Opinião do Especialista

The importance of food and food safety for the travel and tourism industry

Publicado por Peter Tarlow

The northern hemisphere’s long summer months are a time to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.  When it comes to food preparation and good food safety habits, however, being too relaxed can destroy a vacation or even terminate in hospitalization. Although no one has recently connected food safety to criminal acts or acts of terrorism, this has occurred in the past.  As we learned during the Covid-19 pandemic health is an important part of tourism security. Likewise, food safety must be an essential component for a sustainable tourism industry. We only have to review some of the problems that the cruise industry has experienced in the past to know that  the quality of our food and water, and the way we safeguard it, are essential elements of successful tourism and travel.   

The issue of food safety is especially important during the summer months when travel is at its peak many people tend to hold informal picnics, bar-b-cues and/or beach parties.  Millions of people around the world associate these hot weather informal summer gatherings with their vacation experience or with good and healthy fun.  It takes, however, only one instance of spoiled food or inadvertent food poisoning to ruin a person’s vacation or a locale’s reputation.

Food impacts our travel and vacation experience, and it has the ability to make our visitors either happy or angry.  For example, we might hypothesize that one of the many reasons that air travel is now often called “flightmeres” is among other reasons the poor quality (or absence of) airline meals.  In the post-Covid world of tourism travelers have also had to face inflated food prices and these high prices impact not restaurants costs but the total cost of a summer vacation.  Overpriced food not only raises the total cost of a summer vacation but impacts the way that visitors view the locale and their desire to return to that location. When we combine the expensive food with an issue of food safety or hygiene then no amount of marketing, at least in the short term, can repair a tourism locale’s overall reputation.  

To help you think about the impact of food on your section of the tourism industry, please consider the following.

-Meet with restaurateurs regarding the safety of salad bars and buffets. The first act of food terrorism in modern history took place in the 1980s in the State of Oregon. Too many people in the tourism and travel industry have not begun to think through this potential problem.

Work with local fairs and events. Most rural events and festivals serve food, yet rarely consider issues of risk management.  In most cases, the food problems that take place at a festival can be avoided with some extra planning and a bit of caution.  Tourism professionals need o ask themselves if the event/festival manager has taken a course in food safety, how much attention has been paid to risk management issues, and what policies and procedures would go into effect in the event of a problem.

-Work with local health boards.  A tourism industry can be destroyed by the public’s perception that eating there is unsafe.  Currently food trucks are very popular around the world.  Be sure that these trucks meet international food safety standards.  Check to see that drinking water and drinking fountains are safe. For example, several Latin American nations suffer from the fact that the public believes that they do not offer clean drinking water, wholesome food products, or that there is a general lack of sanitation. Whenever you see a health violation, report it to both the owner and to the proper authorities. Remember it takes very little to destroy a tourism industry.

-If you are a tourism officer, a hotel concierge, or a give visitors advice as to where to eat, be up-to-date.  Restaurants often come and go at a rapid rate and change of ownership is common in the restaurant business. Be accurate and up-to-date with your information. Be able to advise people not only by their likes but also by price range.

-Create multi-lingual menus. In places where there are visitors from many places, create multi-language menus. If there are no translators around, speak with your local community college or high school foreign language teachers.

-Train waiters and waitresses to be culturally and medically sensitive. If a person asks for no pork, do not bring a salad with bacon bits.  Teach your staff never to state: “it is just a little bit”.  Waiters and waitresses should be familiar with the content of menus and if that is impossible, then train them to ask rather than create an answer.  In a world with cultural, religious, health, and allergic restrictions, such a policy is essential.

Be aware of medical issues and make sure that all food service people are healthy.  For example, if a visitor is allergic to peanuts then be sure to inform a patron that peanut oil was used in the preparation of a particular food item. In the same manner, be careful of shellfish for those who are allergic and never challenge a patron who states that s/he cannot eat a particular food.  Also, many food servers are afraid of losing a day’s wages if they are sick. Provide enough sick-days so that a cook or waiters/waitresses do not handle food when sick.

-Educate tourism professionals on what is and what is not available. The public often seeks places that are out of the way or unique. Train personnel to steer people who desire such eating options to these types of places. Often, out of the way restaurants have special schedules and are hard to find. These moments are customer service moments. Taking the time to call for the visitor, giving directions or helping the person in some other special way, will become part of the dining experience.

-Emphasize your community’s special foods or dishes. Your community or attraction may not be Paris, New Orleans, or New York, but so what? To make a food-impact, all you have to do is to develop one local dish and then get it publicized. In a like manner, ambience can add a great deal to the dining experience.  In reality the type of ambience or décor is less important than the fact that it meets the public’s expectations.  For example, several lower New York City lower East Side restaurants have created an image of brashness bordering on rudeness that seems to fit expectations and has become its own sort of tourist attraction. The public will do the rest.

-From the perspective of tourism, the age of the rapid franchise might have hit its hay day. Tourism is about new experiences, and too many fast-food restaurants have not found a way to mix efficiency with the local cuisine.  Many of them have not only cut back on service personnel and also present a less hygienic look. Travelers simply do not want to eat what they can have at home. To add to this problem, too many fast-food restaurants are simply less and less efficient. As the fast-food industry tried to expand its menu, it lost its most precious resource: time savings.  To lessen this problem, work with your fast-food outlets. Help them to theme their restaurants, to drop specific items from the menu and to add others.

-Remember the last and first impression of a locale are almost always the most important. What is true of landscaping is also true of “urbanscaping” and “restaurantscaping”.  The types of food that is offered to incoming and departing visitors helps to set the entire trip’s mind-set. These then are the establishments that ought to receive the tourism and travel industry’s top culinary priority.


The World Tourism Network’s Bali Five-in-One Think Tank Experience: It is more than a mere chance to learn and network in the world’s most hospitable location.

When: September 28-Oct 1, 2023 

If your business is related to travel & tourism then you can discover new experiences in a unique part of the world  in an entirely new format from other global travel tourism events – 

This out-of-the box unique experience will allow you to meet and network with the contributors who are shaping the future of our Travel Tourism Industry be more accountable and sustainable

Some of the topics to learn and discuss are: *Marketing to Indonesian tourists 

*Health and medical tourism  

*Cultural tourism, 

*How climate change is impacting SMEs around the world

*Resilience with Passion

*Ad-on tours of Bali

For more information go to < https://time2023.com>  or contact Mudi Astuti at <mudiastuti68@yahoo.com

Learn all about the World Tourism Network’s new cultural tourism program at

You can become a member of this exciting program at: https://wtn.travel/join/


The Art of the Assessment Study
Assessment studies are to tourism what medical check-ups are to people.  Every locale needs to have a full assessment study to determine both tourism strengths and weaknesses and to build a better industry and to avoid future problems.  Please contact T&M for full details.


 For a complete listing of topics and information, please check our web page http://www.tourismandmore.com/contact or e-mail us at ptarlow@tourismandmore.com

Please contact us at ptarlow@tourismandmore.com for more information regarding costs and available dates.

All seminars and speeches can be presented in English, Portuguese, or Spanish.

1) Tourism challenges in a post-Covid world.
2)  Political advocacy through tourism: Using tourism to change the perception of your locale, business or nation

3) New forms of tourism: from agro-tourism to dark tourism

4) Tourism and Heath: Surviving the Next Pandemic.
5) Surviving man-made and natural disasters

6) Successful and failed tourism marketing strategies.
7) Avoiding tourism crises by using good risk management techniques
8) Dealing with over- and under- tourism, how to match the number of visitors to your locale’s capabilities
9) Tourism Confronts Terrorism: What You Need to Know to Maintain a Viable Industry in the Face of Terrorism
10) Training Your Police: Tourism Oriented Policing (TOPPs), how it works and why it is essential for a viable tourism industry.
11) Generational Marketing: How to market tourism to diverse age groups
12) Medical tourism: its advantages and the challenges
13) Something from Nothing: The Art of Creating New Attractions.
14) Dealing with the Media: Transforming the Media into your friend 
15) Selling to the Latin American Tourism Market: No, they are not all the same!
16) Selling to the US Market:  One country and lots of niche groups


Books on Tourism in English 

Peter Tarlow’s Newest book: Available on Amazon

(Given in alphabetical order by title/Most of these books are available at Amazon.com or via the publisher)

 (see below for Spanish and Portuguese language books) 

1) A Supply Chain Management Guide to Business by BettyKildow@comcast.net

2) Beach Safety and the Law, Edited by Jeff Wilks published by Queensland (Australia) Law Society

3) Event Risk Management and Safety (ISBN 0-471-40168-4) by Peter E. Tarlow, published by John Wiley & Sons.  Presenting theory and practical applications. To purchase this book, visit http://www.wiley.com/ or http://www.amazon.com/. If you would like Dr. Tarlow to speak or train people in this area, please contact him at ptarlow@tourismandmore.com

4) Leisure Travel: A Marketing Handbook, by Stanley Plog, Pearson Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2004.  It’s available through the website of Pearson Prentice-Hall for $25.

5) Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism by Philip T. Kotler (Author), John T. Bowen (Author), James Makens Ph.D. (Author), Seyhmus Baloglu (Author) 7th editon. Available on Amazon.

6) Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis, by Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter Published by Elsevier

7) Personal Reconstruction, by Peter Tarlow, Tom Marrs, Nathaniel Tarlow & Eduardo Leite. How to prevent or recover from a personal crisis. Available at Amazon.

8) Personal Resilliance, by Peter Tarlow and Séverine Obertelli, Quest Publishing, Miami Florida

 9) Restoring Tourism Destinations in Crisis by Dr David Beirman: Published By Allen & Unwin (Australia & SE Asia) and CABI Publishing North America/ Europe 2003. For more information contact the author at david.beirman@uts.edu.au 

10) Sports Travel Security by Peter Tarlow, published by Elsevier

11) Terrorism and the Economy, edited by Karin W. Glaser, For more information please go to: http://www.elevenpub.com/law/catalogus/terrorism-and-the-economy-1#

12) The Economics of Tourism Destinations, by Norbert Vanhove, Published by Elsevier

13) The Ethics of Terrorism: Innovative Approaches from an International Perspective. Eds Thomas Albert: Publisher: Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Il; USA.  Mailing Orders may be obtained directly to use: books@ccthomas.com.

14) The Sage Encyclopedia of Travel and Tourism; Three Volume Series, Published by Sage

15) Tourism Crises and Destination Recovery, David Beirman, Published by Sage Australia, For more information contact David Beirman at <David.Beirman@uts.edu.au>

16) The Tourism Gaze 3.0 by John Urry and Jonas Larsen.  An all new updated version of a great classic. Published by Sage.

17) Tourism: Principles and Practices, by John Fletcher, Alan Fyall, David Gilbert, and Stephen Wanhill.  Published by Pearson

18) Tourism and Mobility, Burns, P. and Novelli M. eds. (Wallingford: CABI

19)Tourism Development: Growth, Myths and Inequalities, Burns, P. and Novelli M. eds. (2008). Wallingford: CABI

20) Tourism Safety and the Security for the Caribbean, Drs. Andrew Spencer and Peter Tarlow, Published by Emerald 

21) Tourism in Turbulent Times. Toward Safe Experiences for Visitors. Edited by Jeff Wilks, Donna Pendergast, and Peter Leggart. Published by Elsevier.

22) Tourism Management: Analysis, Behavior and Strategy, edited by Woodside and Martin, published by Cabi, London, England

23) Tourism-Oriented Policing and Protective Services,Peter Tarlow, published by IGI

24) Tourism Security: Strategies for Effectively Managing Travel Risk and Safety by Peter Tarlow  published by Elsevier ISBN: 978-0-12-411570-5

25) Tourism Security & Safety, from Theory to Practice. Edited by Yoel Mansfeld and Abraham Pizam, published by Elsevier.

26) The 2020 Election: A Suvivor’s Guide: Peter Tarlow and Steve Vincent

27) Twenty Years of Tourism Tidbits: by Dr. Peter Tarlow and Dr. Tom Marrs.  The Book is now on Kindle and Amazon. Please go to

28) 24 Sustainable Cultural Tourism: Small-Scale Solutions by Susan Guyette, Ph.D. ISBN: 978-0-9858788-0-1 On Amazon.com

29) 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business by Evanne Schmarder and Peter Pelland. Published by Train Rec Productions. Please contact E. Schmarder  evanne@roadabode.com on where to purchase this book or find it on amazon 

 Libros en español/ Livros em Português

1.  Abordagem Multidisciplinar dos Cruzeiros Turísticos (A Multi-disciplinary Approach to the Study of Cruises) by Dr. Peter Tarlow, Ericka Amorim, Cyntia Andrade, Nina Cardona and Valéria Mariotti. Please contact Ericka Amorim at email: erickaaa@msn.com.

2) Antropologia e Turismo. Teorias, métodos e praxis,  por Xerardo Pereiro e Filipa Fernande. Para comprarlo dirijase a  


3) Desarrollo del turismo en América Latina: fases, enfoques e internacionalización por Wallingre, N

Disponible en  http://eyapublicaciones.web.unq.edu.ar

4) Geografía y Turismo. Aspectos territoriales del manejo y gestión del turismo. Editorial Félix Varela. La Habana, 2013, 295 páginas Autor: Eros Salinas Chávez ,  contacto:  esalinas@ftur.uh.cu

5) Inversión Hotelera, by Alfredo Ascanio. Go to: http://etrillas.com.mx/trillas/busqueda/php
6).   La Nueva Fiebre del Oro. Las otras ciudades del turismo en el Caribe (Varadero, Bavaro- Punta Cana).  To obtain a copy of this book please visit: GGU-AGE: http://www.uib.es/ggu/publicaciones.html
OCDS UIB:http://cooperacio.uib.cat/digitalAssets/221/221991_Las-otras-ciudades-del-turismo-en-El-Caribe.pdf

7)  ¿Ocio o….Neg-Ocio?

Abelardo Pagani

8) Principios, Organización, y práctica de turismo, Ramón Martín, Editorial Felix Valela, Havana, Cuba

9) Productos Turísticos,  Medina, Santqamariana, y Salinas,  Escuela de Altos Estudios de Hoteleria y Turismo, La Habana, Cuba
10)  Turismo en el Caribe, por “Jesús Manuel González Pérez y otros.  Please contact Dr. Gonzalez for additional information: jesus.gonzalez@uib.es

11)  Turismo Sustentable por Alfredo Ascanio and Marcus Vinicius .Go to:  http://etrillas.com.mx/trillas/busqueda/php


Some Upcoming Tourism Conferences

The World Tourism Network’s Bali  Five-in-One Think Tank Experience: It is more than a mere chance to learn and network in the world’s most hospitable location

When: September 28-Oct 1, 2023 

If your business is related to travel & tourism then you can discover new experiences in a unique part of the world  in an entirely new format from other global travel tourism events – 

This out-of-the box unique experience will allow you to meet and network with the contributors who are shaping the future of our Travel Tourism Industry be more accountable and sustainable

Some of the topics to learn and discuss are: *Marketing to Indonesian tourists 

*Health and medical tourism  

*Cultural tourism, 

*How climate change is impacting SMEs around the world

*Resilience with Passion

*Ad-on tours of Bali

For more information go to < https://time2023.com>  or contact Mudi Astuti at <mudiastuti68@yahoo.com


About the Author:

Dr. Peter E. Tarlow is the President of T&M, a founder of the Texas chapter of TTRA and a popular author and speaker on tourism. Tarlow is a specialist in the areas of sociology of tourism, economic development, tourism safety and security. Tarlow speaks at governors’ and state conferences on tourism and conducts seminars throughout the world and for numerous agencies and universities.

If you know of anyone else who might enjoy “Tourism Tidbits,” please send his/her email address to ptarlow@tourismandmore.com, Please let us know of any topic that you would like to see covered by “Tourism Tidbits.” We invite others to submit articles for consideration for publication.

You are welcome to reproduce “Tourism Tidbits” or any part of “Tourism Tidbits” with proper citing.  We hope that you will see “Tourism Tidbits” as a place where tourism, visitor, and travel professionals exchange ideas and information. “Tourism Tidbits” does not offer or provide specific legal or financial advice. Our goal is to provide a “review” for industry personnel and discuss provocative issues. We remind all readers that every specific business decision should be made only after you have done the proper research. The author(s) accept(s) no responsibility for any loss due to any information published in “Tourism Tidbits.”

All articles sent to “Tourism Tidbits” and accepted for publication are owned by “Tourism Tidbits” and may be subjected to editorial review and rewriting (with permission of the author). All questions about “Tourism Tidbits”, suggestions, or cancellations should be addressed to Dr. Peter E. Tarlow at ptarlow@tourismandmore.com

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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