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Tourism
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Risk & Contingency Management (Masters in Hospitality Management) (Essay Sample)

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the paper is about the kidnappings that were happening in Malaysian Island Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) affiliated to Alqaeda network. The paper concentrates most on Sipadan Island where twenty one people were kidnapped from Dive Resort and were released after large sums of money was given to ASG terrorists. this act is compared to other similar terrorist attacks in various parts of the world and their effects on tourism industry. Malaysian economy whose heart is Tourism was greatly affected by these attacks. this was solved by tightening security in the country especially along the coastline.

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Content:
Sipadan kidnapping and its effects on tourism
Crisis is an occurrence that disturbs the normal functionality of live or undertakings in live while a negative event is an event that occurs contrary to expectations. Dive island resort at Sipadan Island, on April 23, 2000 ended the day with a human-induced crisis. Anderson and Sloan (2009, p.5) states that on that date, the ASG-Abu Sayyaf Group-terrorists invaded the Malaysian Island and took hostage of twenty one (21) divers from the resort. The hostages included among them: European and Middle Eastern tourists, Malaysian resort workers and other non- Filipino citizens. ASG connected the kidnapping with their demand for freedom from the Malaysian government. The terrorists freed with the 21 to Jolo- ASG base in Sulu, from where they placed several demands before the government of Malaysia for release of the hostages. Among the demands were: $2.4 million, withdrawal of government forces from the areas near Jolo and the release of Ramzi Yosefu who was the suspected bomber of the world trade center in 1993. The Malaysian government however paid a deaf ear to the terrorists and instead launched a rescue operation where the military went attacking and bombing all the suspected hideouts of ASG. The decline resulted to beheading of two men by ASG rebels.
In September the same year the rebels released all the hostages- except Roland Ullah, a dive instructor at the resort- following a mediation process led by Rajab Azzarouq of Libya. It was agreed in the mediation that the Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi pay $ 10 million to the libels for release of: South Africans, Finland, German and French hostages. Ong-Webb (2009, p. 62) mentions that some Malaysian businessmen also contributed five million dollars for the release of Malaysians.
The course of action
On the night of attack six ASG terrorists armed with rifles and rocket launchers stormed the resort with speed boats when the dinner was being served. They started forcing the captives in to their boat at gunpoint, where after accomplishing their mission they headed to Philippine waters which is ninety minutes away while using speed boats. The hostages were robbed off their money, phones, jewelry and other valuables before being forced in to the boat. An American couple- Mary and James Murphy- luckily managed to escape the attack unhurt after the kidnappers ignored them giving them a chance to hide in the nearby bushes (Fuller 2003, p.14).
Impacts of the Sipadan kidnapping on tourism
Tourism is the major source of revenue in Malaysia. This attack was therefore a major blow to the country since Sipadan resort is one of the major tourist destination in the island. The impact of the attack was felt in various ways in the larger Malaysia and in the Island as well.
Destabilized economy
First, travel advisories given to citizens of various nations in the world meant reduced foreign exchange earnings. Following the attack the American and Japanese governments issued their citizens a warning on travelling to Sipadan for holiday threatening them that those who chose to travel there were to provide their own security. Following such advisories the number of tourists visiting the island dropped by between 60% and 100% after six months (Garrod and Wilson 2003, 132). This meant that the major economic activity of the island had come to a standstill and consequently the foreign revenue equally reduced. As a result, the economic power of the island and the larger Malaysia was adversely shaken.
Fear
Far from travel advisories many people in the world developed fear of such attack and so kept off the island. Many opted to preserve their lives which saw the number of tourists who did not mind their safety coming down to 100%. On the other hands many resort workers also developed fear to working in the island resorts and opted to look for alternative sources of income to even outside the island. These fears meant that the island was to have less tourist influx as well as reduced labor force in the tourism industry, which further meant deterioration of this sector of economy.
Fear of terrorism is not only the problem that kept away tourists from visiting resorts in Malaysia. There have also been problems of harassment by security forces who keep an eye on these resorts. Woodside & Martin (2008, p.96) states that, female tourists in Malaysian beaches keep complaining of harassments and being shouted at by moral policemen.
Security
Marine tourism has created an image if insecurity on the face of tourism industry. After the kidnappings by ASG fighters what got into the minds of many people in the world is a repetition of the same. This is especially after several such incidences have been reported in coastal strips of many countries in the world. In 2011, such incidences were reported in the East African coast where Al Shabaab militias carried out similar attacks in Mombasa Kenya. Similarly not long after Sipadan hostages were released that another island in Malaysia was attacked by the same group. Such incidences have therefore created fear that ecotourism is an insecure sector.
On the other hand such attacks have also brought about positive impacts on ecotourism. After Malaysian islands were attacked the government strengthened the security in these islands especially in the tourism sector. Currently there are several patrol boats that are seen around these islands and even some security forces have set up their operation bases in some of the resorts. Similar operations have been observed even at the East coast where security has also been emphasized in tourism industry.
Terrorism
This sector of economy has for some time been viewed as a hub for terrorists. This is due to the fact that the main target for terrorists is hotels and resorts. To carry out any attacks, terrorists disguise themselves as tourists where they board these hotels, hence getting a good chance to survey the target area and its security. They may either attack the hotels as seen in Sipadan other targets outside them.
Reduced competition
Terrorism as associated with marine tourism makes tourist destinations located at the coast less competitive in terms of security. Many tourists prefer visiting destinations located away from coastlines in fear of terrorist attacks. This is because many believe that terrorists find it easy to carry out their missions by sea.
Response to terrorists' attack in Malaysia
On September 2000, one day after the release of Sipadan resort hostages the ASG militants invaded yet another island of Malaysia and abducted three Malaysians from a resort. This was not taken lightly by the Malaysian government where it launched an antiterrorism operation in all its islands, where it increased security in the waters. According to Kleinen & Osseweijer (2010, p. 254) Malaysian government had announced that it was going to set up a new naval patrol base in Semporna and also more marine police would be deployed. All these announcements were made when Sipadan hostages were still in captivity. This followed preparation of an action plan by the state government, royal police and the defense ministry. The plan was to intensify marine patrol in Malaysian waters especially at the borders of Indonesia and Philippines. New military hardware were therefore acquired among them being speed and blitz boats which were then supplied for Semporna district.
Furthermore additional police booths were set up in the villages exposed to sea, and members of general action police groups were placed in strategic islands not leaving out Sipadan and Mabul. An administration base for district police was also constructed at interiors of Semporna where two hundred and seventy (270) policemen are housed with their families. Finally a naval base was constructed and equipped with high powerful hardware including patrol boats. This base was opened in 2005
Impacts of security measures
The security measures by Malaysian Government bore positive results. Terror attacks dras...
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