The tourism industry represents a disaster vulnerability of catastrophic potential”. The dependency of most tourism operations on outsiders for income, and their high dependence on other components of a region for goods and services, makes tourism especially vulnerable to disasters (Murphy & Bayley, 1989). The tourism industry has particular needs and constraints which colour the nature of its participation in a regional disaster management exercise, and in the development of industryspecific disaster management plans.
In today’s world, with the exception of some business and cultural (opera, music, theatre) recreation travel, travel is increasingly to high-risk, exotic destinations (Murphy & Bayley, 1989). Most of the tourists to these high-risk destinations emanate from “high human development” countries, and the exotic destinations are predominantly in the middle and lower development aggregates (Figure 9.3).
This pattern is evidenced by the nationalities of tourists (mostly European, British, and Australian) represented in the death tolls from the tsunami of 26 December 2004 and the Bali terrorist blasts, while the countries they were visiting which suffered the tsunami (or blast), were in the “medium human development” aggregate of countries in the world (Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka). Within a country, travel for recreation is also often to more inherently risky destinations than those found in the cities and towns when the tourists come: the forests near Mt St Helens (Blong, 1984).
The wilderness of north-east Florida (Butry et al., 2001), the slopes of Mt Etna (Blong, 1984), and the gorges of northern Australia (Faulkner, 2001). There has also been a long history of the centres of disaster becoming tourist attractions after the disaster (Blong, 1984). Tourists can fly over rumbling volcanoes in Hawaii, tours have long