The Wary Traveler

A gunman walked into an Oneida Nation casino in Wisconsin on May 1, 2021, and opened fire. Two people lost their lives and one was seriously injured. The shooter was a fired employee. In March 2019, a hotel in Natick, Massachusetts, evacuated guests and employees just before 3:00 a.m. when one person was shot in the hotel atrium, suffering minor injuries.

Active shooters a growing concern for many travelers. As more shootings occur in random business locations, travelers are looking for assurances that they will be safe.

However, shooters are not the only threat today’s travelers face — civil unrest is also on the rise. On May 1, 2021, violence broke out during protests in southwest Portland, Oregon. This was just one of a number of demonstrations that ended in damaged buildings and broken windows in the Portland area.

For any hotel, theme park, or tourist attraction trying to conduct business and attract visitors, what’s happening locally – or even nationally – can negatively impact the bottom line. For an industry that is already struggling due to a global pandemic, one more issue could be devastating financially.

Security: No Guarantees

Even so, no hospitality venue can guarantee safety. However, what they can do is increase safety measures, document all efforts and put safety at the forefront of their operations. Some of the additional safety measures any venue can implement include:

  • Security cameras in public spaces and around the property and buildings
  • Improve COVID-19 protocols and protections
  • Have a solid security process for terminating employees
  • Review all safety efforts to ensure they are nondiscriminatory
  • Travel safety alerts
  • Discussion with local law enforcement to implement a plan for the potential of an active shooter situation
  • Perform active shooter drills and training for staff members

Bringing Safety to the Forefront

As the hospitality industry begins to receive guests again, focusing on guest and employee safety is the first step toward winning the confidence of visitors.

Communicate your efforts to improve safety and educate your visitors on how to move around safely while visiting the area. By creating a more safety-centric culture, and by improving transparency about your organization’s safety measures, your guests can feel more comfortable when visiting.

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