Tourism, terrorism and the new world for event leaders.
Goldblatt, Joe J.
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Hu, C. & Goldblatt, J. (2005) Tourism, terrorism and the new world for event leaders., e-Review of Tourism Research (eRTR), vol. 3, , pp. 139-144,
Events industry has become one of major tourism sectors and generated a significant economic contribution to the tourism industry. Recent terrorism events have spurred safety and security concerns in the events industry. This article introduces a developmental effort to establish an online knowledge-based eSAFE system based on knowledge management concepts (knowledge creation and sharing) for the events industry professionals. The goal of this system is to develop Web-based solutions for facilitating knowledge management in both individual and organizational learning in the context of safety and security of planning festivals and events. According to the Tourism Industry Association of America (2003), most (75%) U.S. adult travelers attended a cultural activity or event while on a trip in 2002. This translates to an estimated 109.8 million U.S. adults. In addition, one fifth of all U.S. travelers attend a fair, festival, or other special event during their vacation (Tourism Industry Association of America, 1999). Millions of individuals attend events throughout North America ranging from the Super Bowl to small town festivals and parades. These events have been described by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as _soft targets_ because they enable terrorists to quickly make a powerful statement during a vulnerable and easily penetrable event. Research conducted in the National Laboratory for Tourism and eCommerce (NLTeC) at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania seeks to reduce these possibilities through the development of an online knowledge-based system called eSAFE (electronic Safe Festivals and Events) System based on knowledge management concepts. The goal of such a project is to develop Web-based solutions for facilitating knowledge management for both individual and organizational learning. This project is an important step involving the events industry and its stakeholders (potentially including the government) in planning secure events. Two major features of this forward-thinking development as: (1) Knowledge base _ A knowledge-based system that facilitates fast yet flexible access to the integrated knowledge from explicit knowledge source (structural knowledge deconstructed from the respectfully publications) and tacit/implicit knowledge (expert interviews guided by meaningful knowledge structures through text-mining and ontological research from the explicit knowledge). Such a process of knowledge acquisition and creation enables continuing improvement and enhancement of the knowledge base about security/safety issues in special event planning. (2) ExpertNet _ an expert-driven network (online community) that helps members of the community to connect with one another to locate specific event security knowledge on demand through a meaningful knowledge distribution structure that is constructed and based on the domains and levels of knowledge expertise, expert relationships, geographic distance, language abilities, and preferred communication methods. The system attempts to ensure that the learned knowledge in secure event planning can be both efficiently and effectively identified, transferred, shared and reused by the event organizers.