well as valuable items like cameras, cash, and credit cards (Ryan, 1993).thus, it is important to address the issue of theft and safety concerns for tourists with expensive equipment. Coastal countries like Mauritius face social issues such as poverty and wealth disparity, which can

lead locals to view tourists as wealthy individuals with valuable possessions. This perception may result in illegal activities like assaulting tourists to steal their belongings. Therefore, it is crucial to find effective ways to tackle these challenges while still allowing tourists to enjoy their vacation experience.

One cannot deny the significant role that luxury items play in enhancing a tourist's experience in a destination. Photography and capturing the essence of a locale are deeply ingrained in the traditions and folklore of the tourism industry. Prohibiting tourists from bringing high-end equipment on vacation is not a viable solution.

Instead, creating a secure and safe environment for tourists where they can freely move around becomes essential. The perception of safety greatly influences tourism, so addressing theft and safety concerns should be prioritized.If a destination is perceived as unsafe or threatening, it can have a negative impact on customer loyalty. The military confrontation between the US and Libya in 1985 resulted in a significant decrease in tourism in 1986. Approximately two million Americans changed their travel plans, leading to a 30% decline compared to the previous year (Richter & Waugh, 1986; SoA?nmez & Graefe, 1998b; Edgell, 1990). This decline can have severe consequences for the tourism industry as it results in fewer tourist arrivals. George (2003:577) states that this can happen because potential tourists choose not to visit destinations with high crime rates, feel insecure at the destination and avoid activities outside of their accommodations. Moreover, if they have felt threatened or insecure during their visit, they are unlikely to return or recommend the destination. Despite the strong global economic position of the tourism industry, terrorism and political turmoil pose

significant challenges (SoA?nmez & Graefe, 1998b). Political unrest in African countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya has had adverse effects on their status as tourist destinations. It is crucial to maintain a positive image of destinations in order to prevent harm to their reputation.According to the South African Tourism Brand Tracker, between January 2000 and January 2005, safety concerns prevented approximately 22-25 million potential travelers from eight key markets (the USA,the UK Germany France the Netherlands Australia India China) from considering South Africa as a travel destination. The perception of a high crime rate in South Africa creates uncertainty for potential tourists when making travel decisions. Ineffective marketing campaigns in tourism destinations like Mauritius or other islands can have severe consequences for their economic survival since they heavily rely on revenue from tourists. Crimes committed against tourists are widely publicized globally and immediately impact the decline in foreign visitor numbers and the international reputation of the country as a tourist destination. It is crucial to address visitors' concerns about criminal incidents during their vacation by providing them with information about potential hazards they may encounter while visiting tourist areas. This ensures that tourists have a satisfactory experience by equipping them with sufficient knowledge about the area. The text emphasizes informing tourists about specific hazards in tourist areas to better prepare them for unforeseen situations and educating them about emergency procedures if they become victims of a crime.The text highlights the importance of providing emergency phone numbers for fire services, police services, hospitals, and ambulance services. According to George (2002), tourists' fear of crime can be influenced by personal experiences, discussions with friends and acquaintances, exposure

to crime through mass media, perceptions of actual crime rates, and perceptions of police effectiveness at the destination. The text emphasizes that perceived risk can greatly impact guests during their stay even if it does not actually exist. This is because an unnoticed hazard can pose a greater danger as guests remain unaware and unprepared. Additionally, the text underscores the significant role played by media in shaping a positive image of a tourist destination and how governments use media to assure potential visitors about safety levels at the destination – ultimately affecting long-term success. In Tsaur et al.'s study (1997), they used the Analytic Hierarchy Process to determine the weight of different risk evaluation criteria for six popular tour options for Chinese tourists. They focused on physical risks such as potential harm or illness due to factors like law enforcement, weather conditions, and hygiene; as well as equipment risks related to malfunctioning equipment such as inadequate communication facilities, unsafe transportation, and vehicle breakdowns.The comprehensive safety and security of tourists should be a priority, extending beyond just hotels or organized tours. Governments need to prioritize this in popular tourist destinations for both organized trips and independent travel. The intangible nature of tourism services increases perceived risk compared to tangible goods due to factors like variability, perishability, and inseparability. It is important to acknowledge that the tourism industry faces various factors that can impact tourist safety and security, such as bad weather, unfriendly locals, airport strikes, unsuitable local food, terrorism, crime, political instability, disease outbreaks, and natural disasters. Early researchers like Roehl and Fesenmaier studied how risk is perceived in tourism. Page and Hall (2002) as well

as Lynch (1960) surveyed respondents about their experiences with risks during holidays and recent overnight trips. Their findings indicated that unfamiliarity with the environment had implications for fear. Additional studies have also highlighted how foreign visitors may lack awareness of marine and road environments in their visited locations. Familiarity with a destination significantly influences one's perception of safety and security.Numerous studies highlight the positive impact of familiarity on destination image and subsequent behavior. Having a higher level of familiarity is believed to offer greater "rewards of security" compared to the potential rewards associated with uncertainty, which can be quite costly. The definition of familiarity can vary; according to Milman and Pizam, it is a binary variable based on whether or not there has been a previous visit. Several researchers have examined the influence of prior visits and found that visitors tend to have more accurate and positive perceptions than non-visitors.

Tasci (2006) argues for a holistic view of safety and security in the tourism industry, rather than solely focusing on hotels. As the tourism industry constantly evolves, safety measures should also adapt to meet the changing needs and desires of tourists. Strategies need to be adjusted in response to changes over the past decade, including an increase in safety and security events such as terrorist attacks, crimes, natural disasters, and accidents at tourist destinations. These occurrences have led travelers to seek more information about safety and security before deciding on a destination (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a). The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States resulted in heightened security measures at various locations where large groups of people gather.Since the September 11th attacks in 2001,

there have been numerous terrorist attacks worldwide, affecting various venues including corporations, airports, ports, bus stations, train stations, sports stadiums, and other similar locations (Borenstein 2001; Business Week, September 24th , 2001; Merzer & Chatterjee 2001). These attacks have occurred in countries such as Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Colombia, Indonesia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia,Pakistan,Afghanistan,Egypt,and Iraq. The safety and security of tourists has become increasingly important as a result. This concern is not limited to hotels but extends throughout the entire journey. Therefore,it is crucial for tourism planners to prioritize implementing safety measures.

However,fears of terrorism along with political instability or war in Middle Eastern countries like Iran and memories of China's Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 that led to the cancellation of visits by thousands of tourists to Beijing can discourage tourism. Even geographically distant destinations like Kenya and Tanzania are affected by such events. Thapa (2004) reports that the war on terror in Afghanistan resulted in a significant decrease (54 percent) in tourist visits to Nepal.

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