Term Paper Example - 70 The Impacts of Natural Disasters...

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Unformatted text preview: / . . 70/ The Impacts of Natural . Disasters and DiseaSe on the Tourism and ‘ Hospitalitylndustry THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Novemberr30, 2007 THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality 3 The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Contents Introduction Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease Climate Change Extreme Weather. Tsunami SARS Epidemic Implications of Natural Disasters and Disease Direct and Indirect Costs to Hit Growth Reconstruction in Relation to Size of Region’s Economy Conclusion ‘ 10 THM 131 1 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Introduction ' In recent years, the tourism and hospitality industry was subjected to a variety of natural disasters and disease, which had a profound impact on the industry. Natural disasters and disease such as the tsunami in Asia, during 2004, which followed the outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003, resulted in a massive loss of people and aroused economic uncertainties for the affected countries. Following the tragic events, many countries have implemented strategies and plans to help mitigate the impact of natural disasters and disease for better preparation in the event of a future disaster or outbreak. _ The purpose of this report is to identify certain natural disasters and disease and their direct and indirect impact on the tourism and hospitality industry. This report tepic is interesting to research and analyze because of how the recent tragedies of the tsunami and SARS hit very close to home yet the impact of both events were felt worldwide. As a student studying tourism and hospitality in hopes of being a part of the industry someday, it is important to understand the uncontrollable and unstoppable events of nature because the only solution is to be as prepared as possible to deal with the aftermath. This report will focus around the impacts of the recent Asian tsunami and SARS in China and how countries have responded to these natural disasters and disease. Most of the information displayed has been drawn from research on the intemet through articles from literary reviews; Despite the negative influences of the disasters, the tourism and hospitality industry has seen a steady positive growth, which is a subject that will be discussed. pg. 1 THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease Disasters such as floods, earthquakes, wildfires, volcanoes, drought, and disease have had a serious effect on inbound, outbound, and domestic tourism, which in return, affects local tourism industries. Recent climate changes have contributed to disastrous effects on tourism in the affected regions as climate change is‘likely to increase the severity and frequency of storms and severe weather events. The tourism industry is also at risk fiom droughts, disease, and heat waves due to global warming, which is an increasing concern felt worldwide. , Climate Change Climate change has resulted in the resurfacing of disease such as malaria, one of V the world’s largest killers, in Spain. According to the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), it is estimated that changes in climate will result in parts of Spain to become a suitable habitat for malaria-carrying species of mosquito by the 20205 (Fotiou, 2004). Negative impacts of climate change can keep tourists away from vacaticn destinations due to the heightened risk to one’s health and safety. Climate change can also have an impact on the activities offered at the holiday destination. For example, global warming can cause less snowfall at ski resorts, which would mean a shorter skiing ' season in places such as the Alpine region. In other cases, tourists will avoid areas in Asia and the Mediterranean Where the climate is naturally hot and humid because “global warming will increase the temperature further and arouse fear of disease and water shortages. pg. 2 THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Global warming can also harm vulnerable eeosystems such as rainforests and coral reefs as temperatures rise and rainfall drops. Coral reefs are susceptible to temperature increases where the resulting effectsof bleaching can cause the coral reefs to die at a rapid pace. The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system located , off the coast of Queensland, Australia, supports a $640 million tourism industry but has been experiencing a rise in coral bleaching events for the last 20 years. The world is also being affected by rising sea levels due to the melting glaciers and ice caps. The higher sea levels have threatened coastal and marine areas with floods in low-lying regions, which result in the loss of valuable coastal land that consists of major tourism attractions of beaches and islands. Extreme Weather The increased events of extreme weather in the form of typhoons, hurricanes, and tornadoes have become more Common in tourist areas of the Caribbean and South East Asia. The increasingly high costs of natural disasters in the Caribbean are forcing regional officials to address the region plans in response to such events, especially hurricanes. For example, HurricaneMitch in 1998‘ substantially affected the local tourism sector in the Caribbean with the aftermath of strong winds, storm waves, heavy rain, and V flooding. Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner for the Caribbean where natural disasters become a distressing impact for the local economy. The Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world with the tourism sector taking in gross earnings of $17.9 billion in 1998, which provides 900,000 direct and indirect jobs, and contributes almost a quarter of the region’s foreign exchange earnings. Therefore, the presence of hurricanes poses to have serious consequences for the region’s tourism industry. The pa 3 THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality , ' ' The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) reported how there is a resistance in the UK. market to visit the Caribbean during the summer months of September and October due to a fear of the hurricane season. In the past, the Caribbean has experienced a fair share of hurricanes fiom HurriCane Gilbert in 1988, Hugo in 1989, Luis and Marilyn in 1995, Mitch and Georges in 1998, and Lenny in 1999. Hurricane Gilbert was estimated to have cost Jamaica $4-6. billion, while the Eastern Caribbean Bank reports that in 1995, Antigua and Barbuda saw losses of 4,000 to 7,000 jobs (15-25% of the workforce) because of Hurricane Luis. Hurricane Luis also hit Anguilla where the output declined by 42% in the region because of Luis. The island of Anguilla recovered from Luis with an annual economic growth rate of 1.0% by .1999. HoWever, HUm‘cane Lenny hit that year, which resulted in an economic slowdown with a growth in the hotel and restaurant sector some 6% below expectations. The inevitability of storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean has led the CTO to revise the region’s approach to beachfront development. The Deputy Secretary General of the CTO, Karen Ford-Warner, stated in an article (Miller, 1997): V “Despite the attraction and market appeal of beachfront properties, active consideration needs, to be given to offer incentives to potential investors to build away from our shores to reduce the consequences associated With coastal flooding or future changes associated with a sea level rise.” Ford-Warner emphasizes the need for an assessment process to determine the vulnerability of properties and facilities on beach areas as well as adequate mitigation measures. Even though some hotels are beginning to realize the importance of disaster preparedness, disaster plans are often non-existent and never implemented or updated. , I pg. 4 TI-IM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry The CTO does have a relationship, with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) where the CDERA is reporting some progress with improvements in regional disaster planning and awareness with efforts being made to develop a comprehensive disaster management framework. With the assistance of the U.S. Army, CDERA has established regional emergency relief warehouses in the islands of Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados, Antigua, and Barbuda; a move that has improved the region’s ability to move critical supplies to affected countries without international dependence. I Tsunami Countries are still dealing with the ongoing impacts of the tsunami in South East Asia that include disease and economic issues. Since the tsunami devastated the coastal regions of south East Asia in‘2004, there has been a threat of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases. The tsunami destroyed water piping systems so people stored , more water, which increased the amount of mosquitoes breeding in sewers and being attracted to areas where people reside. With many homes wrecked, especially along the coastal regions, more people will be in contact with mosquitoes. The main problem that rose from the tsunami was the devastating impact the disaster had on the communities that rely on tourism for their livelihood. The loss of social, cultural, and. economical resources is extremelyhard to replace especially in the less economically developed countries, which were severely impacted frOm the tSunami. However, with the international efforts to help the affected areas and the emergence of dark tourism that focuses on the pain and suffering resulting from the disaster, countries such as Thailand and Indonesia are recovering but not fast enough. THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Phuket has already lost at least 60 billion baht in tourism revenue inthe six months following the tsunami. The tsunami’s impact on Phuket’s tourism industry has led to the closure of over 400 hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops, leaving over 5,000 people unemployed. In 2005, hotels in Phuket were experiencing an average occupancy rate of between 10-15%, which was an enormous decrease from the 60-70% in the same period last year. The tsunami caused many international airlines to close their operations to Phuket; Hong Kong-based Dragon Air closed its Phuket office for the month following the tsunami because of the sharp drop in number of passengers flying to Phuket. According to figures from the Tourism Authority, Phuket International Airport recorded 159,423 tourist arrivals between January and May of 2005, compared to 487,419 arrivals during the same period last year, a drop of 67%. Interestingly, Indonesia, which was the hardest-hit in terms of loss of life and physical damage due to the tsunami, escaped the worst of the tsunami’s economic disruption. Indonesia’s GDP remained at a healthy 5.5% for 2005 with Indonesian Shares that continued to hit a series of record highs since the tsunami. Still, the immediate cost - of reconstruction after the tsunami was higthceh, the primary affected area, required $4 billion over the next five years to rebuild what was destroyed. In addition to rebuilding costs, the International Labor Organization estimated that 1 million jobs were lost in Indonesia and Sri Lanka alone because of the tsunami. SARS Epidemic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS) aifected the areas of Asia in 2002 to. 2003 and was responsible for the deaths of 774 people. SARS is a highly contagious and deadly disease, which prompted the World Health Organization ONHO) to issue travel THM 131 1 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of NaturaI’Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry warnings to specific Asian destinations. The four Asian destinations that suffered in particular were China,I-long Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore. The occupancy in hotels around Hong Kong fell into single digits with an average occupancy rate of 15% compared to the usual 82%. Livelihoods were devastated where tour guides saw their income fall by790%. Evenfnhough SARS did not take the lives of many people, it killed the economy of many Asi countries. In 2003, China’s travel and tourism was expected to lose $20.4 billion of economic activity as a result of SARS; Hong Kong was expected to lose up to $3.6 billion. Since the travel and tourism industry touches all sectors of the economy, the real irnpact of SARS is even greater. The World Bank claimed how SARS was a faCtor in the cut of 0.5 percentage points in its forecast for economic growth in East Asia. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), SARS is blamed for a drop in stick prices and revenues for airlines,“ tourism, and retailers in several Asian countries. Many Asian countries announced financial aid to help lessen the burden of SARS. Singapore Spent $129 million to help its tourism and transport sectors; Malaysia asked banks and utilities to cut costs for corporate customers; Hong Kong used'their $1.5 billion relief plan that included tax breaks, guaranteed loans, and short-term janitorial jobs to disinfect disease in victims’ homes. THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry WWW—M Natural disasters and disease such as the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the Kobe earthquake in Japan almost 14 years ago impact the tourism and hospitality industry direCtly and indirectly in terms of economic consequences for the affected regions. Previous experience with disasters seem to suggest a V-shaped economic impact where there is a sudden and large dip in economic activity, which is followed by a policy response that tends to involve increased government spending; ultimately, leading to an economic recovery in the span of about a year. Direct and Indirect Costs to Hit Growth V The immediate economic impact is usually direct with negative effects on business and consumer activity in the affected regions and industry sectors. The wider and indirect impact is harder to predict and record because of the vast nature of the tourism seetor. For example, after the Kobe earthquake in Japan, there was a bigger negative impact on business confidence not just limited to the tourism sector. The tsunami in 2004 hit during a peak tourist season, which compounded the impact of the disaster for the region. While the tourism sector is of a similar size for both Indonesia’s and Sri Lanka’s economies, the impact varied considerably. In Indonesia, the main tourist destinations of Bali and Lombok were not impacted; whereas, in Sri Lanka, the extent of devastation hit the tourism sector and the economy a lot harder. Reconstruction in Relation to Size of Region’s Economy In recent years, the world economy has shown remarkable resilience to economic , and financial shocks. Asia has also stood strong against disasters such as SARS and the pg. 8 THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry, tsunami. However, the bigger economies impacted by disasters are more capable of reconstructionfollowing the aftermath compared to smaller economies. Policy response is crucial when rebuilding a battered region as seen in Bali where the Indonesian government moved quickly to reconstruct the local economy by spending significant amounts of money to promote tourism after the tsunami. Many regions including India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia were able to tackle the rebuilding process with the help of the strong economic and political climate at the time. of the tsunami. For these countries, recent growth has been strong, fiscal positions have improved, and external reserves at a high. On the other hand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives face serious difficulties in ‘ overcoming the tsunami disaster on their own. Sri Lanka was already facinga number of challenges against their economy, and the. loss of tourism revenue worsened the region’s account deficit. In addition, the Sri ‘Lankan government’s ability to cope with the disaster was finther hampered by a significant lack of available public funds due to its large budget deficit. In the Maldives, the problems were widespread as the region derives tax revenue from customs, tourism, and property taxation. The devastation to its tourism economy made the Maldives heavily dependent on international aid. Thankfully, the response from international agencies and governments were vast and fast to respond to the disaster. Despite the support given to the regions of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the econOmies of both faced serious hardships in adjusting to the sheer scale of the tsunami disaster. pg- 9 THM 1311 Intro to Tourism and Hospitality The Impacts of Natural Disasters and Disease on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Conclusion Natural disasters anddisease have a profound impact on the tourism and , hospitality industry through direct and indirect consequences that spread out into other industry sectors. The economical impact is definitely felt throughout the affected regions which results in the social and political problems that arise during times of diStress. Many countries implement a policy response for efficient recovery following a disaster and plan for future events in advance. However, countries of weaker economies find it harder to recover and need to seek the help of international aid. The best solution for countries prone to natural disasters and disease is to prepare as much in advance to lessen the impact of such events. Bibliography Clark, E. (2003). SARS strikes down Asia tourism. Retrieved November 1, 2007, from http://newsbbcco.uk/2/hi/business/3024015.51m ‘ Colorado State University: News and Information (2005) Experts available to discuss ongoing impacts of tsunami in South East Asia including disease, economic issues, grieving. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from ht z/newsinfo. colostate edu/index. as ? a e=news item dis 1a &news item id=73549 4449 ’ Crowe, K. (2003). The economic impact of SARS. Retrieved November 1, 2007 , from http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/sars/economicimpact.html Fotiou, S. (2004). Environmental impacts of tourism at the global level: How global environmental impacts aflect tourism. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from hfip://www.uneptie.orgch/tourism/sust-tourism/evn—globa1.htm. Hanna, D. (2004). Economic impact Of Asian tsunami tragedy. Retrieved October 15, 2007 , from hth/wwwameinfocom/S 1428.11tml Herrmann, S. (2004) At-a -glance. Tsunami economic impact Retrieved October 22, 2007, from httgz //news. bbc co. uk/1/h1/busmess/415427 7 stm Miller, D. (1997). Caribbean: Plan needed to mitigate impact of natural disasters. RetrieVed November 1, 2007, from hgtp://www.twnside.org.sg[tit1e/mitigate.htm The Nation (2005). Afierefi’ects of the tsunami. Retrieved November 3,2007, from hfip: //www. thaiwebsites com/tourism. asp / ...
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