Tourism is particularly prone to external shocks, which by their nature are unpredictable and need to be addressed through effective crisis management processes. The paper reviews the literature relating to crisis management in tourism and identifies and briefly critiques several models that have been developed to help managers in their strategic planning for such contingencies. The terrorist attacks of ‘9/11’ are used as an exemplar of the type of external shock that can lead to crisis if travel industry managers fail to take immediate and decisive action. This paper discusses the reactions of leading UK based tour operators to the terrorist attacks and a case study is presented to examine the reaction of a particular company to ‘9/11’ and to review the ‘turnaround’ strategies used. The crisis management process model is compared and contrasted with the steps actually undertaken at the company. It is evident that there are wider lessons for the travel industry including the need to: integrate crisis management with strategic planning processes, prepare detailed contingency plans, define decisional roles and responsibilities, and to retain a degree of flexibility.
Evans, N. G., & Elphick, S. (2005). Models of crisis management: an evaluation of their value for strategic planning in the international travel industry. International Journal of Tourism Research, 7(3), 135-150. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.527