New research finds tourism sector at risk from ‘lone wolf’ terror attacks


A groundbreaking piece of research has referred to as for the tourism sector to urgently deal with shortcomings in its terrorism risk administration—notably with regard to the risk posed by dynamic ‘lone wolf’ attacks.

Academics at the Universities of Plymouth, Hertfordshire and Harper Adams say there’s a essential want for the sector to develop a ‘portfolio of terrorism-specific risk administration plans’ that cowl a various vary of situations, and guarantee higher coaching for all employees and stakeholders. As a part of this, tour operators have to play a better function in conducting risk assessments and guaranteeing administration is actioned appropriately, in addition to higher speaking dangers to prospects past the usual observe of referring them to worldwide journey recommendation.

Published within the journal, Annals of Tourism Research, the research is the primary to make use of knowledge from the 2 inquests into the deaths of 38 vacationers throughout the shootings at Sousse, in Tunisia, in 2015, with the intention to analyse the implications for vacationer safety and terrorism risk administration.

“Terrorism risk management is a complex task primarily because destinations are rarely managed by a single actor,” mentioned Professor Sheela Agarwal, lead creator of the piece from Plymouth Business School. “What you have is a diversity of organisations, interacting within complex networks at different levels. Tourist destinations must contend with the added challenge of managing a large transient population, whose knowledge of actual risk is generally low, often in crowded public spaces such as beaches, parks and shopping malls. Such places may have little or no protective security, but yet they often lie at the heart of the tourist experience. This is why the emergence of this dynamic model of ‘lone wolf terrorism’, as we have also seen in France and London, is so concerning.”

The research mission started in 2017 when the transcripts of the 2 hearings into the Sousse terrorist assault turned publicly accessible. Thirty UK vacationers have been amongst these murdered in and across the Rui Imperial Marhaba resort on 26 June 2015, when a lone gunman launched an assault from the seaside.

The subsequent coroner’s inquest in 2017, and an unbiased Tunisian investigation, heard or obtained greater than 150 items of oral or written proof, from a variety of individuals, together with eye-witnesses, native police and safety, and staff of the tour operator.

The researchers analysed the proof introduced and recorded repeated references to emergent key failings, equivalent to poor policing (e.g. a reluctance to have interaction the gunman, and an absence of firearms and state of affairs evaluation coaching) and poor implementation of ‘crime prevention by means of environmental design’ (equivalent to, insufficient administration of the resort and lack of surveillance cameras).

The staff then moved on to contemplate the character and appropriateness of the terrorism and journey recommendation supplied by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to tour operators, and the dissemination of that recommendation to vacationers. They discovered that regardless of an earlier terrorist assault in March 2015, the FCDO didn’t deem the threats posed to British nationals to be particular or giant sufficient to advise in opposition to journey—and it took the FCDO an additional 13 days to alter its recommendation after the Sousse shootings. Similarly, proof supplied to the hearings revealed that the tour operator TUI had not referred prospects to the FCDO’s journey recommendation, nor a brand new info service, Know Before You Go. Indeed, a number of prospects supplied proof that that they had been assured Tunisia was ‘protected’ previous to reserving.

Co-investigator, Professor Stephen Page, affiliate dean (research) at Hertfordshire Business School, mentioned: “Our study demonstrates the importance of analytically distinguishing between generic terror risks—those that are commonly identified and associated with general locations, events and activities—and dynamic terror-related risks, such as ‘lone wolf attacks’, which require continued assessment of the changing socio-economic and geopolitical environments, especially the terrorist landscape. Furthermore, it highlights the critical need for a portfolio of terrorism specific risk management plans that address the diversity of attack scenarios that a destination may experience.”

No connection between proximity to Stockholm terrorist assault and attitudes to terrorism

More info:
Sheela Agarwal et al. Tourist safety, terrorism risk administration and vacationer security, Annals of Tourism Research (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2021.103207

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New research finds tourism sector at risk from ‘lone wolf’ terror attacks (2021, April 19)
retrieved 19 April 2021

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