DISASTER MANAGEMENT THEME OPENS THE BEST EDUCATION NETWORK THINK TANK V "MANAGING RISK AND CRISIS FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM RESEARCH AND INNOVATION ". KINGSTON, JAMAICA
"Disaster Management: Exploring Ways to Mitigate Disasters Before They Occur" was the topic of discussion led by Dr. Peter Tarlow at the opening of the BEST Education Network THINK TANK V at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. Addressing risk as related to crisis issues and the tourism industry, security expert Dr. Peter Tarlow focused on the three key areas: risk from the perspective of the tourist, risk from the perspective of the tourism industry and how individual tourism providers identify risk impact.
On the subject of safety and tourism, Dr Tarlow stated "There is no such thing as tourism safety. The most we can offer is tourism surety; a lowering of the probability of something happening to a tourist at a specific destination." Dr. Tarlow identified the state wide efforts of Hawaii for tsunami and severe weather crisis planning. "While there will be real estate damage, the likelihood of loss of human life has been minimized by effective planning state wide in the event of a natural disaster of this type."
Commenting on the difference between risk and crisis management, Tarlow noted that "Crisis management takes place when risk management fails. we did not do risk management." Questioning the attendees Tarlow asked "Are the probability and possibilities mapped into the planning for risk, both to visitors and to employees? While visitors are most certainly of utmost concern to a destination, it is the employee which we have most overlooked in terms of risk."
Tarlow's challenge to BEST THINK TANK V attendees is a different way of thinking about risk. "Everything that is taking place in the past is taking place in the future. The tourism industry tends to be lazy, we have ostrich syndrome. Preparing for the future means taking the past seriously. We will never recover. we are always in recovery."
Dr. Peter Tarlow is an internationally recognized expert on tourism security, a lecturer at George Washington University and author of Event Risk Management published by John Wiley and the forthcoming U.S. Government release, Tourism Safety.
The objective of the BEST Education Network THINK TANK V is to bring together researchers from around the world to discuss and invite new avenues of research in the timely issues of "Managing Risk and Crisis for Sustainable Tourism Research and Innovation". The conference extends from June 17 to 20, 2005 and is hosted by the Institute of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.