Bournemouth University

School of Tourism

Experts' global disaster management research

Date: 26 November 2010

Plane silhouetted against the sunset

Experts' global disaster management research

BU's International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR) has been selected to undertake vital research into global disaster management for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The project, entitled 'The Integration of Tourism into National Emergency Structures and Processes', will involve BU experts providing governmental institutions concerned in emergency planning with practical guidance on the special needs and concerns of the travel and tourism sector during an emergency.

UNWTO received a record number of bids for the research project and ICTHR's successful proposal was jointly written by Richard Gordon, Director of Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC), Dr Yeganeh Morakabati, Professor Bruce Prideaux and Professor John Fletcher.

Professor Fletcher said: "This firmly places BUDMC not only as a strategic partner to ICTHR, but also at the centre stage of the management of disasters within the field of tourism."

The primary objectives of the study are to:

  • Produce a clear and comprehensive guide for national emergency management agencies and their respective agencies and emergency services, which explains the specific challenges and needs of the tourist industry during an emergency. The guide will also seek to recommend ways in which the independent systems and resources of public and private tourist organisations can be used to improve the impact of national and local systems.
  • Produce a clear and comprehensive guide for national tourist organisations (NTOs), destination management organisations (DMOs), and other key agencies, both public and private, in the tourism sector, which explains the systems that are commonly recognised as best practice in planning and response to emergencies. A vital component of this guide will be a description of how major incidents are routinely managed including the coordination of stakeholders at the strategic, tactical and operational levels.

Richard will travel to Madrid in December to take part in a UNWTO seminar related to the tourism industry and pandemics and will meet up with Dr Dirk Glaesser who is directing this bid on behalf of the UNWTO.

Richard added: "Disaster Management is rapidly becoming a central feature of the 21st Century world in which we live and BUDMC has global experience in the field of delivering disaster management training and developing disaster management strategies. Combine this expertise with the international experience and reputation of ICTHR in the realm of tourism impacts and planning and you have the unique ingredients of a masterclass.

"The School of Tourism is currently offering postgraduate accredited modules in Disaster Management that are much in demand and is also developing a Master's programme in this vital area of research having already established the area through its PhD research."