Start Date

7-1-2011 3:15 PM

End Date

7-1-2011 4:00 PM

Track

2. Track 2 - Poster Session

Subject Area

Lodging

Faculty Member

Thomas R. Schrier, PhD schriert@iastate.edu

Abstract

Since September 11, 2001, the United States recognizes the global risk of terrorism. Although the risk of a terrorist attack at any one hotel is very low, the severity of the consequences is great, making it important for hoteliers to understand terrorist motives and to protect hotel guests and assets to the fullest extent possible. Terrorists desire to cause fear and social disruption and to use violence to make their message known to a global audience. Most terrorist attacks currently involve explosives, but biological weapons have the potential to harm much larger populations, especially if released into the air, building ventilation systems, or water supplies. Hotels that serve international customers, hold an iconic brand, or are owned by persons considered to be part of an “enemy” group are most at risk. No bioterrorism mitigation guidelines specific to hotels have yet been developed with input from hotel security managers. Guidelines are needed to establish best practices and security benchmarks, and to develop training programs for managers and employees. This study uses a Delphi method to poll hotel security managers about critical and feasible measures that hotels should take to prevent acts of bioterrorism. This information can be used to prioritize strategies for bioterrorism prevention and response, and can be utilized as the basis for establishing industry best practices and benchmarks. It is one of the first studies to investigate guidelines for bioterrorism in the hotel industry. As such this study can be used as a foundation for future research.

Keywords

bioterrorism, hotel security, risk management



Share

COinS
 
Jan 7th, 3:15 PM Jan 7th, 4:00 PM

Bioterrorism: What Should Hotels Do to Reduce the Risk?

Since September 11, 2001, the United States recognizes the global risk of terrorism. Although the risk of a terrorist attack at any one hotel is very low, the severity of the consequences is great, making it important for hoteliers to understand terrorist motives and to protect hotel guests and assets to the fullest extent possible. Terrorists desire to cause fear and social disruption and to use violence to make their message known to a global audience. Most terrorist attacks currently involve explosives, but biological weapons have the potential to harm much larger populations, especially if released into the air, building ventilation systems, or water supplies. Hotels that serve international customers, hold an iconic brand, or are owned by persons considered to be part of an “enemy” group are most at risk. No bioterrorism mitigation guidelines specific to hotels have yet been developed with input from hotel security managers. Guidelines are needed to establish best practices and security benchmarks, and to develop training programs for managers and employees. This study uses a Delphi method to poll hotel security managers about critical and feasible measures that hotels should take to prevent acts of bioterrorism. This information can be used to prioritize strategies for bioterrorism prevention and response, and can be utilized as the basis for establishing industry best practices and benchmarks. It is one of the first studies to investigate guidelines for bioterrorism in the hotel industry. As such this study can be used as a foundation for future research.