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Risk Management Plan

The tourism industry operates in a rapidly changing environment that is made up of many interrelated sectors. For this reason, unforseen risks and crises can significantly impact on a destination's short and long term sustainability. While each destination is unique and will face different challenges and issues, there are common areas of risk management which must be addressed by all destinations. Read more
The tourism industry operates in a rapidly changing environment that is made up of many interrelated sectors. For this reason, unforseen risks and crises can significantly impact on a destination's short and long term sustainability. While each destination is unique and will face different challenges and issues, there are common areas of risk management which must be addressed by all destinations. One of the landmark reports by the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism in collaboration with the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), produced a comprehensive risk management guide for managing crises in tourism. The ‘Tourism Risk Management Guide provides a framework for destinations undertaking a tourism risk management process and developing a risk management plan:

 

 

 

Source: Emergency Management Australia, 2004 in Tourism Risk Management; An Authoritative Guide to Managing Crises in Tourism, APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism, 2006

An effective risk management strategy should include the development of strategies for preventing / mitigating identified risks, having processes and plans in place for potential risk occurrences, identifying processes for responding to crises when they occur and identifying actions for recovery following a crises. The Tourism Tropical North Queensland Tourism Crises Management Plan provides a best practice example of a successful risk management plan. The success of the plan can be attributed to the extensive planning process and stakeholder engagement undertaken in developing and implementing the plan.

 

Destination Management Tip

Destinations that are able to respond and recover quickly from a crises are those that have clearly defined risk management plans and allocated roles and communications structures.

One of the biggest risks facing the tourism industry today is climate change. Climate change will directly impact on Australian tourism and on the economic benefits that tourism generates through the loss or degradation of tourist attractions, the costs of adaptation, and replacement costs for capital infrastructure. Destinations must recognise climate change as a significant risk to tourism in their destination and develop strategies to adapt and mitigate negative impacts. A major report developed by the STCRC, The Impacts of Climate Change on Australian Tourism Destinations; Developing Adaptation and Response Strategies, provides case studies of several Australian tourism destinations, describing the potential impacts of climate change on the destination and highlighting actions to reduce these impacts over time.


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