Tourism industry is sensitive to all kind of situations. Hence any occurrence of disaster always negatively affects the tourism due to lack of tourists’ confidence, in their safety and wellbeing. Disasters also have impacts on tourism entrepreneurs such as hotel and resort owners, guide services; and those who are working in the tourist attractions areas, would be gaining fewer incomes. In accordance with disaster footprint, it would also have to take an amount of budget for situation recovery and also be taking a while to regain confidence back from tourist groups.
Exploration of tourist attractions and businesses, on purpose of disaster risk assessment, is an essential process. This process aims to prioritize which place should be mitigated first or should be completely protected under disastrous situation (e.g. cultural attractions, world heritage site). In addition, tourism sector risk mitigation measures which include preparation, adaptation, and approaches shall be taken into account; in exchange for securing business safety and tourists’ confidence in attractions’ capability to cope with the situation.
Disaster resilience measures
- Prevention and Mitigation Measure
- Structural Measure
- Ensuring standardized construction of hotel, resort, or organization especially in high risk areas exposed to earthquake and tsunami.
- Using anti-flood structure in the organization, tourist attractions, and ancient remains in the possibly flooded area
- Non-Structural Measure
- Avoiding to establish business in high risk location especially trespassed construction in conserved forest and national park which are illegal as well as ruining ecological system and natural resources, and are causes of disaster and its impact risks also
- Establishing of security system and plan in tourist attractions supervised by expertise
- Establishing of waste disposal and wastewater discharging system including standardized wastewater and garbage treatment system to prevent epidemic
- Structural Measure
- Preparedness Measure
- Promoting and supporting tourism officers, tourism polices, guides, volunteers, employees, personnel, and others to be able to communicate in foreign language as to assist foreigner tourists
- Establishing directional maps, improving public sign boards to be clear and available in community places
- Disaster Preparedness
- Determining migration route, migration approach, and safe zone including clear migration route map as well as fire escape route in the hotel
- Educating tourism business entrepreneurs and employees about disaster preparedness safety and regulation including clear responsibilities
- Setting up fire drill and tsunami preparedness plan with local unit and community
- Preparing standardized and safety equipment and installation of firefighting system with readiness of use.
- Rescue preparing for employees and tourists under disastrous situation
- Food, drink, and survival equipment preparing in safe zone with monitoring on expiration date
- Preparing efficient communication system with multiple channels to disseminate information and able to communicate with tourists to acknowledge on time; including preparation of reserved communication system under emergency situation
- Providing of safety guideline in the hotel and tourist attractions such as brochure or video in multi-language to ensure understanding of disaster, action to be taken, migration route, and safe zone
- Applying insurance in case of any disastrous situation
Local tourism associations/ Entrepreneurs in tourism sector/ Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation/Ministry of Tourism & Sports
Because tourism is sensitive all kind of events, the occurred disaster is usually slow this sector down due to the lack of securing confidence. Thus, the risk assessment is the first priority for any attractions to ensure its preservation. The example of DDR activity for this sector is shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Example of tourism activities for disaster risk reduction
|The disaster preventive and mitigation acts|
|Preparedness for the catastrophe.||
In Thailand, the Fine Arts Department and Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning installed the removable flood control structure around Chai Wattanaram Temple which is one of the distinctive tourist attractions in Thailand. The system includes the underground water prevention system, 2.5 meters tall-hinges. The hinges lay along the river bank which can lift up as the barrier if the river overflows the bank.
Example 1: The flood control structures in Ayudthaya Province
The Fine Arts Department and Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning installed the removable flood control structure around Chai Wattanaram Temple which is one of the distinctive tourist attractions in Thailand. The system includes the underground water prevention system, 2.5 meters tall-hinges. The hinges lay along the river bank which can lift up as the barrier if the river overflows the bank.
Flood Control Structure at Chai Wattanaram Temple
Example 2: Tsunami warning system in southern part of Thailand
After the tsunami disaster in 2004, the several tourist attractions on southern provinces install the local warning system. The evacuation routes, safe spots, and watchtower established with clear indicate signs in Thai and English language. Moreover, the tsunami evacuation drill has been conducted every year. This is not only to ensure the safe practice but also to strengthen the tourist’s confidence regarding safety.