Department of Business Administration
MBA in Hospitality & Tourism
Professor: Maria Tsourela
Tourism is a sector that is more possible to be affected when a crisis occurs. As a crisis is defined every natural or man-made disaster that can impact the long-term functions of an organization or prevent it from keep operating normally. Management is never under a tougher test than in a crisis situation. When managers do or don’t do correctly, then and there, can have long-lasting implications for their organization. A well-defined crisis management program developed and implemented in advance can help a manager and their organization shine in what may otherwise be a time of dark disaster for everyone involved. Developing continuity plans involves identifying the strengths and weakness of the organization, designing contingency plans to mitigate potential loss and understanding how key stakeholders and the media are likely to react when they find out about a crisis. Examples of such crises are: terrorism attacks, air-crashes, hurricanes, tsunamis, political problems, economic crisis and so on. In order for an organization to be prepared to confront a crisis, survive from it and continue operating, there are some things that should be done and the most important one is developing a successful crisis management plan. There are many frameworks and approaches to risk and crisis management and we are going to use the 4 R’s approach. We will examine the case where a hurricane hits an area in Southeast coast of America, where there is a small tourism business. This business should follow the next 4 phases from which a crisis management plan should be consisted of. The first phase of the plan is called Reduction which involves understanding the threats to business operation and identifies the risks. In detecting the early warning signals of any potential crisis, a business seeks to prevent or limit the damages. A SWOT analysis is a useful tool for understanding on organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses and internal opportunities and threats. In this phase, regarding the safety the property, tourism as a service oriented industry, have moral and legal obligation to look after the safety and security of staff and guests. Measures to protect life and property should be an ethical and commercial imperative before, during and after the crisis. So, firstly the hurricane should be identified as potential crisis that is going to cause material and possibly human damage. Afterwards a SWOT analysis should take place in order to define and evaluate the possible impact of the hurricane to the life, environment and of course, the property. A crisis management team should be selected, in order to be in charge of discussing, developing, examining and evaluating every step of a continuity crisis plan that will enable the company to meet with the crisis successfully. A part of this plan could be having shelters or special designed places where the costumers could go and stay safe when the hurricane hits the place or maybe set up an emergency service such as liaison panel with people that are ready and trained to help in every case. Also, they should involve all suppliers, vendors and stakeholders in crisis reduction activities and in any case the business should be insured for material damages in order for the company to be ensured that it will not lose its money in case the hurricane demolishes all its facilities. When it comes to the communication’s part of the first phase of the CM plan, you should take into consideration that the media plays a significant role in crisis situations, effective communication strategies should include the interchange of any information within and beyond the individual organization. Misleading...