Security expert takes on Rio tourism safety

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The security and safety of the bustling city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is a hot topic these days.

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Tourism security in Rio is a hot topic, and the new government that is to take power on January 1 well understands that tourism security – “tourism well-being” – is the essential key to economic success.

Tourism security is an important initial impact reaction and often addresses an immediate need to address a current security issue. Tourism well-being is follow-through on that intention. Often, once a destination becomes the target of a security crisis, it is a challenging climb back into the fair graces of travelers as they decide where they will spend their holidays.

The bustling city of Rio de Janeiro has been one of Brazil’s most popular and frequented tourist destinations for decades. Its vibrant city center is bursting with culture and a deep sense of history and heritage. Rio, as it is commonly known, is the second largest city in Brazil with at least 6 million people, and the third largest metropolis in the whole of South America. It is the most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sign promoting tourism security

Yesterday, Peter Tarlow, who leads the eTN Travel Security and Safety Training team, met with the incoming State Secretary of Tourism in Rio and other city representatives, along with officials from town and cities in the interior of the State of Rio de Janeiro. In that meeting he spoke about the city’s need for discipline, for doable goals, and for consistency.

He shared: “ As is true in much of South America, there is often the desire to look to technology as a quick solution. This seeking of what I call the quick-fix, all too often results in lots of money being spent on technology that offers great promise and even greater disappointments.

“The bottom line is, in the world of tourism, technology without the human element might solve some problems but all too frequently creates new problems and can end up dehumanizing an industry that is based on interpersonal relationships.”

Dr. Peter Tarlow

Security and safety is hardly limited to Rio. Caution is necessary for all tourists in any large urban area. Like most big cities, there is the good, the bad and the ugly sides to traveling. The well-being of wide-eyed tourists gleeful to be on holiday, need to be top of mind for city officials when visitors come to their playgrounds.

All destinations have some form of security challenge and each community symbolizes the universal fact that to be human is to face a world of challenges. In the end, Cain’s famous challenge, “Ha’shomer achi anochi,” which translates to, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is the question of the day. And the answer to that question is yes, we are all part of one human family, and we are our brother’s keeper.

In the final analysis, anything we can do to help raise our tourism brothers and sisters up is a challenge we must take on. In the worlds of Sir Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is power,” and the Certified for Safety program is the power behind destination security.

Certified for Safety is a partnership between Dr. Peter Tarlow’s company, Tourism & More, Inc. and the eTN Group. Tourism and More has been working for over 2 decades with hotels, tourism-oriented cities and countries, and both public and private security officers and police in the field of tourism security. Dr. Tarlow is a world-renowned expert in the field of tourism security and safety. He leads the eTN Travel Security and Safety Training team. For more information, visit

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