Craig Foster, the Regional Operations Director for Hill & Associates Ltd. met with nearly 60 representatives from Bali's major hotels and tourism operators, briefing them on the various threats facing the region's hospitality industry on Thursday, September 25, 2003. Hill & Associates Ltd. are recognized as Asia's leading risk management and security service providers maintaining 14 offices across the region.
In a two hour dialogue, Foster provided an updated assessment of security risks following the Bali bombing of October 12, 2002, and the Marriot bombing on August 5, 2003. Another section of his presentation, using photographs from the Jakarta bomb site, provided insights on what additional steps could be introduced to anticipate and prevent similar attacks in the future. He then looked at measures to stem terror and reduce risks being introduced by corporations, tour operators, airlines and major hotel brands.
Meeting the Challenge of Travel Warnings
Commenting on the negative travel warning in place from many countries that dissuade international travelers from visiting a destination, Foster characterized such warnings as a "fact of life" with little to be gained in trying to protest and rally against such pronouncements. A more effective response to negative travel warnings, he suggested, is for destinations and individual operators to adopt a program of quality assurance and controlled performance for logistics, security and service.
He then went on to review the recently inaugurated COPE program for "controlled performance" introduced in Singapore. Backed by the Singapore government and a number of leading hotel and tour operators in Singapore, COPE strives to provide a high standard of professionalism in managing security risks for the meeting and conference industry through a certification program for both a destination and the individual component companies operating there.
Discussions were initiated at the Bali meeting to seek an invitation from COPE in Singapore that would allow the Bali travel industry to see first hand the system in operation with an eye to its potential adoption for the island's tourism industry.
Craig Foster serves as a member of the Advisory Board for COPE in Singapore.
In introducing Craig Foster, J.M. Daniels, the President Director of Bali Discovery Tours reminded the participants that in a world where tourism attacks can happen anywhere that if tourism operators fail to pay proper attention to the security of their operations that failure invites the probability that someone else may be laying in wait, noting our vulnerbilities.
Craig Foster's appearance in Bali was coordinated by Bali Discovery Tours.
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