Disaster Responses Within the Tourist Industry

March 1995 (VOL. 13, NO. 1)

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Reflecting a series of converging international trends, the tourist industry represents a vulnerability of catastrophic potential. Interview and questionnaire data obtained from 185 owners or managers in nine U.S.A. communities, provide answers to five questions: (1) What is the extent of disaster evacuation planning? (2) What factors account for the variations in this planning? (3) What behavioral patterns occur during actual evacuations? (4) What factors account for these pattern variations? and (5) What are the policy implications of these behavioral assessments? While many larger firms managed by more professional staff have completed extensive disaster evacuation planning, the overall record in very spotty. Hence, major initiatives both within the industry, and by emergency managers at all levels of government, are needed to reduce this rapidly expanding vulnerability.