JEMUN 2017 - Page 23

When you’re traveling you never know what might happen. And with more than 25 countries represented at JEMUN, students were happy to receive some tips from crisis tourism expert Masato Takamatsu.

So what does a tourism crisis management expert do?

“It is different from people in the field,” says Mr. Takamatsu. “Like in hotels or other tourism related facilities, there are security or safety managers and they are responsible for their own crisis management. They are responsible for the securing the safety of the visitors as well as the security of business operation. Of course, the industry, the whole sector has to insure the safety of the visitors.

“However, at the same time, the industry is just equally as important. There are so many people who depend on the [tourism] industry to make a living. For example, the food that is served in the hotel are from the local market and distributors.” As Mr. Takamatsu says, if the businesses go out of the market, not only the hotels are affected but also the economy of the local communities.

Mr. Takamatsu was one of the founders of Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) in 1982, following his graduation from University of Tokyo (BA in education). Mr. Takamatsu is also one of the founders of Japan Tourism Marketing Co. (JTM), JTB’s subsidiary company specializing in research and consulting services (recently rebranded as “JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co”). He serves as a member of the UNWTO Tourism Barometer Panel of Tourism Experts, WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) Advisory Circle, a Board member of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)’s private sector initiative “ARISE”, an Expert Committee member of the World City Tourism Federation, and Conseil Consultatif International for Atout France. He has recently been appointed Visiting Professor of the Center for Integrated Disaster Information Research, University of Tokyo and International Tourism Management, Toyo University.

With his 35 years of experience in travel and tourism industry, he is a renowned consultant in the tourism sector. His expertise also includes tourism crisis management, in which field he has committed himself to ensure the safety of visitors and travel and tourism businesses in the event of potential disasters and crises.

As a tourism crisis management expert consultant, Mr. Takamatsu’s main job is to cooperate with the local governments or tourism boards to draft a crisis evacuation plan. Mr. Takamatsu explained that those two bodies often just emphasize residents, which unfortunately means that visitors are neglected. This is where Mr. Takamatsu steps in, his job is to help visitors of a destination cope with emergency situations.

He supplements emergency plans previously drafted by tourism-related bodies, for example he helps make signboards in different languages (i.e. in Japan: in Japanese, English, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese) and adds sections on helping tourists in those plans.

Mr. Takamatsu also has some tips for us in order to prepare for an emergency. He said that he wants visitors to be able to identify evacuation routes or exits and read emergency procedure manuals during their trip to be informed on what to do or what not to do in emergency situations.

Words of Guest Speaker #3

What does a tourism crisis management expert do?

By Mazayya Fadillah and Sayuri Miura

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