Incredible Handbook on Crisis and Disaster Management in Tourism

Dr. David Beerman

This book is more than a handbook. It was developed after a discussion in September 2023 by the World Tourism Network on how to deal with the deadly fires in Lahaina, Maui, and relaunch tourism. 8 months later  this Handbook on Crisis and Disaster Management in Tourism was published. World Tourism Network is the new voice for SMEs in travel and tourism with 25,000 members in 133 countries. It’s $1 to join for eTurboNews readers.


Australian-based World Tourism Network member David Beirman has been actively involved in researching, teaching, and working with the global travel industry in the field of tourism risk, crisis, resilience, and recovery for many years.

David joined Professor Bruce Prideaux in its latest timely book released last month on Crisis and Disaster Management in Tourism.

This book has been over two years in the making.

It contains comprehensive coverage of tourism risk, crisis, resilience, and recovery with a focus on pre and post-pandemic perspectives.

The book’s editors Prof Bruce Prideaux and Dr David Beirman wrote several of the chapters.

Prof. Bruce Prideaux

Bruce Prideaux is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on tourism risk, crisis, and resilience. Unusually for a tourism academic he has served in the Australian Army Reserve for 25 years and holds the rank of Captain.

He lives in the cyclone-prone city of Cairns in far north Queensland. His military experience is frequently used in his work helping destinations recover from natural disasters. He has been the author or co-author of 15 books.

In this book, Bruce’s chapters focused attention on the issue of climate change and its role as an ongoing and lingering factor in natural disasters. He maintains that climate change is a key accelerant of natural and environmental crises and disasters.

Dr.David Beirman

World Tourism Discussion on the Maui Fires and Crisis Management Sep 19,2023

David  Beirman has been involved in tourism as both a tourism practitioner (travel agent, tour operator, and destination manager/marketer) and an academic for 43 years.

This is his 5th book. David’s chapters in this book focus on government discrimination against the cruise sector during the COVID-19 crisis and the implications of the 2019 Thomas Cook Collapse.

A key finding is that COVID-19 forced most tourism businesses to finally abandon their suicidal business model of high-volume low yield to a more financially sustainable business model focussing on a value proposition rather than unsustainable low prices.

The Thomas Cook collapse resulted from the company accruing massive debt because it tried to take on too many sectors beyond its core competencies(some like their airline made huge losses).

The other issue that arises from that chapter was the fact that UK and Europe had excellent government-backed coverage for consumers when Cooks became insolvent but this is not reflected in most of the rest of the world.

Over the two years it took to research, write, and edit the book,  Bruce and David approached a wide range of leading global academic and professional travel industry experts on crisis and disaster to ensure the book covered a wide range of expertise and did so on a global basis.

Contributors from 12 countries

The book is comprised of 432 pages and 25 chapters written by 42 contributors from 12 countries. The publisher is London based, Edward-Elgar Publishing

Tourism industry contributors include Richard Gordon MBE, Director of the University of Bournemouth (UK) Disaster Management Centre, a world-leading disaster management center that works closely with airlines, government tourism organizations, and emergency management agencies all over the world.

Richard’s chapter discusses the work of the Centre in helping tourism destinations worldwide effectively work with government and emergency management agencies to implement post-crisis and disaster recovery strategies.

PATA Executive Bert van Walbeek

Bert van Walbeek (now based in the UK after 30 years in Thailand) coordinated PATA’s Nepal Recovery Taskforce in 2015 and his chapter discusses his first-hand involvement in PATA’s Nepal Earthquake Recovery Taskforce and its success in restoring tourism to Nepal as a joint exercise between Nepalese and International tourism recovery experts.  

Masato Takamatsu, CEO, of Tourism Resilience Japan has led tourism resilience and recovery programs in Japan since 2011. In his chapter, he discusses his leading role in the private-public partnership of the Fuji Five Lakes District.

This features risk management cooperation between tourism businesses with prefectural and local governments in one of Japan’s most popular tourism destinations. Robert Harding-Smith, Global Strategy Manager, Tourism Australia wrote about Tourism Australia’s approach to crisis management which has been the world’s best practice model for post-COVID-19 tourism recovery and includes a staged approach to destination recovery.   

World Tourism Network Discussion

Many of the book’s contributors participated in a World Tourism Network video discussion on responses to the Maui fires of September 2023 and other natural disasters.

Those that attended the WTN zoom meeting included Bert Van Walbeek, Richard Gordon, Bruce Prideaux, David Beirman, Masato Takamatsu, and Ancy Gamage who focussed on Australian bushfires and their impact on small tourism businesses. The videoconference was an excellent opportunity for many of the book’s authors to showcase their research which would appear in the book.

How to Recover from Tourism Crisis

The book examines existing and developing technological approaches to dealing with and recovering from tourism crises and disasters including Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality Technology. There is a great deal of discussion in many of the chapters about effectively using social media as a means to enhance crisis communications and training tourism professionals to enhance their risk management skills. 

Contributors to the book come from New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Japan, Ghana, the United Kingdom, United States and Italy.

Contributors from the USA are:

  • Chapter 3. The tripartite model of risk perception: Chloe Riley, Lori Pennington-Gray, and Ashley Schroeder: University of South Carolina
  • Chapter 13. Digital Transformation in the Hospitality and Tourism Sectors in Hawaii. Jerome Agrussa (University of Hawaii) and Dr Catherine Linnes. University of Central Florida.
  • Chapter 17. Responses to Crises in a Mature Destination Facing Diverse Shocks and Stressors.  Sergio Alvarez, Frida Bahja & Alan Fyall. (University of Florida)
  • Chapter 20. Digital Transformation in the Music Events Sector as a Response to Crises. Francesco Catarsi, Giulio Ronzoni and Catherine Linnes. University of Central Florida
  • Chapter 23/ Crisis Management, Tourism and International Boundaries. The case of the IS-Mexico Border Connor W. Clark & Dallen Timothy. (University of Arizona)
  • For more details of the book’s contents go to the Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing:

How to buy the book?

For more details of the book’s contents go to the Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing page.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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