A Critical Examination Of Safety And Security Concerns In Hospitality Industry
The hotels have become second home for leisure travelers and second office for business travelers. With rising acts of terrorism on board, the tourists and travelers have become skeptical about security issues within the hotel premises and often safety quotient of the property. The current issue looks into the safety-security issues haunting the thought process of guests and the modern options and approach that hotels have to gain the confidence of their guests.
1.1 Background of the Study
Hospitality means providing service to others, as well as demonstrating consistent excellence and quality. It should also mean profitably providing value at any price level, while demonstrating your own unique points of distinction. Most of all, hospitality should be a “place”, where people can still be exceptional individuals and they can extend their own personality and style (Hogan, 2008). The hospitality industry is part of a huge group of companies known as travel and tourism industry, which provides the necessary or desirable goods and services to travelers. The hospitality and tourism industries are the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world (Walker, 2010).
Frequent terrorisms incidents, natural disasters like Asian tsunami, hurricane and forest fire warn hospitality suppliers and buyers to be prepared for just any imaginable crisis. Security is not limited to only a single aspect it is been classified into various types. Even Taylor (2002) stated that safety involves preventing employees and customers within the hotel property from potential death and injury, such as from accidental slips, falls, cuts, burns and so forth, as well as preventing related property damage. To improve safety, many hotel companies have installed electronic locks, fire sprinklers, smoke detectors, and closed circuit televisions (Okumus, 2005).
The security of assets, the safety of the personnel who keep them running, and the well-being of the guests becomes increasingly important as insecurity threat spreads around the globe.
In today’s world of proliferating terrorism and heightened security concerns, security department in the hotel industry are faced with a grim, new reality.
Hotels are increasingly vulnerable to attack by radical groups who use terror as their strategy of choice. Attacks against hotels in the Northern part of Nigeria should provide hoteliers as serious warning that no region is immune and no hotel is completely safe (Natasa 2010). The only way to prevent or reduce insecurity threats is for the security department in the hotels to be alert all the time and play their roles with full responsibilities.
The roles and responsibilities of the security department is to make sure that guest and employees are safe and properties are prevented from damage pro-active safety and security planning is an essential role in their operations. From guests’ and personnels’ safety to facility damage and serious liability issues, hotels face new and difficult challenges that must be addressed today to minimize vulnerability in the face of the unthinkable.
The number of terrorist attacks against hotels throughout the world over the last few years has underscored the need to assess each location and provide security solutions for both facilities and the people who populate them. These security solutions are tools meant for security department that with help facilitate the activities of the security personnel. And the tools are CCTV, walkie-talkie, metal detector device chemical/bomb detectors etc. Every security department in hotel should base on current intelligence and provides a thorough evaluation of the locality, and reliable, practical solutions to close vulnerability gaps, protect assets personnel and guest of hospitality establishment.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Every hotel has a unique profile which means equally unique vulnerabilities. The security department must use the latest intelligence relating to the current strategic and operational threats of insecurity and applies this knowledge to address risks and vulnerabilities. The roles and responsibilities of the security department includes a comprehensive analysis of the risks and vulnerabilities of both the building and the human processes including such issues as facility access procedures, communications emergency response policies, and engaged in existing security training programs.
However the security A department in Nike Lake Resorts Every must understand and acknowledge full responsibility for security and safety of guest employees and properties. This can only be addressed when proper measures are put in place such as manpower development security tool and equipments like cutlass and guns.
The major problems in securing live and properties ia to know how to apply security measures, qualify personnel and equipment.
1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Research Study
The aims and objectives of the research study are as follows:
- Investigate if there are security policies and procedures as part of effective security component;
- Examine what important assets need to be protected at hotel facilities;
- Uncover the risks facing assets in Nike lake resort, Enugu facilities;
- Determine what incidents of loss took place in Nike lake resort, Enugu facilities;
- Examine the effectiveness of security measures and systems that are put in place at hotels;
- Explore if security systems are integrated at hotels;
- Determine the frequency of conducting risk assessment at hotels;
- Investigate if the security measures and systems are adequate and effective;
- Find out if the guests inquire about security measures when making reservations; and
- Find out how guests feel about security at Nike lake resort, Enugu facilities.
1.4 Research Questions
- Does the facility have an effective security structure, with policies and procedures, where there is a command and control of the job?
- What are the important assets in Nike lake resort, Enugu facility that need protection?
- What are the risks of crime confronting the assets in the facility?
- Has Nike lake resort, Enugu experienced any incident of loss in the last 3 years and what kind of loss was it?
- Which security measures and systems are currently in place to protect these assets?
- Are security systems integrated and if so, how are they integrated?
- How often is risk assessment conducted at Nike lake resort, Enugu?
- Are these existing security measures and systems adequate and effective?
- How do guests feel about security in this hotel?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This work reveals and provides both knowledge and some experiences regarding the special requirements of a professional assessment of the roles and responsibilities of security department in hotels. It also provides practical and intelligence-led solutions. It also, reveal that ththotel’s security department first responsibility is to its customers and that its security plans must be transparent and unobtrusive.
This work will be of benefits to Nike Lake Resorts because it will expose both the management and security department to current security measures that can be applied in the Hotel management. Hence this will led to optimum trust from guests employees and other state others when the issue of security measures for other industries since security is the responsibilities of everyone.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study presents the roles and responsibilities of security department in safeguarding guests, employees, structure and content the scope of the study is limited to Nike Lake Resort Enugu. The study will also cover issues on security department and looking into the roles and responsibilities of the security department in the Hotel industry which will include internal and external security measures. The work also covers the psychological effects of safety and security on guest and conclude with a propose conceptual frameworks to provide safety and security in the Hotel industry.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
In course of conduction this study there were some hindrances like not having enough materials to study, also the study is faced with time constraint as it has an effect on my study time in the framework of my school assignments and quizzes. Distribution and retrieval of questionnaire was also a big constraint inadequate finding was another source of limitation. This is because it took the researcher several months to go the area of study. Lack of good response from the respondents is also of problem as some of the staff are either say or do not want to respond for security reasons.
Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Conclusion of the Research
The research employed a case study research design in Nike, Enugu where the security measures at hotel were assessed. As mentioned in Chapter 1, this is the first empirical study conducted in Nike, Enugu for asset protection and crime prevention strategies in Nike lake resort, Enugu industry. The significance of this study was pertinent to the community as a whole since its members are the people who are guests at Nike lake resort, Enugu facilities. Security awareness in identifying the inadequacy and ineffectiveness of security measures at hotels is created to the relevant stakeholders, like, the security industry directors, business persons, hoteliers, authorities and the ordinary guests who constitute the core business in Nike lake resort, Enugu industry. This identification fostered the comprehensive insight of incident and crime related issues facing Nike lake resort, Enugu industry due to the inadequacy of security measures at hotels in Nike, Enugu.
To generate attention to stakeholders in curbing incidents and crimes occurring at hotel facilities, through security measures, their effectiveness and adequacy had to be explored. The exploration comprised the qualitative research by means of interviews as data collection method which was conducted with 20 security managers or individuals who were performing security managers’ tasks stationed at hotels around Nike, Enugu. The study was conducted to determine and document the role played by security personnel in the protection of hotel assets, impact of the risks of crimes and incidents that manifest in Nike lake resort, Enugu industry as well as to identify the persons responsible for inappropriate behaviour in Nike lake resort, Enugu.
As the researcher was engaged in empirical study, the research processes and procedures were adhered to. All the aims and the objectives of the research study were also adhered to, as indicated on all the responses of the research questions in Chapter 5 – data presentation.
The exploration of the research was to explore whether the current security measures were adequate and effective enough to curb the incidents and crimes occurrence against assets at hotel facilities. The recommendations would then be identified as feasible mediation as construed by the research.
The findings of the research provided numerous recommendations to Nike lake resort, Hotelier, security practitioners, law enforcement agencies, banking industry and government. The recommendations below are arranged according to the different stakeholders who form part of the protection in Nike lake resort, Enugu industry.
5.2.1 Recommendation to Nike Lake Resort, Hotelier
The recommendations for Nike lake resort, Hotelier are as follows:
- Hotel security officers should be proactive rather than reactive. They should not be deployed on hotel floors only when there are events for guests that need extra protection but exercise the practice of floor patrolling regularly.
- As Nike lake resort, Enugu facility has numerous access and egress points, such points should be minimised to two or three, with one on the main entrance, the second one at the back for deliveries and/or the third can be found where the parking lot is situated.
- Guests’ vehicles should not be allowed to drive up to Nike lake resort, Enugu’s main veranda entrance door, for drop-off or disembark the luggage from the boot of the car. Guests must land at a distance and walk up to Nike lake resort, Enugu’s main entrance and they should be noticed while doing so. This will allow for security officer to observe any suspicious actions by the guests.
- CCTV surveillance systems should be installed in all hotels’ strategic points such as at the reception area; at the entrances, at the exit points, at the parking areas and around the facilities. Privacy of the members of public should as well be taken into consideration at all times. These CCTV surveillance systems should be monitored by a trained Security Officer at all times for proactive purpose in terms of crime prevention at hotels.
- Control room: There should be a dedicated control room at all hotels where Security Officer is continuously monitoring the activities. If suspicious objects, vehicles, persons or actions are observed, the security officer doing monitoring at the control room should alert the security officer immediately doing patrol to investigate.
- The baggage must be scanned through a scanner to monitor hotel related items, like, towels, robes, cushions, among others, where identifiable colour/s will reflect on the monitor that will be programmed by Nike lake resort, Enugu for easy identification. It will be beneficial if this could be made on arrival and on departure of guests.
- Guests’ visitors should be given a ‘visitors pass’ and their details must be noted on the visitors’ register. All the guests should be informed to carry their visitors pass at all times while in Nike lake resort, Enugu premises. This will reduce unnecessary checks by security officers posted at hotels when they have to check if all the people on the premises have the right to be there.
- Regular security surveys should be conducted by the security managers at Nike lake resort, Enugu’s. This should not be done once a year, since hotel environment is very busy. It should also not be prompted by the incidents since this might make hotels suffer severe financial losses. The survey should include important aspects such as security measures and their effectiveness; assets; personnel; information; facilities; and all hotel properties.
- Hoteliers must deal with reputable companies for repairing purposes, like, cabinets, plugs, window handles, to mention a few, rather than employing staff who used to work at Nike lake resort, Enugu as handy-man, as these are the individuals who may turn hotel perpetrators at a later stage.
- Security features and designs at Nike lake resort, Enugu’s should be improved with time because if they are found to be lagging behind Nike lake resort, Enugu facilities will become more vulnerable.
- The owner of Nike lake resort, Enugu is responsible for safety and security of all guests visiting Nike lake resort, Enugu. This should also be made clear to Nike lake resort, Enugu owner that omissions in this regard may result in Nike lake resort, Enugu owner being held liable.
5.2.2 Recommendations to security specialist
The following are recommendations that are made in order to help security specialists improve the level of security at hotels:
- It is recommended that Nike lake resort, Enugu association meetings be attentively attended by all security managers from different hotels or alternatively nominate a representative on behalf of the security manager.
- Security managers in hotels in and around Nike, Enugu must receive hotel crime statistics from the SAPS reflecting crime trends and profiles, as well as the extent and nature of types of crimes that occur in hotels.
In a case where international internal security imposing their security standards and procedures when protecting foreign dignitaries in hotels, Nike lake resort, Enugu must establish a training facility where the in-house security manager will be able to train security officers according to hotel’s specifications on the protection of all type of guests situated in hotels. Where there is no hotel in-house security manager, Nike lake resort, Enugu must design a hotel related security training manual that will be used by the private security in training those employees who will be working in Nike lake resort, Enugu environment as security officers. Alternatively, hotel security managers may be sent on workshops overseas to learn more about asset protection, especially in hotels.
- Upon deploying of security personnel, security personnel must be provided with the orientation phase on the site to be guarded. This process will enable security personnel to know more about the core hotel business rather than allowing them to perform ‘non-confidential’ tasks which may cause them not to know what exactly is being guarded.
The study also revealed that the security officers are sometimes involved in theft, especially when colluding with the intruders and/or with employees of the institution they are guarding. The following are recommended:
- Security officers must be paid on time monthly as they tend to borrow money from other sources with high interest rates and when they are paid, their salary is paid back to the lender and that may cause them to retrogress financially. This situation might render them vulnerable to criminals who might take advantage of their financial situation and buy their involvement into criminal activities against Nike lake resort, Enugu.
- The private security finance department must ensure that payments are made monthly and on a specific date as agreed.
- Security companies need to have surplus funding where security officers will receive part of salaries until payment day where the money advanced will be deducted from their salaries.
- The security managers should always commend security officers for a job well done. Although a site with no loss encountered is part of the guard’s job, security officers should at least be incentivised, not necessarily by cash, but by stress-relief related items, like, in some instances, buy monthly cell phone airtime or dispense retail food vouchers to security officers on sites where minimum incidents of loss or none occur, to augment cash. Security officers may also be thanked for their positive contribution. In this way, the security officers will appreciate their importance in the organisation. Recommendations presented to top management after a security survey is conducted must be adhered to. Failing to do that, any loss that will be experienced must be covered by Nike lake resort, Hotelier and not by the security company.
- Rotation of security officers promotes exposure to other sites and discourages the familiarity between a security officer and Nike lake resort, Enugu employee, which may result in bad deal clinching. Clients are not required to impede the rotation process.
- Security managers, either in-house or contract, must screen all contract staff members, like, housekeeping and restaurant staff as well as security personnel during the hiring process to ensure that staff members are who they claim to be, as well as periodically, that is, twice a year to ensure that staff members are still honest as when employed.
Hotel incidents and different types of crimes that occur in hotels seem to be continuing despite the presence of security measures in the facility. Security measures as complex phenomenon, which are hardly noticed for their role in Nike lake resort, Enugu facility, had to be assessed for their effectiveness and adequacy. It is the duty of all hoteliers to ensure that guests, who are individuals who foster growth and profit in Nike lake resort, Enugu facility, are protected throughout their stays in hotels.
The chapter involved the conclusion of the research where the summary of the whole research was noted. The recommendations for different stakeholders in Nike lake resort, Enugu industry were offeredbased on the findings. As the research was based on the unique phenomenon that have not been researched before in and around Nigeria, challenges that were experienced were also discussed in the chapter. The aspects gathered during data collection that needed future attention were also tabled for further research.
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