Travel and tourism are major industries in European countries such as Greece. The hotel industry is dedicated to making the accommodations for their patrons as enjoyable as possible. This means ensuring that hotel guests, visitors, and staff have a safe and secure environment. It is for this reason that many of the larger hotel chains have their own private security personnel who are entrusted to maintain the safety of the hotel grounds and immediate area surrounding hotel. There a delicate balance between maintain hotel security for tourists, having the daily operations of the hotel run smoothly, and keeping security services in the background but ye at the same time effective and visible. Maintaining this balance between effectiveness and suitableness is not easy. The current study interviewed Greek15 hotel employees, either hotel security personnel or hotel managers, regarding their opinions on major issues related to the security of their hotel as well as to security issues in the hotel industry in general. The data was subjected to thematic analysis and 11 major themes in the data were identified. These themes are discussed in their relation to current and future security issues in the hotel industry.
Safety is a basic human need and having a safe and secure environment is a top priority in nearly every model/theory of human needs or human motivation (e.g., Maslow 1943). This need for a safe environment is so basic that it is a major consideration even for tourists on holiday trying to escape the pressures of their everyday existence (Boakye 2010). Thus, vacationers away from home will typically want to stay in an environment that provides them with similar feelings of security that they experience when they are at home, otherwise they will not be willing to spend their hard-earned money on a hotel or on other tourist accommodations (Boakye 2010).
The success and reputation of a hotel or a hotel chain is highly dependent on its ability to produce a safe and secure environment for its guests, visitors, and employees (Santana 2012). One of the top priorities associated with providing a safe and secure environment is that the hotel must properly provide for the protection and maintenance of the assets of its guests, visitors, employees and yet not appear to be a military installation. Having a secure environment for tourists would include such things as providing the perception that there is a secure milieu associated with the hotel grounds; the actual ability to protect the physical assets of the guests, employees, and visitors; and the notion that other assets such as the intangible assets that the guests bring with them or acquire during their stay such as new relationships, their reputations, a sense of relaxation, and so forth are also secure (Santana 2012). Thus, any hotel's reputation as well as its standard conduct of business is dependent on the protection that the hotel affords to its guests, visitors, employees, contractors, the actual physical structure of the hotel premises, and all that is contained within the grounds of the hotel and surrounding area and everything pertinent to the hotel property (Boakye 2010; Santana 2012).
Hotel security systems and personnel must deploy numerous assets resources and invest significant energy in order to diminish the large number of potential security risks that hotels face (Clifton 2012). These risks include a number of different potential threats such as criminal activities that affect the guests, employees, or visitors of a hotel; sabotage; potential terrorism; potential injuries that can occur to individuals on the grounds; the threat of fire; and the threat of other potential natural or man -- made disasters (Clifton 2012). As travel and tourism increases and more and more people spend their time away from home there are simply more opportunities for criminals and other potential threats to hotel security to occur. While such things as theft and attacks on hotel guests represent extreme circumstances when one looks at the...
All of these risks cannot be avoided; however, the risks of these events occurring in the hotel can be mitigated through basic and enhanced security techniques and methods. Certainly the costs of the systems and manpower needed to make the hotel environment safe for guests, employees, and visitors has to be considered in the context of the overall security program. It is also noted by many researchers in tourism that it is a requirement for a hotel to provide a safe and secure environment in that hotel patrons, employees, visitors, and others have a legal right for this type of protection and security (e.g., Boakye 2010; Clifton 2012). As such, hotels can take basic steps towards creating a more secure environment and can utilize many different types of security techniques to decrease risk.
The basic steps are relatively inexpensive and the decision to employ more complex security techniques/systems depends on the budgets and financial ability of the hotel system (Clifton 2012). The empirical literature indicates that certain types of techniques/security systems are more cost-effective than others and it is a requirement of a hotel to at least provide minimal, affective, security measures for their guests, employees, and visitors (Clifton 2012). Thus, any of the financial situations of the hotel or hotel chain the decision-makers decide on the basic framework for the expenditures regarding security purposes and the security officers and management did their best implement them (Boakye 2010).
The current study investigates the factors that hotel security personal and hotel managers who are affiliated with one of three luxury hotels in Greece view as being important to provide for the safety of their guests. The hotel personal completed a questionnaire that asked them their opinions on various security-rated issues at the hotel in which they were employed and concerning their perceptions of security-related issues in the hotel industry in general.
Aims and Objectives
The objective of this dissertation is to capture the subjective opinions regarding hotel security of individuals who actual make a living in the hotel industry. The participants of this study are asked to give their opinions on important issues regarding hotel security as it relates to their actual experience in the field as well as their personal opinions on the hotel industry in general.
It is important to try and understand the perceptions of security personal as they are the individuals who actually get the first-hand experience in the day-to-day operations of keeping hotel patrons safe and secure (Clifton 2012). But just investigating the perspectives of hotel security personal would only result in uncovering a piece of the overall issues in hotel security. Security personal are only a part of a larger team. Also attempting to understand the viewpoints of hotel management personal regarding how security issues fit into the overall operation of the hotel is important because these individuals must balance the needs of security issues with other day-to-day issues involving other hotel employees, hotel patrons, and visitors in order to keep the facility running smoothly and efficiently. Their viewpoint tends to include a more integrated view of how security issues fit into the overall daily operations and routines of a larger system. Thus, the objective of this dissertation is to understand how the perspectives of both hotel security personal and hotel managers can help both guide researches and hotel personal to create a safer, more secure, and more efficiently-operating hotel environment.
Structure of This Dissertation
The dissertation begins with an extensive literature review that covers security factors in the hotel industry in Europe. Issues regarding both the practical and psychological ramifications of hotel security in the European tourist industry are discussed. Following the literature review is a comprehensive section of the methodology of the quantitative study that investigated the opinions of 15 hotel managers and security personal working in luxury tourist hotels in Greece. The section on data chapters reports the analysis of the data collected in the study and develops the major themes extracted from the responses to the questionnaire they were administered. The discussion section presents a comprehensive interpretation of the research findings based on the literature review as well as discussing how these findings can be used to guide future research as well as their practical applications in light of the study's strengths and weaknesses. Finally the bibliography and appendices sections present the references for citations and the materials used in the study.
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