Disaster Resilience in Tourism Sector

Language : ไทย

สึนามิ เกาะพีพี ประเทศไทย ธันวาคม พ.ศ. 2547 แหล่งภาพ: Paula Bronstein, http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/12/ten-years-since-the-2004-indian-ocean-tsunami/100878/
a Tsunami December 28, 2004 on Phi Phi Island, Thailand, highly impacted to tourism sector; Picture Source: Paula Bronstein, http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/12/ten-years-since-the-2004-indian-ocean-tsunami/100878/

Tourism industry is sensitive to all kind of situations. Hence any occurrence of disaster always negatively affects the tourism due to lack of tourists’ confidence, in their safety and wellbeing. Disasters also have impacts on tourism entrepreneurs such as hotel and resort owners, guide services; and those who are working in the tourist attractions areas, would be gaining fewer incomes. In accordance with disaster footprint, it would also have to take an amount of budget for situation recovery and also be taking a while to regain confidence back from tourist groups.

Exploration of tourist attractions and businesses, on purpose of disaster risk assessment, is an essential process. This process aims to prioritize which place should be mitigated first or should be completely protected under disastrous situation (e.g. cultural attractions, world heritage site). In addition, tourism sector risk mitigation measures which include preparation, adaptation, and approaches shall be taken into account; in exchange for securing business safety and tourists’ confidence in attractions’ capability to cope with the situation.


Disaster resilience measures

  1. Prevention and Mitigation Measure
    1. Structural Measure
      1. Ensuring standardized construction of hotel, resort, or organization especially in high risk areas exposed to earthquake and tsunami.
      2. Using anti-flood structure in the organization, tourist attractions, and ancient remains in the possibly flooded area
    2. Non-Structural Measure
      1. Avoiding to establish business in high risk location especially trespassed construction in conserved forest and national park which are illegal as well as ruining ecological system and natural resources, and are causes of disaster and its impact risks also
      2. Establishing of security system and plan in tourist attractions supervised by expertise
      3. Establishing of waste disposal and wastewater discharging system including standardized wastewater and garbage treatment system to prevent epidemic
  2. Preparedness Measure
    1. Adaptation
      1. Promoting and supporting tourism officers, tourism polices, guides, volunteers, employees, personnel, and others to be able to communicate in foreign language as to assist foreigner tourists
      2. Establishing directional maps, improving public sign boards to be clear and available in community places
    2. Disaster Preparedness
      1. Determining migration route, migration approach, and safe zone including clear migration route map as well as fire escape route in the hotel
      2. Educating tourism business entrepreneurs and employees about disaster preparedness safety and regulation including clear responsibilities
      3. Setting up fire drill and tsunami preparedness plan with local unit and community
      4. Preparing standardized and safety equipment and installation of firefighting system with readiness of use.
      5. Rescue preparing for employees and tourists under disastrous situation
      6. Food, drink, and survival equipment preparing in safe zone with monitoring on expiration date
      7. Preparing efficient communication system with multiple channels to disseminate information and able to communicate with tourists to acknowledge on time; including preparation of reserved communication system under emergency situation
      8. Providing of safety guideline in the hotel and tourist attractions such as brochure or video in multi-language to ensure understanding of disaster, action to be taken, migration route, and safe zone
      9. Applying insurance in case of any disastrous situation

Tourism stakeholders

Local tourism associations/ Entrepreneurs in tourism sector/ Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation/Ministry of Tourism & Sports


Because tourism is sensitive all kind of events, the occurred disaster is usually slow this sector down due to the lack of securing confidence. Thus, the risk assessment is the first priority for any attractions to ensure its preservation. The example of DDR activity for this sector is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Example of tourism activities for disaster risk reduction

The disaster preventive and mitigation acts
Infrastructure activities
  • Constructing the hotels and resorts on secure structure which meet the requirement of construction standard, especially those located in the earthquake -prone areas;
  • Using the flood control structures in tourism attraction areas, establishments, and archaeological sites;
Non-infrastructure activities
  • Avoiding the location that in restricted area such as conserved forest and natural part;
  • Arranging the wastes, wastewater management system that in accordance with the standard;
Preparedness acts
  • Encouraging the relevant tourism personnel to be able to communicate in foreign languages in order to help the tourists during the time of disaster;
  • Displaying the routes and improving the public signs to be clear and install at the right positions;
Preparedness for the catastrophe.
  • Identifying and displaying the evacuation routes, evacuation practices and safe spots, as well as the fire escape route in hotels;
  • Conducting the fire drill, Tsunami evacuation drill with local government office and the nearby community;
  • Preparing and ensuring the availability of consumable food, water supply, and Survival kit in the designated safe spot; and
  • Etc.

In Thailand, the Fine Arts Department and Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning installed the removable flood control structure around Chai Wattanaram Temple which is one of the distinctive tourist attractions in Thailand. The system includes the underground water prevention system, 2.5 meters tall-hinges. The hinges lay along the river bank which can lift up as the barrier if the river overflows the bank.


Example 1: The flood control structures in Ayudthaya Province

The Fine Arts Department and Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning installed the removable flood control structure around Chai Wattanaram Temple which is one of the distinctive tourist attractions in Thailand. The system includes the underground water prevention system, 2.5 meters tall-hinges. The hinges lay along the river bank which can lift up as the barrier if the river overflows the bank.

Flood Control Structure at Chai Wattanaram Temple

โครงสร้างป้องกันน้ำท่วมที่วัดชัยวัฒนาราม, แหล่งภาพ: สถาบันอยุธยาศึกษา, 2552 อ้างอิงโดย DDMP (2557)
Flood Control Structure at Chai Wattanaram Temple, Photo source: สถาบันอยุธยาศึกษา, 2552 cited by DDMP (2014)


Example 2: Tsunami warning system in southern part of Thailand

After the tsunami disaster in 2004, the several tourist attractions on southern provinces install the local warning system. The evacuation routes, safe spots, and watchtower established with clear indicate signs in Thai and English language. Moreover, the tsunami evacuation drill has been conducted every year. This is not only to ensure the safe practice but also to strengthen the tourist’s confidence regarding safety.

หอสังเกตการณ์สึนามิและป้ายต่างๆ, แหล่งภาพ: ศูนย์วิจัยและพัฒนาการป้องกันและจัดการภัยพิบัติและกรมป้องกันและบรรเสาธารณภัย อ้างอิงโดย DDMP (2557)
Tsunami watchtower and signs, Photo source: Center for Research and Development of Disaster Prevention and management and Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ศูนย์วิจัยและพัฒนาการป้องกันและจัดการภัยพิบัติ และ กรมป้องกันและบรรเทาสาธารณภัย) cited by DDMP (2014)

There are other sectors; infrastructure; education; public health; and residential, that can implement the disaster risk abatement measures. Further information of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Guideline, Please visit Disaster Risk Reduction Guideline.



Categories: Adaptation,Disaster Resilience


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