Crisis Management, Tourism and Sustainability: The Role of Indicators

Desausmarez, Nicolette (2007) Crisis Management, Tourism and Sustainability: The Role of Indicators. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 15 (6). pp. 700-714. ISSN 0966-9582

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The damage to tourism caused by a crisis or disaster may not only have serious implications for a national economy but also threaten the livelihoods of many in the destination. The monitoring of crisis indicators could allow intervention to minimise the crisis and offers a chance of protecting tourism for the benefit of all stakeholders. This paper evaluates the role of crisis indicators in sustainable tourism development, and shows why this is closely connected to issues in sustainable tourism. The author challenges the conventional classification of crises and suggests that grouping them according to their triggers is more useful in predicting and managing a potential crisis. Empirical data gathered during interviews with senior Malaysian public and private sector representatives highlight some of the practical issues associated with the identification and monitoring of appropriate indicators. The paper concludes that the new classification allows crisis management to be more cost-effective and may also be a key to indicator development for other aspects of sustainable tourism. The travel trade may hold the key to indicators of market trends, but there would be issues in obtaining the necessary information for reasons of confidentiality.

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