Santo Domingo. - World tourism moves around US$9.0 trillion yearly, for which the security needed to consolidate its position as the economic kingpin is "nonnegotiable" for industry experts gathered today in the capital of the Dominican Republic, EFE reports.
Speakers in the 4th International Security and Defense Conference 2012 stressed the strengths and weaknesses in the protection of the tourism industry’s environs, which must be dealt with cooperation between governments and private entities.
"Tourism industry players must manage the sector 'heart to heart', should reciprocate collaboration, protection their reputation and help tourists as much as possible," said the American Peter Tarlow, expert on terrorism and crime’s impact on tourism.
In his view, negative news develops "dangerous tendencies" affecting international tourism, since the nature of the sector is the enjoyment of freedom in security. "Recently in Aruba the disappearance of a young tourist, who ultimately never appeared, led to the island losing 80 percent of its occupancy capacity."
Tarlow, president of the organization "Tourism and More," added that it’s better to spend one dollar in prevention than $100 trying to retrieve a market affected by bad news.
For Dominican Hotels and Tourism Association president Luis Emilio Rodriguez, judicial security is among the main problems affecting the country’s sector.
"We see with astonishment how in an embarrassing spectacle, assaults disguised as liens conducted by mobs scare away investors and guests in our hotels," the business leader said.