Risk management a priority for Responsible Tourism & Communities

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The floods in Queensland only emphasis further the need to strategic responsible action.

UPDATE 9th March 2011 - Economic Impacts 1 in 4 Australian's avoid Queensland for fear of flooded destinations.

Observations:

  • Creating operator risk management strategies must in future take into consideration wider and longer lasting impacts.
  • Tourism advice must be linked with emergency services and National Bureau of Meteorology. Consideration should be given to the moral responsibility of encouraging tourism when the full wider impacts have yet to be assessed and the strain of additional human numbers might put on the supply chain.
  • Relaunch funding: nest egg funds put aside for future events to cover the rebuilding of tourism and rural economies should be approved by state governments and be readily accessed.
  • The real value of tourism should be calculated taking into consideration times of crisis to enable operators to charge a realistic price that provides a cushion of funds to enable them to function when demand is weak.
  • Insurance is going to become an increasingly problematic area. The future cost of insurance may prevent some types of tourism in "high risk" climate change affected areas. Authorities also need to reflect on the viability of the reinsurers (Lloyds of London in the 1980s). A solution might be for governments/peak bodies to consider providing nationalised alternatives. Insurance is critical and if new standards are launched, they may negatively impact on tourism, which is often the major economic driver in rural communities.
  • Safety is a core part of selecting a tourist destination. Images of struggling locals and news of young children being lost in floods will affect many consumers choice on where to travel. Responsible communications and endorsements need to be pre-planned to manage future events.
  • The weather is a core part of any holiday. Consumers are going to look further and deeper into forecasts when considering destinations.

Note the UNEP Financial Research

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The full costs of the Queensland Floods blog[1].pdf293.84 KB