Effects of Natural Disasters on Tourism Term Paper
The assignment will provide the user with a better understanding of the impact of natural risks and disasters on business organizations and industry in a particular area. The paper will talk about how different kinds of natural disasters can impact the working of business organizations in a particular area. Apart from that, the paper will also examine how that particular area will be affected as compared to a different area. At last, proper identification of the impacts and risks will be highlighted in the paper along with the proposed solutions to tackle the risks and reduce its impact on the company.
In this report, we are going to examine how natural risks can impact an industry and what are the various challenges a business organization in the industry can face through these natural risks. In this particular report, we will talk about the tourism industry in India, specifically in Kerala which is one of the highly prone flood area in the country.
Kerala is a major tourist destination in India which is extremely famous for its beaches, wildlife, hill stations, backwater, waterfalls and lighthouses. There are various cultural festivals, and events organize and only in the state which attracts tourists from all over the world. However, being of flood prone area, the tourism industry in the state offers less services at a higher price as compared to other destinations in the country. This is because natural risks such as tsunami and flood impact the tourism industry of the state greatly. The report will address how the natural risks in the state has been impacting the tourism industry in that particular area and provide a comparison of the same industry in a different area to provide a better understanding of the impact of the risk in the business. Apart from that, proper solution will also be derived for the issues which can be used by the management of the tourism industry in order to manage the risk.
Kerala is one of the most popular and major tourist destinations in India. As per statistics of 2017, Kerala attracted around 10 million foreign travelers in the state which was 5% more as compared to the previous year figure. When it comes to domestic travelers, around 146 million tourists visited the state in 2017 which was 12% higher as compared to the previous year figure. The revenue generated from foreign exchange in the state in 2017 was around INR 84 billion and the overall revenue generated from the tourism industry in the state was around INR 334 billion. However, due to regular floods in the state, the tourism industry suffers a great deal in Kerala which cannot be seen in any different state of the country (Kokkranikal, 2002). Since Kerala lies on the tropical Malabar Coast of South Western India, it has been hit by various floods and tsunamis in the past few decades. In 2004 it was one of the worst states to be hit by Tsunami in India with an estimated loss of thousands of crores with hundreds of people died. It also broke the backbone of the tourism Industry in the state as most of the natural heritage sites which are the major tourist attraction in the state were affected. Apart from that, communication infrastructure was also started during 2004 Tsunami which drastically reduced the demand for tourism in Kerala (Kazemi, 2008). On the other hand, the fear of earthquake and flood to get back in the state was high among people both in India and in foreign, which decreased the tourism opportunities in the state by 70%. Even though the place is famous for various natural scenic beauty and culture, there was very few people willing to take the risk of visiting the state which resulted in the increased price for tourism in Kerala.
Kerala is one of those states in India which receives the highest rainfall in the monsoon season. This increases the chances of the flood in the state and unprecedented rainfall can also result in reduced demand of tourism. The state again received a massive flood in 2018 where around 483 people died with over 33000 people were by the Kerala disaster management authority. Around 3274 relief camps for operational in various location in order to accommodate the flood victims which was over 1.2 million. The Kerala flood 2018 resulted in the loss of property of INR 40,000 crore ($5.6 B), which again put the Kerala tourism to a halt.
Some of the major factors in natural risks that impact the tourism industry in Kerala
Transportation: One of the major impacts of natural disasters such as flood and Tsunami in Kerala on tourism industry can be seen on the transportation facility of the state. According to the reports, the Cochin International Airport, which is the fourth busiest airport of India, suspended all its flights during the 2018 flood. Similarly, the Kochi Metro was also closed and the Southern Railway also suspended its train services from Thiruvananthapuram – Ernakulam – Palakkad sections that consist of most important tourist destinations of the state. This broke the tourism industry of Kerala and deserted all the tourist in the state during the flood (Theobald, 2012). The tourism companies working in Kerala also couldn’t help the tourists as the flood had already blocked all the Highways and roads accessible to get out from the state. There was no proper accommodation facilities which could have been provided to the tourists during the disaster (Kokkranikal, 2002).
Tourism activities: It is important to understand that during a natural disaster of any kind, tourism activities such as paragliding, boating, rafting, trekking and indulging in cultural festivals is not possible. In Kerala during 2018 flood, all the tourism activities were closed, which also provided dissatisfaction to the customers during their tour (Kokkranikal, 2002).
Accommodation facility: One of the major elements of the tourism industry is the accommodation facility which was severely affected in Kerala during the tsunami and flood in 2018. Even during 2017 which is considered the best year for tourism in the state, the accommodation facility provided to the tourists was much costlier. During the natural disasters, it is extremely difficult to find proper accommodation facilities which affect the tourism industry of the particular area.
Loss of clientele: Tourism industry is one such industry which depends heavily on word of mouth. If a person visit a place which he likes, he will promote it among friends and family and recommend them to visit the place (Kazemi, 2008). However, if the client does not have a satisfactory experience during his visit at a particular place, he will advise people not to visit to the destination. It is certainly the case with Kerala tourism as it has lost many of their tourists in the past few years due to natural calamities. People visiting the state during these calamities had a very bad experience even after spending a lot of their money and would advise people to not visit the state as it is disaster prone. It will discourage others to choose a different tourist destination to visit instead of Kerala and even if they visit the state, they will not choose monsoon period to visit Kerala.
Damage to infrastructure and environment: Another important factor which can impact the Kerala tourism from natural calamities are the damage to infrastructure and the environment which can decline the tourism industry in the state (Shondell, 2008). Apart from creating the sense among people that the area is unsafe, it actually cost physical damage to the infrastructure of the state which included building and cultural heritage sites and also interrupted Electric Supply and water supply throughout the area (Kokkranikal, 2002).
Discouraged tourism business: A place that is regularly hit by natural calamities hardly attracts businesses, especially a tourism business. There is always a risk of loss of Assets and equipments, loss of workers, heavy loss on investment, supply chain disruption and much more, which repel people from starting a tourism business in the state. This results in Limited amount of tourism business companies and agencies in Kerala who charges a high price for their services from the tourists (Cherukara, 2008).
Compare how these factors do not impact the tourism industry of any other area
In the previous section, we talked about how natural disasters such as tsunami and flood impact the tourism industry in Kerala as the state is highly disaster-prone which results in higher prices in tourism services such as transportation, accommodation and other tourism activities. However, if we compare any of these factors to some other location in India, we will find that the impact is not the same as it is with Kerala. For instance, let’s talk about Agra which is a city located on the banks of river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, India. It consists of various tourist destinations including Taj Mahal, which is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is the most visited place in India. Other major destinations include Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now as compared to Kerala, it is not a state but it city in one of the biggest states in the country. If we talk about the tourism facilities in Agra, we can see a lot of variations in the price structure. The accommodation facilities are available for the visitors at a very cheap price and the transportation facilities here covers a wide range of mode including national highways, flights and trains, all of which are cost-efficient (Swinney et al, 2012). This is because Agra is not a disaster-prone area and it has variable connectivity with other parts of India including the national capital New Delhi and other international cities.
As in the previous section, we discussed how discouraged tourism business is one of the major factors which impact the tourism industry of Kerala due to natural disasters. This is not the case with Agra tourism as there are no natural risks associated with the business. There are no possibility of loss of Assets and workers and equipments and the supply chain will continue to be intact throughout the year. This would encourage people to start their tourism business in the City which would increase the competition in the market and reduce the tourism price in the City (Prideaux et al, 2007).
There are many ways the impact of natural disasters in the tourism industry can be reduced in Kerala and in any other area. One of the most important solutions for the issue is utilizing risk management technique in the tourism industry. Risk management is gaining popularity in India and in the world as it has become extremely important to protect the customers and the business in case of natural calamities (Cherukara, 2008). It is necessary to identify the risk associated in the tourist destination from the natural disasters and perform a risk management strategy in order to overcome it.
The Tourism industry in Kerala is facing an increased threat from the natural calamity which involves risk for both the customers and the tourist company. Extreme weather, floods, tsunamis and health-related issues are the major concerns of The Tourist Industry in Kerala. Apart from that, increasing prices of tourism element in the state is another major area that needs to be tackled with. To find a proper solution for the issue, risk management techniques need to be employed by the tourism industry of the state. These include:
1. Identification of the risk: One of the most important solutions for natural risk in tourism in Kerala is to identify the natural hazards and its cause, frequency, duration and scope of impact before it happens. It will help the tourism industry to develop necessary plan in order to reduce the impact of the natural disaster in the industry (Ritchie, 2004).
2. Determining risk management strategy: This will help the industry to avoid the risk and reduce its likelihood of the consequences. This includes cancelling the tour during monsoon season and utilizes water management to ensure the safety of the customers during the calamity.
3. Develop risk management plan: The risk management plan should include how the safety of the visitors and employees can be ensured, how to communicate with all the people in case of natural risk, how to supply the necessary resources to the support team and perform recovery operations, etc. (Durocher, 2014).
4. Team up with the stakeholders: Another possible solution to reduce the impact of natural risk and the tourism industry of Kerala is to collaborate with the stakeholders of the tourism industry such as the National tourism administration, the police, disaster management team, airline and transport company associations, tourism and travel representatives and Hotel Association. This will help the tourism industry to secure safety of the customers and employees during a natural calamity.
5. Provide training to the staff: The staff of the tourism industry should be provided with necessary training so that they can carry out their roles and responsibilities during natural disasters. This includes providing them with the skills on how to handle crisis and how to evacuate people during the flood. It is also necessary to perform in mock drill and test your plan in order to find out if it has some kind of weaknesses of flaws (Glinska, 2013).
One of the most important things to consider in order to reduce the impact of natural ways on tourism is to promote the tourist destination at every level and ensure that the tourist will be taken care with at every crisis. Furthermore, the tourism industry of Kerala should also encourage businessman to start tourism business in the state which would reduce the tourism price in the state which would also attract tourists from all over the world (Prideaux, 2007).
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
The report identified some of the major factors how the natural this affect a company or the industry at a particular geographical location. By taking the example of the tourism industry in Kerala, we came to understand how natural disasters such as tsunami and flood impacted the tourism industry of Kerala and how it would have been different in any other state or city in India. The major recommendation can be made for the tourism industry in this particular case is that taking extra precaution while developing and providing tours to the people in Kerala which include associated with stakeholders in the tourism industry to ensure better services and security to the tourists and cancel any tour during a period which can result in disaster. The paper provided major highlights on the importance of risk management technique in the tourism industry in Kerala and how it can provide positive impact to the industry which include reducing the prices of tourism and delivering a sense of safety among the people visiting the state.
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