Thursday, March 12, 2020

Impact of the Japan Tsunami 2011 Disaster on Tourism and Hospitality Industries

Impact of the Japan Tsunami 2011 Disaster on Tourism and Hospitality Industries Introduction Many countries of the world have witnessed catastrophic disasters of one form or another. However, some countries have had to deal with several destructive natural and man-made occurrences that have in turn hit the economic progress in those countries quite hard (Murata Katoh, 2010).Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Impact of the Japan Tsunami 2011 Disaster on Tourism and Hospitality Industries specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Japan, for instance has experienced highly destructive disasters like high magnitude earthquakes, atomic bombs during the Second World War, tsunami, and nuclear crisis, coupled with numerous consequences of aftermath usually resulting in humanitarian crisis (Fraser, 2011).For Japan, Tsunamis are one of the most destructive phenomena due to its vulnerability. Tsunami is usually caused by the disturbances of the earth’s crust usually with a net vertical displacement of the ocea n base or its surroundings (Bradley Statler, 2011). Japan is currently the third largest economy world wide as well as one of the highest consumers of oil. This essay discusses short term and long term effects of the Tsunami on tourism and hospitality industries in Japan. It also focuses on the importance of a risk management strategic approach, the importance of applying risk plans and strategies like risk identification, analysis, monitoring, evaluating and reporting. Furthermore, the existing risk management processes and disaster recovery processes by the Japanese government and other business operations as well as the necessary risk management processes for the management of a business in vulnerable regions are explored. Short Term and Long Term Effects of the Tsunami It is important to note that most countries found along the major oceans and seas are the most vulnerable to the most destructive tsunami.Advertising Looking for essay on communications media? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Countries found along the Pacific Ocean have been the most affected but also those found along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well as in the Mediterranean Sea have felt the impact of tsunami (Satake Borrero, 2007). Most coastal regions in the Pacific countries are highly populated due to the fact that the inland regions are usually mountainous and inhabitable compared to the relatively flatland in the coastal areas (CRTWFSONTP NRC, 2011). Most economic activities in these countries involve international trade and a number of people operate large fleets of ships and the ports are well developed. The countries in the Pacific Ocean especially those with extensive continental coastal areas use small coastal ships as means of transport. This has necessitated the development of many small ports to facilitate inter-island economic activities. Japan for instance have numerous ports as well as well develope d shipbuilding facilities, nuclear energy plants, engineering structures, aqua culture industries, electric plants, refineries and other crucial structures and infrastructure (Fraser, 2011). With this wealth of resources, it is evident that Japan and other countries in the major oceans are socially and economically vulnerable to the effects associated with tsunami. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that visited Japan in March 11, 2011 will remain one of the most destructive occurrences over a very long period of time.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Impact of the Japan Tsunami 2011 Disaster on Tourism and Hospitality Industries specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More The earthquake was so huge that it read 8.9 magnitudes against the Richter scale setting off a massive tsunami (Prothero, 2011). Thousands of people have been confirmed dead, thousands have been displaced, similar range of number is still missing, and the infrastructure in the affected area has been massively destroyed. These have numerous short and long term economic and social effects both at the national and international level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped far below the daily support level which ranges between 11,000 and 12,000. This has been a key indicator for most traders and economists and hence has significant implications. The price dynamics in any given market is of interest to participants and this has been witnessed in Japan as a result of the Tsunami crisis. They have been interested in determining the impact of the disaster on the Japanese as well as global economy (OECD, 2011). Market volatility increased significantly causing a drop in major currencies and indexes which in turn reversed all the gains that had been made earlier on. During the period, volatile short term impacts were felt with the dollar falling against the Japanese yen. The prices in the stock have rapidly dropped giving great opportunitie s only to those who may wish to buy shares. The general economic growth may decrease just for a short period of time as a result of the post-disaster effects.Advertising Looking for essay on communications media? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Tsunamis remain to be one of the most destructive phenomena usually with immediate and long-lasting effects. The recent Japanese tsunami caused great loss of lives and most coastal infrastructure were massively destroyed. The rice fields were swept away when the tsunami waves spread over 8 kilometers into the inland regions (Bradley Statler, 2011). The impacts of this natural phenomena range from human, social, economic, and cultural in nature. The immediate effects may be too shocking and raising much uncertainty. However, it is generally believed that the impacts and recovery efforts could turn to be beneficial to Japan and even help the country surpass initial productive levels. Impact of the Tsunami on the Tourism and Hospitality Industries The disastrous effects of the tsunami that occurred in Japan have had direct impacts on the transport and tourism sector worsening the risks posed by the effects of a staggering economic recession since 2008/2009 financial year (Jones Phili ps, 2011). Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami were reported, both the inbound and outbound travel arrangements by hundreds of people were canceled. This was expected to extend for many months due to the destruction caused by the tsunami and earthquake as well as the not-easy to fade fears of after-shock and similar catastrophic phenomena (Macdougall, 2011). A number of countries in the world advised their citizens to avoid travelling to Japan during the disaster period until they are advised otherwise. This had direct impact on the Japanese tourism industry. Regional tourism business association recorded reduced bookings from the affected regions of Japan (the North Eastern prefectures) and this was expected to go on for the better part of the year which will result in significantly low earnings. The tsunami also triggered fears across other regions in the Pacific and hence many tour arrangements had to be temporarily suspended which in turn affected the tourism sector in thos e countries (Bradley Statler, 2011). For instance, tourists from Thailand cancelled their trips to Japan for fear of another earthquake and tsunami and related chain of effects like the nuclear power crises. Other airlines cancelled their flights to Japan soon after the country was hit by the earthquake and tsunami. It is not possible to talk about the tourism sector without mentioning the hotel and hospitality industry (Satake Borrero, 2007). Furthermore, major tourist reception centers were temporarily closed as well as other recreation and entertainment events which had been scheduled had to be abruptly halted. This implied that the income that would be generated were lost as a result of the tsunami disaster. Many businesses and other investments were massively destroyed and hence several people lost their livelihoods. Their appetite for travel would definitely be lost as a result of the tragic occurrences in Japan. The beach resorts in the affected areas were thriving before t hey were virtually wiped out by the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami (OECD, 2011). During summer period, thousands of tourists would choose these as their destinations due to their attractive nature. The first class guest houses that shone on the Japan’s northeastern coastal region were no more after the devastating effects of the tsunami. The accommodation services were strategically located since most tourists visit this region to collect shellfish, take boat tours of the numerous islands covered with pine, as well as eat the oysters commonly found in the bay (Jones Philips, 2011). They have remained to be the major Japanese tourist trails but they were no more after the wrecking impacts of the disaster (Satake Borrero, 2007). The major coastal towns in the northeast of Japan were literally washed away by the 10-meter tsunami waves that extended almost 10 kilometers inland, crushing down executive buildings, taking thousands of lives, and subsequently causing massive loss of jobs (Jayasuriya McCawley, 2011). The train network has also been a major facilitator of tourist activities in Japan. However, the major stations were jumbled up with the connecting tracks along the coastal region having been torn away and twisted beyond any immediate repair. This has had immeasurable impact on both the hospitality and tourism industry in Japan, particularly the areas bearing the brunt of the tragic events (Bryant, 2008). Moreover, the major tourist attraction features like the outstanding cliffs on the island of Miyatoshima were brought down by the forceful force of the tsunami waves. The magnificent bridge connecting to the island was swept away and tourists will not be able to visit the island until it has been rebuilt (Macdougall, 2011). This has direct impact on the tourism industry as it will take a while before the tourists chose this destination. As an inducement to woo tourists to visit Japan, holiday prices will have to drop significantly implyin g that the sector will get very low overall revenues. Existing Risk Management Processes and Disaster Recovery Processes Despite the fact that mankind has been faced with catastrophic physical phenomena since antiquity, it is evident that little can be done to prevent natural occurrences (Murata Katoh, 2010). These may include earthquakes, floods, droughts, volcanic activities, hurricanes, and high-magnitude tsunami. Although they may happen infrequently, their human, social, and economic effects are usually detrimental. People in vulnerable areas have learnt how to adapt to the otherwise life-threatening conditions. Before man became inventive, such events were experienced passively with little if any effort to prevent them. However, as the years went by, humankind has made effort to reduce the negative impacts of such activities like the number of lives lost, and property destruction (Macdougall, 2011). There is need for proper planning in the vulnerable areas if the associated ri sks are to be significantly minimised. A number of factors must be considered when planning to deal with the tsunami crisis (Hebenstreit, 1997). Apart from understanding the physical orientation of the tsunami itself including how it is usually manifested in each specific geographic area, it is paramount to be acquainted with the general physical nature, social and cultural factors (Edgar, 2011). The areas in the identified vulnerable zones have relatively different degree of vulnerability from each other (OECD, 2011). The frequency of tsunami in the Pacific Ocean is usually very high and hence the regions in this part of the world have received much attention from the hazard management bodies. There is need to consider the possibility of a tsunami when initiating development projects in the coastal regions. Land use practices along the coastlines have been greatly influenced by the unfavorable conditions in the rural or interior regions which are most mountainous (Satake Borrero, 2007). Despite the willingness to risk, government agencies in these countries ought to encourage people to live in the interior of the country where they are assured of safety and minimal risk compared to the coastal regions (Prothero, 2011). This implies that governments should also distribute development projects to these areas in order to attract more people out of the comparatively populated coastal areas. Furthermore, the government agencies should introduce land use policies which regulate investments in the coastal area with an aim of reducing the impact of tsunami once it occurs (Hebenstreit, 1997). Areas which have been known to sustain the impacts of massive tsunami should be identified as the best area for investment. High risk regions should be classified as such and people as well as government discouraged from investing heavily. Planning is therefore very important both to the government and industry development regimes since it helps in minimizing hazards related to tsunami and other natural events. As already mentioned, technological advancements in the modern days have facilitated the prevention of massive destruction as a result of natural catastrophic phenomena. It is possible to tell the possibility of a tsunami using sophisticated technological instrumentation (CRTWFSONTP NRC, 2011). These devices are designed to collect important data which are in turn used to communicate warning signs of a probable tsunami. Countries in the vulnerable regions have developed ultramodern technologies for issuing warning signs (Edgar, 2011). These countries include the Soviet Union, Japan, the United States, and Canada. As a measure of enhancing preventive approaches, the countries have agreed to share sensitive but crucial information that may help in evading the impacts of tsunami and related disaster found in the Pacific (Hebenstreit, 1997). They have developed specific oceanographic centers for this purpose and strategic positioned so as to enhance th e accuracy of the data collected through regular observation and measurement (Satake Borrero, 2007). One of the major centers to have been developed is in Honolulu where there is the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) operated by the United States National Weather Service and is currently the most trusted international source of tsunami warnings (Tankut, 2009). This station is linked to other stations dealing with specific factors associated with tsunami. There are a number of separate stations for monitoring seismic waves, others for observing ocean/sea tides and numerous information dissemination centers spread across the entire Pacific Basin in the different member countries (Bryant, 2008). Basically, the International Tsunami Warning System aims to detect as well as tell the location/epicenter of major earthquakes occurring in the Pacific area, determine whether they have the potential of causing tsunami, and subsequently issue timely and effective warnings and other importa nt information to the concerned populations in order to reduce the hazardous effects on humankind and property (CRTWFSONTP NRC, 2011). The earliest information about the Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami was disseminated by the PTWC. It is important to understand how this warning systems functions. First, any of the recognized seismic observatory system detects an earthquake of significant magnitude of about 6.5 or more on the Richter scale (Tankut, 2009). Such earthquakes usually draw a lot of interest for investigation. The next step is for the PTWC to gather sufficient data of an earthquake and then determine its magnitude. When the information indicates that a possible tsunami is a threat to the people living in a given region, a warning message is disseminated to other agencies which are responsible for transmitting to the members of the public (Kumar, 2009). Thirdly, it is the duty of these agencies to act in advance in determining the appropriate immediate measures tha t will help move people to safe areas. If in case the tide stations later reveal that the negligible tsunami was generated, the PTWC reverses earlier warning. In most Pacific areas where there are frequent tsunamis, several warning stations have been established (Satake Borrero, 2007). Although the tsunami warning systems cannot be said to be excellent in predicting tsunamis, they help in sensitising about the potential hazards of the tsunami and hence facilitate the conviction of the members of the public to evacuate (Bryant, 2008). It is through these warning systems that many lives have been saved from the devastating effects of the tsunami and other natural catastrophes. However, failure by the members of the public to have confidence in government agencies has caused varying awareness of the tsunami disaster. This has been occasioned by the use of inadequate data and knowledge to make over-warning of tsunami which in turn unnecessary alarms. Regular incidences of false warning s have caused laxity when it comes to responding to subsequent warnings (Murata Katoh, 2010). Often, failure to comply with warnings has resulted in unnecessary loss of lives and destruction of businesses. There is need, therefore, for the education of members of the public on the risks associated with tsunami. Fortunately, newer technologies are enabling more accurate prediction of tsunami and the potential risks. Necessary Risk Management Processes for the Management of a Business in Vulnerable Regions Being a seismically active region, Japan has over the ages enhanced its ability to deal with the various natural disasters associated with it like high-magnitude earthquakes, floods, tsunami, and so forth (Kumar, 2009). It has developed mechanisms of detecting as well as responding to such natural crises in order to minimize their potential impacts. For a long period of time now, the legal system in Japan has not taken into consideration the risk posed by natural disasters (OECD, 2 011). In 1961, the Basic Law for disaster management was developed. With the continued emergence of both natural and artificial disasters, the public sector risk management took center stage in such cases. In the 21st century, there is need to develop appropriate risk management processes that will help in the management of businesses in the vulnerable areas. Importance of a Risk Management Strategic Approach It is ultimately necessary to have risk management strategic approaches in place in disaster prone areas. Businesses by multinational corporations, small-medium sized enterprises, the public sector, as well as communities are prone to disasters which may be beyond the control of the management and the policy makers (Murata Katoh, 2010). These risks range from high prices of commodities and services, business and market conditions, disruption of operations, technological changes, natural catastrophes, and so forth. Available strategies that I would need to address these risks a re varied. In the case of natural disasters, there is need for strategic risk management approaches. Businesses should be prepared to respond accordingly to unexpected events by taking maximum precautionary measurers in advance (Edgar, 2011). The management should be able to deal with market volatilities associated with the disasters through the formulation of appropriate risk management strategic approaches. Importance of Applying Risk Plans and Strategies The risk plans and strategies must be applied in a systematic manner if risks are to be minimised and these include; Risk identification, Analysis, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting. The first step in setting up a formal risk management process involves the classification of factors that influence businesses in vulnerable regions. Next, the vulnerability to the various types of risks are analysed and the potential effects estimated. The associated losses help in the determination of possible benefits if risks are mitigated (Ja yasuriya McCawley, 2011). The success of risk management process requires continuous monitoring and evaluation of how the measures taken are performing. This implies that the formal risk management strategy is an ongoing process and hence calls for regular reports of how the business under consideration is performing. It is through these reports that new interventions are introduced in order to reduce risks and maximise the existing opportunities before the anticipated disasters strike. Conclusion Despite the fact that there has been advancement in technology over the past few decades, it is still not easy to issue timely warnings of earthquakes and tsunami in highly vulnerable Pacific regions like Japan. The impacts of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan are very significant. The effects were both short term and long term. However, the tourism and hospitality industries were the most affected with far reaching economic and social implications. About 25,000 thousand people w ere left dead as well as missing, and thousands were left injured as a result of the destructive tsunami triggered by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake. It has emerged from the discussion that the disastrous effects of the tsunami that occurred in Japan have had direct impacts on the transport and tourism industries. Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami were reported, both the inbound and outbound travel arrangements by hundreds of people were canceled. This was expected to have long-term effects on the tourism industry. Many countries have also advised their citizens against travelling to Japan during the disaster period. This has had direct impact on the Japanese tourism industry. The hospitality industry has also not been spared. Due to the reduced number of visitors into the country, many hotels and guest houses have recorded decreased number over the disaster period, particularly in the North Eastern prefectures. A number of effects on the tourism and hospitality industries have been discussed broadly in the paper. The paper has also pointed out the importance of risk management strategic approaches, the importance of applying risk plans and strategies like risk identification, analysis, monitoring, evaluating and reporting. Furthermore, the existing national and international risk management processes and disaster recovery processes by the member countries and how they function in vulnerable areas have been discussed. Therefore, it is evident that the recent tsunami disaster in Japan has directly affected both the tourism and hospitality industries and a lot of reconstruction will need to be done if they are to thrive all over again. References Bradley, P. K. Statler, M. (2011) Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief. SAGE Bryant, E, (2008) Tsunami: the underrated hazard. 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