Risk, Crisis And Disaster Management: 746045

Crisis and Disaster in Tourism, Event and Hospitality Industry


Tourism is a significant economic sector in most countries across the world. It has experienced continued growth and has diversified to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. The economic prosperity of some countries is dependent on tourism, hospitality and events. Globalization and advancement in technologies has enabled easy access of destinations with different attractive sites for holidays and visits.  The industry has modernized and is closely linked to the development of new destinations. It has become a key factor in the socio-economic progress.  The immense growth in the tourism sector is also as a result of the technological advancement and development in areas such as transportations, social media and internet usage. These features opened the world to many destinations within reach.

However, according to Schumann (2013), the industry advancement has opened the businesses up to different global risks which are associated with globalization. Tourism is considered a fragile industry as the high demand for travel is vulnerable to numerous risks such as culture shock, conflicts, an outbreak of communicable and deadly diseases, terrorism, instability of currencies, economic fluctuations, natural disasters such as tsunamis or earthquakes, energy crisis among others. There is a lot of crisis and disaster affecting the tourism industry ranging from natural and human factors. A small scale crisis in one part of the world can greatly affect the tourism market across the globe. For example, health crisis does not confine to borders or policies affecting tourism across the globe. Therefore tourism is susceptible to external factors and pressure of the environment. The paper looks at some of the factors influencing the level of risk associated with crisis and disaster situations in the tourism, events and hospitality industry and the risk treatment options to prevent and control the situations.

Disasters refer to a sudden catastrophic change that has a negative impact on the situation. The disaster can affect the country or compromise people’s lives. There are different types of disaster in the event, tourism and hospitality industry. The first one is ecosystem disaster where life is destroyed; economic disaster is where an organization fails to adjust to the market requirement (Racherla & Hu, 2010). Tourists refrain from visiting the affected area as all the industries that support each other are down. Socio-technology affects the hospitality and tourism sector mostly. The integration of information system is key to advancement and growth of tourism and hospitality industries. A disaster in the socio-technology would affect the industry due to lack of customers (Hall, 2010). Below are some of the risk factors affecting the tourism, events and hospitality industries:


Terrorism influences’ the risk of crisis and disaster situation. Terrorism is characterised by several attack across the world which affects the world has negative impact on the tourism industry. The bombing of hotels which are tourists destinations lead to low profitability and high impact events threatening the viability of the industry (Seabra, Abrantes, & Kastenholz, 2014). Terrorism has negative impact on the tourism industry. Terror organizations target tourists. The attack on tourists indicates the subjective or ideological resistance to western values and beliefs as tourism is viewed to represent capitalism and obvious consumption of the tourists culture.  Other country attack on tourists may represent an attack on the government from the rebel groups. The factors in hospitality or tourism sector associated with terror can be summarized as follows:

The challenge of tourists’ safety attitudes and beliefs. Though the attack occurs in a given single place, they affect the tourism industry worldwide. Travelers and tourists become fearful of their security and it safety is a concern to most travelers not willing to travel on fear of their safety. The attacks to tourists shows the risks the terrorists pose on the tourism industry (Richter & Waugh, 2010). Risky destinations are avoided and tourists opt for safer destinations. The other impact of terrorist attack is the effect on the travel and tourist procedure. Though the attack may occur in a particular place, the responsible authorities develop different measures to protect and provide a high security level for citizens and tourists as well. The attacks might occur on mass transportation facilities or places that large numbers of visitor attend (Beirman, 2013). The terrorists target hospitality locations such as bars and restaurants. It leads to changes on public transportation and tight security on places with number of tourists. The changes also occur on procedures such as visa allocation as countries do not just provide the visas without valid reasons. It is much difficult for countries such as US to provide visa to foreigners.

The fear of terrorist attack leads to cancelation of bookings done by tourists and also reduced number of new bookings. Countries depending so much on tourism are highly affected. Different sectors such as airlines, restaurants and other tourism-related business are highly affected.

Natural disasters

The vulnerability of tourist destinations makes tourists become exposed to danger. The exposure of tourism to natural disasters is linked to the attractiveness of high-risk exotic locations where volcanic activities are common. The disasters have increased in the recent years, and the implications are profound as they affect areas which heavily rely on tourists. These disasters include earthquakes, wildfires hurricane and others. For example, the volcano eruption in Hawaii 2018. The problem of natural disaster affects the security beliefs of tourists, and natural disasters lead to a change of destinations. It also lead to distraction of infrastructure and properties affecting the tourists activities (Kim & Marcouiller, 2015).

Political instabilities and war

The instability and war lead to fear of personal security leading to cancelations. Tourists do not like being associated with too much instability that might cause wars leading to loss of lives (Hall & O’Sullivan, 2011). For example, the occurrence of the 911 terror in September 2001where al-Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group hijacked 4 planes while carrying out suicide attacks against the United States targets. It leads to the death of over 3000 people triggering major United States initiatives to combat the process. This rendered the twin towers a dangerous place to visit and created fear among the citizens. It increases the perception of risks of different destinations.  These conflicts affect not only the affected place but also the destinations of areas around the affected place (Fleischer & Buccola, 2012). It leads to a lot of cancelations on visiting a new destination.

Disease outbreak

Health issues associated with international and domestic tourism affects the hospitality, events and tourism sector widely. There is integration between tourism and the health. The overall experience of a tourist would determine the satisfaction level and review of the destination. Health crisis can affect the quality of life of tourists, and the destination too would be associated with bad health leading to no destination visitors. The health affects the overall satisfaction of tourists, and an outbreak of a disease leads to cancelation of visits. The quality of the tourism and the satisfaction of the tourists experience from a trip or holiday is widely recognized, and in case of the poor health from the tourist, it might tarnish the resulting experience of the chosen holiday destination (Lawton and Page 2011). With globalization and everyone traveling the world, it is possible to transfer a local disease internationally. Ones an outbreak occurs in a certain part or country, the entire continent is generalized, hence affecting all the regions near the affected area. Health and food safety are critical as they might lead to loss of life or development of unknown diseases

Risk treatment options in managing crisis and disasters in events, tourism and hospitality industry

There is need to manage the risk associated with tourism, events and hospitality industry. The crisis and disaster management processes have to evaluate and recognize the risks to the tourism industries and have to make decisions to manage the situations. Crisis preparation has to be done in advance and measures put in place to handle crisis or disasters that may occur (Aswani, Diedrich & Currier 2015). Crisis preparation refers to processes the organization develops to prevent, contain and recover from the crisis that may occur and avoid future reoccurrences. For organizations involved in high-risk businesses such as airlines, coastal shipping, and others, the preparations have to be in place to take care of any crisis that might occur (Parnell, 2015). The risk management strategies need to be implemented in advance. The efficient performance is due to treatment options for risk. The risk management options have to be linked with community disaster management plans and come up with the strategies that organization can use in case of a crisis or disaster (Piotrowski, Watt & Armstrong, 2010).

Good leadership is one of the treatment options for the different crisis or disasters that apply different strategies to manage situations. A good leader would ensure crisis or disasters in that occurs are given first priority to prevent reoccurrence or advancement. The tourist departments need to plan effectively and come up with solutions to unthinkable situations such as food poisoning. There is also need in developing a positive, sustainable level of growth and development to treat risk factors such as political instabilities. It becomes difficult to manage some of these factors but having positive feedback can help build confidence in different destinations (Biggs, Hall & Stoeck, 2012).

Another risk and crisis management option for hospitality, event, and tourism industry is having a secure system of communication and coordination of activities. The hospitality industry should consider offering the employees and visitors secure system to facilitate interactions with all the people within a destination. It’ll ensure that everyone is accountable for in case of any crisis that may occur. Also, the buildings where visitors occupy should be able to withstand the harmful impact of disasters such as natural calamities for example earthquakes (Ribarić, 2016).

Trained personnel should be in place to manage disasters when they occur. For example in the case of economic disasters, the personnel should be in a position to generate ideas on how best to handle the situation and come up with recommendations. The contribution of trained personnel to the agencies of disaster management at the time of response recovery after the disaster should ensure there is a constant supply of resources for efficient recovery activities and provides support response for the affected. The personnel would also help in developing safety procedures for returning to the normal business activities after operation of a disaster.

Effective risk management process is designed to identify the risks being managed. An effective systematic method is vital and should recognize the risks factors leading to disasters and crisis before they occur in the tourism destination. An aspect of tourism risk management option is to decrease the susceptibility and enhance the tourism destination’s resilience. Several other options that have been effective in managing disaster includes the necessity of developing elaborated contingency plans, defining the informational and decisional responsibilities and roles in managing disaster and retaining flexibility for prompt reaction at an operational level and not rushing into making decisions on the strategic level (Piotrowski, Watt & Armstrong, 2010).

According to Koc (2013), in hospitality and events industry, revisiting the events leading to crisis and providing continuous feedback is important. It enables the industry to learn from their mistakes and be able to improve on the performances. In the hospitality sector, crisis management includes steps such as readiness for a crisis, reduction and recovery. The reduction of risks factors impacts the chances of crisis reoccurring. Considering better crisis awareness, political cautiousness and meeting the standard operating procedures reduces the chances of crisis reoccurrences. Readiness, on the other hand, is the effective option for better crisis management plan helps in developing plan and strategy measures of tourism planning. Having human resource available in case of crisis outbreak enables recovery plan to be implemented.

Effective communication is also another treatment option for managing crisis and disaster in the tourism and hospitality industry. Effective communication strategies should be put in place to handle crisis and disasters. These include interchange of information between individual within and beyond the organization. The information media portray during a disaster should be limited as media influences people’s opinions about a destination. The media influence brings out fear and general unrest among the public and these increases the interest around the affected destination. Media is used to manage a crisis or disaster by identifying an appropriate contact to release information. It ensures that the information released is monitored and does not affect the reputation of a destination or an event to the extent of no more visitors. Authorities in charge of security and other roles are used to ensure the public that the situation for example security breaching is under control. Resources and equipment such as security gates are also used. With effective communication to the public from the media, the crisis can be contained to a minimum in order not to affect the affected destination.

Another means for risk treatment option for crisis and disaster is preparedness and planning. The tourism industry should prepare and evaluate possible crisis and disaster issues to control any crisis that may arise. In the hospitality sector, when there is no avoidance of the crisis or disaster at hand, there must always be a plan to handle these situations. Most refers to it as the emergency procedures. These planning helps mitigate the effects.  The control team should be ready at any given point provide effective communication to enable collaboration from all the stakeholders involved.

In conclusion, the essay identified some of the risk factors and treatment options associated with crisis and disaster management in the tourism, hospitality and the events industry. Economic disaster influences the economy inversely as all the industries are affected. The tourists have to refrain from visiting the affected areas. The development of suitable risk management strategies reduces the risks of tourism and hospitality industry crisis and disasters. The effective risk management is necessary for recognizing the risks or the disasters and coming up with ways of handling different situations before it affects the hospitality, events or tourism industry.


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