Opinião do Especialista

July: Tourism’s Trying Half-Month (Peter Tarlow)

Publicado por Peter Tarlow

The month of July has not been an easy month in the world, and especially in the world of tourism.  Until recently, tourism oriented nations experienced one or another form of crisis on a tri or bi-monthly or monthly basis.  During the last few weeks, the crisis du mois seems to have become the crisis de la semaine (the crisis of the week).

During the last few weeks, the Middle East, especially Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and the Asian sub-continent have witnessed an upsurge of violence.  Attacks have not only been against tourist hotels but also against restaurants, in such diverse places as Dacca, Bangladesh and Bagdad Iraq.  In both cased patrons were attacked and tourists (or foreigners), taken hostage and murdered.  Last month terrorists began to shoot restaurant patrons in Tel Aviv, Israel, and only the quick action of the other patrons stopped the attack from being worse.

Also during this first half July tourism officials are still dealing with the disappearance of the Air Egypt plane over the Mediterranean Sea.  In the United States the tragic killing of two African-American men provoked street manifestations around the nation and the murder of police officers in both Texas and Tennessee.  Europe continues to deal with a continental-wide crime wave and the latest terrorist attack in Nice, France.  The Nice attack occurred in southern France’s most important tourism city on Bastille Day and the start of the summer tourism season.  In Turkey there was a failed coup d’état with hundreds either dying or injured.  To add to the tourism industry’s challenges there is Brazil where the Summer Olympics Games are to be held in the midst of a major crime wave coupled with an economic and political crisis, and where the possibility of a police strike during the 2016 Olympics plus a series of medical issues threatens the Olympic Games’ success. Visitors will be ”treated” with seeing some 85,000 soldiers on the streets of Rio de Janeiro.  South America must also deal with Venezuela as that country continues its downhill slide into both hunger and political turmoil and with the aftermath of Ecuador’s earthquakes.  To round out the month’s first fortnight, in the USA both major political parties are holding their well televised national conventions with thousands of protestors promising violence.

A Word of Caution

Terrorism, a phenomenon that has existed in various forms for over 400 years, is a highly complex topic.  It is so complex that there is a whole scholarly literature dedicated to understanding it and its impact on both tourism and world economies.  This short article does not provide an extensive analysis of the topic but rather seeks to raise important questions for contemplation by those in the tourism industry.

Furthermore, despite the public’s desire for total travel and tourism security and safety, no one can guarantee a pain-free and totally secure travel experience.  Even the best experts cannot predict every act of terror and no one can control a free media.  Especially in an age or terrorism risk is not only part of the travel and tourism experience, risk it is also a part of life.

The following article then does not provide a recipe for travel and tourism safety for anyone particular part of the industry.  It is strongly recommended that tourism experts consult on a continuous basis with travel security experts before implementing any policy decisions.  To do less is to place the traveling public in undue risk.

Dealing with an Age of Violence

The Tourism Industry, if it is to survive in an ever changing and more challenging world will need to consider various paradigm shifts.  Among these shifts are the following:
-The tourism industry needs to come to the sad but true realization that it is not merely collateral damage within the world of terrorism, but rather that tourism is one of terrorism’s principal targets.  Tourism stands for everything that threatens terrorists. Tourism is about open societies in which we judge each person on his or her merits.  Terrorism is just a modern form of Nazism, where people are judged not by who they are but to which social, national, or religious group they belong.
-The tourism industry will have to find a way to creatively protect its customers, without creating so many travel difficulties that travel becomes unbearable.  Currently tourism safety and security are more about “security-theater” than about real security.  Airport security is often reactive and haphazard at best.  All too often those working in it are often poorly trained and paid resulting in personnel whose actions are all too often unprofessional.
-Tourism education will need to include courses on tourism safety and security. These courses are rarely taught.  Once again, universities are not keeping pace with a changing world.  This lack of cutting edge thought combined with political correctness means that future leaders in tourism will not be prepared to deal with a changing world.
-The tourism industry needs to become much more knowledgeable about terrorism and violence. The media and politicians from all sides of the spectrum continue to use misleading words such as “lone wolf” or “lone wolf attacks”.  These terms are not only misleading, but also often dangerous and misleading. The use of a false narrative creates either a sense of ennui, despair, or “mis-actions”.  Tourism officials need to get beyond political correctness and as the Egyptian government has done, actually identify culprits and then begin to face ideological warfare.
-Tourism officials must learn to coordinate their marketing strategies with their security experts.  Most tourism centers have a great deal of demographic information.  Yet often various tourism departments fail to share information with each other.  Just as security professionals must realize that their actions impact the way that tourism is marketed and thrives, so too must marketing experts come to realize that they must coordinate their campaigns with their tourism security experts.  To make matters worse, too many tourism entities lack a tourism safety and security manager or department.
·      Tourism security experts must realize that no two tourism entities are the same and that tourism needs individualized security tailored to a particular locale rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.  This realization means that security experts need to take into account such variables as: language spoken by visitors at specific locales, visitors’ age ranges, and visitors’ special physical needs.  Because the list of variables is almost infinite, the best forms of risk management need to be employed so as to gain the most protection from available resources.

-Tourism marketers will have to come to the realization that these problems cannot be covered over. No matter how much money the tourism industry spends are feel-good marketing, it cannot market away terrorists’ threats to the industry.  Currently marketers dominate the tourism industry.  Marketers tend to find lots of money for advertising but never seem to have the funds to promote security. The tourism industry says it is interested in protecting its clients, but rarely are words turned into action.  Instead, a great deal of caring is expressed during a crisis and then once the crisis passes the industry returns to business as usual.
-Tourism officials need to know when to discourage tourism.  Although it is almost impossible to predict a specific terrorist attack, such as that which occurred in Nice, France, other manifestations are predictable. The absolute best protection is not to be at that locale.  This statement does not mean that we should not travel.  As noted above merely living is a form of risk-taking.  It does mean that certain geographic sections of the world have specific risks and that tourism officials must be aware of those risks, explain the risks honestly, take measure to mitigate the risks and have a recovery plans in place should the risk occur.
-The tourism industry needs to have real recovery plans in place.  This means that medical plans need to be coordinated prior to a terrorist attack and not as an after-thought.  For example, if your community has a manor stadium or other areas with large crowds, be sure that there is both an evacuation plan and a triage plan put in place. Practice these plans and know what are their weaknesses.  Make sure that there is a communication plan in place and a way to get needed cash or lines of additional credit for visiting victims.

These are only a few of the generalities that tourism leaders will need to consider now and into the future.  Terrorism and acts of criminality and violence cannot be solved with nothing more than innovative marketing.  These social cancers must be faced, diagnoses and defeated.  If a modicum of certainty we can predict that locations such as Europe and parts of the Middle East will see higher levels of terrorism.  The United States has numerous explosive situations throughout the country.  These social sores can ignite in a form of societal spontaneous combustion.  Latin America lives on the verge of crime, terror and corruption.

These are real problems that deserve the attention of all who care about the world’s largest peacetime industry.   If the tourism industry chooses to face these issues head-on then it shall become a major force for peace in the world, but if it chooses a form of marketing-ostracism than it may expect further bloodshed and negative headlines. The choice is up to us.

Sobre o autor

Peter Tarlow

Dr. Peter Tarlow, PH.D, Founder and President of Tourism & More
Dr. Peter E. Tarlow is a world-renowned speaker and expert specializing in the impact of crime and terrorism on the tourism industry, event and tourism risk management, and economic development. Since 1990, Tarlow has been teaching courses on tourism, crime & terrorism to police forces and security and tourism professionals throughout the world.
Tarlow earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Texas A&M University. He also holds degrees in history, in Spanish and Hebrew literatures, and in psychotherapy. In 1996, Tarlow became Hoover Dam's consultant for tourism development and security. In 1998, Tarlow's role at the Bureau of Reclamation expanded. He was asked to develop a tourism security program for all Bureau of Reclamation properties and visitor centers. Tarlow continued his involvement with the Bureau of Reclamation until December of 2012. In 1999, the US Customs service asked Tarlow to work with its agents in the area of customer service, cultural awareness, and custom's impact on the tourism and visitor industry.
In 2000, due to interagency cooperation on the part of the Bureau of Reclamation, Tarlow helped to prepare security and FBI agents for the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He also lectured for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Tarlow is currently working with police departments of the state of Rio de Janeiro for the 2014 World Cup Games and 2016 Olympic games.
In 2003, US National Park Service asked Tarlow to take on special assignments dealing with iconic security for its multiple tourism sites. Within the US government Tarlow has lectured for the Department of the Interior, for the Department of Justice (Bureau of Prisons and Office of US Attorneys-General), the Department of Homeland Security and the American Bar Association’s Latin America Office. Tarlow has worked with other US and international government agencies such as the US Park Service at the Statue of Liberty, The Smithsonian's Institution's Office of Protection Services, Philadelphia's Independence Hall and Liberty Bell and New York's Empire State Building. He has also worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the United Nation's WTO (World Tourism Organization), the Center for Disease Control (Atlanta, Triangle Series), the Panama Canal Authority. He has taught members of national police forces such as the members of the US Supreme Court police, and the Smithsonian Museum’s police. He has also worked with numerous police forces throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.
In 2013 Tarlow was named the Special Envoy for the Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. At almost the same time the US State Department asked him to lecture around the world on issues of tourism security and safety. In 2013, Tarlow began working with the Dominican Republic’s national tourism police, then called POLITUR, and as of 2014 called CESTUR.
Since 1992, Tarlow has been the chief organizer of multiple tourism conferences around the world, including the International Tourism Safety Conference in Las Vegas. Since 2006 he has also been part of the organizational teams for the Biannual Aruba Tourism Conference and has helped organize conferences in St. Kitts, Charleston (South Carolina), Bogota, Colombia, Panama City, and Curaçao. In starting in 2013, Tarlow became a co-organizer of the first and second Mediterranean Tourism Conference held in Croatia.
Tarlow's fluency in many languages enables him to speak throughout the world (United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Africa, and the Eastern Pacific, and Asia). Tarlow lectures on a wide range of current and future trends in the tourism industry, rural tourism economic development, the gaming industry, issues of crime and terrorism, the role of police departments in urban economic development, and international trade.
Tarlow has done extensive research on the relationship between tourism, crime, and terrorism. He also works with police forces to understand their constituents and provide the best customer service possible. Tarlow publishes extensively in these areas and writes numerous professional reports for US governmental agencies and for businesses throughout the world. He also functions as an expert witness in courts throughout the United States on matters concerning tourism security and safety, and issues of risk management.
Tarlow’s research ranges from the impact of school calendars on the tourism industries to tourism ecology and business. These research interests allow Tarlow to work with communities throughout the United States. He is teaches how communities can use their tourism as an economic development tool during difficult economic times, and at the same time improve their local residents’ quality of life.
Tarlow speaks throughout North and Latin America, the Middle East and Europe, and Asia. Some of the topics about which he speaks are: the sociology of terrorism, its impact on tourism security and risk management, the US government's role in post terrorism recovery, and how communities and businesses must face a major paradigm shift in the way they do business. Tarlow trains numerous police departments throughout the world in TOPPS (Tourism Oriented Policing and Protection Services) and offers certification in this area. Tarlow provides keynote speeches around the world on topics as diverse as dealing with economies in crisis to how beautification can become a major tool for economic recovery.
Tarlow is a well-known author in the field of tourism security. He is a contributing author to multiple books on tourism security, and has published numerous academic and applied research articles regarding issues of security including articles published in The Futurist, the Journal of Travel Research and Security Management. In 1999 Tarlow co-edited "War, Terrorism, and Tourism." a special edition of the Journal of Travel Research. In 2002 Tarlow published Event Risk Management and Safety (John Wiley & Sons). Tarlow also writes and speaks for major organizations such as the Organization of US State Dams, and The International Association of Event Managers. In 2011, Tarlow published: Twenty Years of Tourism Tidbits: The Book. The Spanish language addition is to be released in 2012. He has recently published a book on Cruise Safety (written in Portuguese) entitled Abordagem Multdisciplinar dos Cruzeiros Turísticos. In June of 2014, Elsevier published Tarlow’s newest book: Tourism Security: Strategies for Effective Managing Travel Risk and Safety. He is currently writing a new book on tourism sports security (to be published in late 2016) and a series of articles on the same topic for the American Society of Industrial Security.
Tarlow’s wide range of professional and scholarly articles includes articles on subjects such as: "dark tourism", theories of terrorism, and economic development through tourism. Tarlow also writes and publishes the popular on-line tourism newsletter Tourism Tidbits read by thousands of tourism and travel professionals around the world in its English, Spanish, and Portuguese language editions. Tarlow has been a regular contributor to the joint electronic tourism newsletter, ETRA, published jointly by Texas A&M University and the Canadian Tourism Commission. His articles often appear in a wide range of both trade and academic publications including Brilliant Results and Destination World.
Tarlow lectures at major universities around the world. Tarlow is a member of the Distance Learning Faculty of "The George Washington University" in Washington, DC. He is also an adjunct faculty member of Colorado State University and the Justice Institute of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) and a member of the graduate faculty of Guelph University in Ontario, Canada. Tarlow is an honorary professor at the Universidad de Especialidades Turisticas (Quito, Ecuador), of the Universidad de la Policía Federal (Buenos Aires, Argentina), la Universidad de Huánuco, Peru, and on the EDIT faculty at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, (O'ahu). At numerous other universities around the world Tarlow lectures on security issues, life safety issues, and event risk management. These universities include institutions in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. In 2015 the Faculty of Medicine of Texas A&M University asked Tarlow to “translate” his tourism skills into practical courses for new physicians. As such he teaches courses in customer service, creative thinking and medical ethics at the Texas A&M medical school
Tarlow has appeared on national televised programs such as Dateline: NBC and on CNBC and is a regular guest on radio stations around the US. Tarlow organizes conferences around the world dealing with visitor safety and security issues and with the economic importance of tourism and tourism marketing. He also works with numerous cities, states, and foreign governments to improve their tourism products and to train their tourism security professionals.
Tarlow is a founder and president of Tourism & More Inc. (T&M). He is a past president of the Texas Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA). Tarlow is a member of the International Editorial Boards of "Turizam" published in Zagreb, Croatia, "Anatolia: International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research," published in Turkey, and "Estudios y Perspectivas en Turismo," published in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and American Journal of Tourism Research.


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