Environmental security and tourism

Authored by: Kevin Hannam

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and the Environment

Print publication date:  July  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415582070
eBook ISBN: 9780203121108
Adobe ISBN: 9781136325564


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The concept of security has been rather undertheorised in tourism studies despite recent attempts to do so. For example, in the introduction to their edited text, Tourism, Security and Safety, Pizam and Mansfeld (2006) attempt to develop a threefold typology of tourism security concepts and variables: tourism-related security incidents and crises; impacts of security incidents; and reaction to tourism crises by stakeholders. Despite the laudable aims, however, Pizam and Mansfeld fail to develop any in-depth conceptual discussion of the notion of security itself. Hall et al. (2003) in the introduction to their edited collection entitled Safety and Security in Tourism, do develop arguments that suggest that the concept of security has been transformed from one of collective security to one of common security through the work of the United Nations. They note that tourism is ‘irrevocably bound up with the concept of security’ (Hall et al. 2003: 2) but also acknowledge that tourism organisations have had little influence on security agendas. Nevertheless, they persist with a view of tourism as a potentially emancipatory project that may ward off potential future global insecurities. More recently a number of researchers have analysed the impacts of a range of environmental crises and disasters (Hannam 2004). It has been recognised that it is not just the initial crisis or disaster itself that has an impact on tourism but also the longer lasting image of the management of that event (Cassedy 1991). As Young and Montgomery (1998: 4) have noted: ‘a crisis has the potential to be detrimental to the marketability of any tourist destination, particularly if it is dramatised and distorted through rumours and the media’.

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