General and Background
The recent terrorist attacks at Sousse Beach and the Bardo National Museum in Tunis in Tunisia, leaving 59 dead (mostly Europeans) are grim reminders that Hospitality/Tourism are no longer immune from the risk of terrorism.
In fact, tourism is an ideal target because of the open, free environments that tourists expect. Hotel groups are faced with the dilemma of providing low-profile security measures with comfortable, risk-free settings.
Local government, hotel groups and related industries must find ways to protect their investments and clientele. Immediate action is necessary to deal with the current situation. Israeli experience, under the leadership of former Israel National Police Commissioner, Assaf Heffetz, can help support industry efforts to adapt to these conditions with proven knowledge and expertise.
There are two major security challenges facing the industry:
1. Improving the security environment for hotels and resorts to continue to flourish amidst potential threats.
2. Implementation of a major worldwide PR campaign that promotes a positive image, assuring potential tourists that management has taken the appropriate measures for tourism to thrive in a safer, more secure environment.
The TIX Group:
Our team of Israeli experts, along with our American partners, offers decades of knowledge and expertise in various disciplines relating to security preparedness. Commissioner Heffetz has held the responsibility of protecting the public and private sectors in Israel and consults worldwide. It is this combined experience that can help provide businesses and government agencies with increased risk prevention approaches.
We are available to explore consulting and training options that can help the tourism industry:
• Emergency contingency planning (ECP).
• Public and personnel training in awareness and intelligence concepts.
• Behavior detection techniques.
• Development of an all-hazard security policy and procedural manual.
• Crisis communications/public relations and media/spokesperson training
• Security assessments or upgrades of existing assessments.
As one example of the TIX Group’s expertise, the TIX ECP is a concept that has been developed to help operators and owners upgrade security while keeping within budgetary constraints. It takes into account the need to maintain business continuity while upgrading security to levels required during crisis situations.
Recent acts of terrorism by Al Shabaab, ISIS and AQ have once again proven wrong those who have not had the foresight to take necessary security measures. While tourists generally are not comfortable with highly visible security measures and practices, in times of crisis, it is highly desirable.
The TIX Group believes that if management ignores investing in adequate security, while economically attractive, it poses serious financial risks for the hospitality, shopping center (and malls), and other travel-related industries. “The Israeli Experience (TIX) in Homeland Security” group consists of leaders experienced in Israel’s fight against terrorism. In the past several years, we have presented seminars on Israel’s experience in fighting terror to various organizations in the US including ICMA (International City/County Managers Association), NEMA (National Emergency Managers Association), MWCOG (Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments), and others.
TIX is a member of Cayuga Hospitality Consultants, the world’s most experienced network of independent hospitality consultants. TIX also is California POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) accredited in Active Shooter training.
To learn more about TIX services, visit their website www.thetixgroup.com
About the Author
James Braver is the US Director for The TIX Group, a consultancy of leading Israeli security experts providing security and strategic services to owners and operators in the hospitality industry. Jim is responsible for coordinating all TIX activities in the U.S. Jim was responsible for facilitating and organizing the TIX Group’s School Security Program in California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts.