Tour operators and tour providers must at all times operate according to the highest business and ethical standards and respect all applicable laws and regulations in the region and province or territory in which it operates. Tour operators and providers must accept and acknowledge that they have a responsibility not only to their owners and shareholders, but also to society in general 1. In the past, tour operators and providers have sometimes neglected their responsibility as far as the well-being and safety of all leisure group travelers during the tour is concerned, as well as their environmental and social responsibilities, arguing that they are simply intermediaries. While all stakeholders in this industry clearly share the responsibility, most tour operators and providers now understand that it is precisely because they are intermediaries – working closely with both tourists and tourism service suppliers – that they have an important impact on broader safety and security issues and how destination resources are managed, by influencing the choices of consumers, the practices of suppliers, and the development patterns of destinations 2.
The risks that lie within tourism are not only related to the individual tourist and the host society, but also to the company that organizes the trip, namely tour operators. They play a very important role in creating the images of destinations and can significantly influence international flows towards a country hit by safety and security risks 3.
Tour operators and providers should take every reasonable effort under their control to ensure the well-being and safety of all leisure group travelers during the tour, while making the best possible effort to provide them with accurate information about the products, services and experiences they will encounter during their trip to any particular destination.
Destination Security. Security, safety, and peace are amongst the most important conditions necessary for the development of tourism in any region, or destination. These conditions are therefore the fundamental determinants of its development. Without favorable safety and security conditions, tourism destinations cannot successfully complete with other markets, even if they offer the best and most attractive quality of natural and built attractions in their marketing campaigns. Tourism benefits from peace as much as it benefits from it.
It would be difficult to deny that crime and violent acts are common occurrences at tourism destination all over the world as many types of security and safety risks coexist in daily life of everyone within this industry as well 4. Given that a violence and crime occurs at various destinations, a reciprocal relationship exists between tourist’s security and safety and tourism development, especially for destinations or regions that are highly reliant on tourism. This is, while numerous types of security risks exist in every person’s daily live, the tourism industry has a unique difference. This unique difference exist because whereas people are usually not in a position to relocate from one place to another under most circumstances, there is nothing that can force a tourist to spend a holiday in a destination they perceive to be insecure.
Tour providers and operators must understand these broader security and safety issues within the context of the psychology and nature of tourism that works on the basis of both real and imaginary values, and which can ultimately provide some destination with a competitive advantage over others 6. Developing such competitive advantage and maintaining it primarily dependent on the security, safety and peace of the particular destination, and this remains the principal condition for growth of tourism in any region, country or destination. Security and safety attributes enable a destination to successfully compete with other emerging generation of tour markets.
The business interests of tour operators and their partners in the receiving countries in such situations lose their common grounds, and marketing a destination in generating markets becomes their main problems. The respective destination thus stays without direct and adequate support on foreign markets, since their tourism depends on outside tour operators. There have been many examples of such behavior in tour operators. A few cases of the reactions of foreign tours operators toward countries hit by safety and security risks support the points raised.