No doubt that tourism safety (of course, in combination with what the destination has to offer) is the biggest driver of stay-over tourism. This should be one of the main focuses of any country which depend heavily on tourism revenues.
In June 2015 Curaçao will be hosting the Caribbean Tourism Safety & Security Conference 2015, promoted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and organized by the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB). One of the topics is “Tourism Oriented Policing & Protection Services“, and this will probably attract lots of safety and security professionals from all over the world.
These tourist destinations have low crime rates, little threat of terrorism, and reliable police in the event something does go wrong (click on the image below to start the slide show):
(source: theactivetimes.com – May 14, 2014)
So, which countries should foreign travelers avoid, or at least be especially careful in?
Statistics for attacks on tourists are hard to come by, but one way to look at travel risks is through the travel warnings that governments issue for their citizens. Here’s a map put together by the CBC, based on warnings from Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs (click here for the interactive version):
Notice that Curaçao scores really good (normal security precautions), but still there is allot to improve to safeguard the image of the island.
Whenever a tourist gets robbed, attacked or sadly enough sometimes even killed, that’s bad publicity for the island. Although we – in comparison to other countries and regions – score really good, we can do better. The main metrics used to score the level of tourist safety are: crime levels, road & driving safety, reliability of the police force and terrorism threats.
An integrated approach involving policy makers, law enforcement agencies, tourism authorities and organizations, hospitality providers & shop owners, (LOCAL) safety & security companies, (LOCAL) security technology specialists & providers, and our educational and research institutes (LOCAL universities) will be necessary in order to ensure safety & security and improve on the overall tourism & hospitality product across the board.
Bad things are still going to happen, but at least by setting up a sustainable nation-wide framework, having unified safety & security measures and technological infrastructures in place, having well trained professionals of all levels to get the job done, and initiating a “crowd source” approach involving the community as a whole, we can have more control over the prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery processes – a kind of “damage control” for our tourism & hospitality product and industry if you will.
The good news is that once we manage to ensure an exceptional visitors experience through delivery of an awesome product and peace of mind, we not only ensure the safety of our beloved tourist, but the happiness and quality of life the local citizen as well.
Feel free to comment on this subject below! Your feedback is truly appreciated.