Risk management in the tourism context refers to the planning and implementation of processes directed towards managing the adverse effects of crises and disasters on tourism. It also addresses tourism’s potential opportunities for the improvement in systems and procedures. While risk management is essentially about anticipating and minimising risks, crisis occurs when an unforeseen or unavoidable event does occur.
According to PATA (2003) a crisis is defined as:
"Any situation that has the potential to affect long-term confidence in an organisation or a product, or which may interfere with its ability to continue operating normally".
The tourism industry should be involved in both crisis management (the organisational process) and disaster management (the multi-agency, community based process). At an organisational level, tourism businesses should use risk management process to identify, analyse, evaluate, treat, monitor and review risks to their businesses/organisations and their destinations. In the context of disaster management for communities, tourism businesses and representatives, should have significant input to disaster risk management and contribute to associated disaster risk management plans, systems, training and testing.
The genereic risk management processs for organisations and the community are based on two enabling activities (communicate and consult, and monitor and review) and five major activities: establish the context, identify risks, analyse risks, evaluate risks, treat risks.
Sustainable Tourism Online contains a number of resources and tools to support businesses and destinations through risk management planning. These are grouped into four distinct areas:
SMALL BUSINESS RISK