Securing hotels from terrorist attacks

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As the recent bombings in Bali made all too clear, hotels need to ensure that they're doing all they can to deter a suicide bombing or other attack on their grounds. Horrible, I know, but true. I wish I could have gone to the International Tourism Safety and Security Conference held last month, but since I couldn't, this article from travelweekly.com (free registration req'd) is a good summary of the issues. One scary snip:


    Interviews with tourism officials and with security experts at hotels and resorts around the country as well as with those who study the impact of terrorism’s lingering threat on the economy quickly point to some significant conclusions.


    For one, an attack on U.S. soil involving tourist destinations, most security officials agree, is not a question of “if” but of “when.”


    Top hotel security personnel at major facilities in metropolitan areas, who once focused on investigating crimes against visitors and illegal activities within hotels, are becoming increasingly sophisticated and experienced at terrorism prevention and counterterrorism intelligence. Protecting visitors from violent attacks has become a top priority.


    Technology is being deployed in new ways, from devices that sample the air outside hotels, to computers that provide instant advice on circumstances, to contingency plans that help security officials make minute-by-minute decisions on threats such as bombs or chemical attacks.

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