Ensuring safety of hotels | Daily News

Ensuring safety of hotels

A prime factor in reviving the tourism industry
Shangri La Hotel after the Easter Sunday terrorist attack (File Photo)
Shangri La Hotel after the Easter Sunday terrorist attack (File Photo)

Tourism is one of the key areas which contribute to the national economy of a country that needs to be handled professionally in order to bring in much-needed revenue to the country.

To cater to the same, there are many areas we have to plan and implement carefully. A solid system of security needs to be in place that gives the message to the world that it is safe for tourists, business travellers and professional partners to travel, visit and stay in that particular country.

Today, we see a large number of star class hotels and many more being constructed; billions of rupees being invested on them and super luxury facilities are available with excellent service providers. However, what is most important for a tourist, a businessman or a professional traveller is a very safe stay while at a hotel as human life is precious.

That is why we fought a brutal war for 25 years suffering with absolute commitment, without expecting any rewards since it was our bounden duty to the country. So, this is the time that these investors and business experts must plan and obtain professional security personnel to handle hotel security through the selection of capable and effective security companies or people to handle the security of these hotels or establishments.

Hotel is a service-oriented industry. Essential services including suitable security should be implemented and installed in a hotel which provides top-of-the-line customer service without exposing guests to crime risks and compromising the reputation of the hotel which would affect the entire tourism industry.

Singapore has an excellent reputation among tourists for being secure and safe. They give the utmost priority to ensuring the safety of their guests without exposing guests to crimes and they do not allow themselves to be lured into complacency where security is concerned.

A crime can occur at any place and at any time to anyone. When the elements of opportunity, target and the offender coincide, hotels have to assess the threats and place a comprehensive security system.

This is an essential investment, especially in the present situation and should not be considered as an optional expenditure.

Unlike in the past, countering local or international terrorism is not an easy task.

There is a need for highly-qualified professionals with commitment and experience to counter radicals or extremists and brutal terrorists who are being trained to be suicide bombers.

During my years in the STF, I have protected the leaders of this country at crucial times, led many counter-terror operations to capture all LTTE bases in the Batticaloa and Ampara areas and planned security for key installations like Parliament, Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, Kelanitissa Power Station and the BIA. During the darkest days of this country, it gave me the opportunity to face real challenges as far as state security was concerned.

I was able to achieve all these purely due to my commitment, training and the desire to achieve results or peace.

In 2008, then Defence Secretary Bernard Gunathilaka, Tourist Police SP Cornel Perera and I, as the STF Commandant were the key members of a committee that was appointed to conduct a security survey or a study of city hotels where we met all the top management of the hotels and prepared a very effective security plan for city hotels.

I had the opportunity to question Oberoi Thevan who masterminded the Hotel Oberoi attack in 1985 and also studied the Mumbai and Brighton Hotel UK attacks and the background of all those terror operations in depth.

Considering the present situation, if we face this challenge with confidence and commitment, we will definitely be able to protect the tourism industry or hotel trade as we have professionals who could advise and guide the industry at a time when we have to face another challenge like that of the past. 


 

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