The terrible earthquake in Nepal once again highlighted the need for disaster preparedness. The tourism and especially the hotel industry have a special duty of care as they deal with large numbers of people who are often not familiar with their environment and the risks of their surroundings.
There is no excuse for tourism businesses not to be as well prepared as possible. As earthquakes are listed as ‘medium probability high impact events’, preparedness, especially in developing and third world countries is often neglected. In many cases building codes are not implemented and local staff may have a risk perception that differs from international standards and common practice and so hinders optimal preparedness and response.
At the end of the day disaster preparedness needs to be enforced by management and become part of the daily agenda. Preparedness is a circular and continuous process that never ends. It includes physical and procedural preparedness.
By Alexander Kesper