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CRISIS MANAGEMENT Rachel Jepson Communications Consultant VisitBritain.

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Presentation on theme: "CRISIS MANAGEMENT Rachel Jepson Communications Consultant VisitBritain."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRISIS MANAGEMENT Rachel Jepson Communications Consultant VisitBritain

2 Past Crises: The Impact The cost of FMD and September 11 to UK tourism industry in 2001 alone was in excess of £3billion The cost of FMD and September 11 to UK tourism industry in 2001 alone was in excess of £3billion It has taken the industry four years to recover to pre-2001 levels It has taken the industry four years to recover to pre-2001 levels The London bombings in July 2005 depressed spending by international visitors by £750 million but overall Britain still received record number of visitors. The London bombings in July 2005 depressed spending by international visitors by £750 million but overall Britain still received record number of visitors.

3 Crisis Communications: The Future? Ongoing terrorism threat Ongoing terrorism threat Avian flu Avian flu Possible human flu pandemic Possible human flu pandemic

4 Crisis Management Structure 1.Business Continuity Management 2.Immediate Action Group 3.Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) 4.Tourism recovery

5 Crisis Management Structure TIER (Tourism Emergency Response Group) Established in direct response to Foot and Mouth Outbreak in 2001 Consists of around 10 representatives (changes depending on the nature and location of the crisis). Chaired and facilitated by VisitBritain. Decides on tourism industry position and response during a crisis and assesses impact. Has the ability to reach 75% of UK tourism businesses. Leads to a coordinated tourism industry response

6 TIER Structure Association of British Travel Agents Association of Leading Visitor Attractions British Airways British Hospitality Association Department for Culture, Media & Sport Tourism Alliance UKInbound VisitBritain (chair & facilitator) Visit London Visit Scotland Wales Tourist Board

7 Industry Preparedness UK tourism businesses eg Accommodation Attractions Transport Tour operators Events organisers etc TIER (Tourism Industry Emergency Response) Group eg ALVA, BHA, UKinbound PSA, DCMS VB, VL, VS, WTB, Regional bodies etc Civil Contingencies Secretariat (via DCMS) International & domestic markets (via VB) COBRA

8 Tourism Recovery TOURISM MARKETING RECOVERY GROUP Sits alongside TIER to focus on recovery activity rather than immediate response Sits alongside TIER to focus on recovery activity rather than immediate response Comprises representatives from both public and private sectors, including major commercial organisations Comprises representatives from both public and private sectors, including major commercial organisations Develops recovery campaigns aimed at minimising short-term impact and protecting long-term growth Develops recovery campaigns aimed at minimising short-term impact and protecting long-term growth

9 Crisis: TIER in Action Scenario Planning ahead of 2 nd Gulf War Information sharing with Canada on SARS and Sri Lanka following the Tsunami July 7 bombings in London Scenario Planning for Avian Flu

10 7 July: Tourism Industry Response Objectives Provide accurate, consistent information to reassure and inform visitors. Promote a clear ‘business as usual’ message in UK and international media. Ensure media worldwide and UK government are given consistent messages from Britain’s tourism industry. Limit speculation as to the possible financial impact of 7 July and provide the authoritative impact assessment. Leverage opportunities to demonstrate consumer confidence and kick-start recovery.

11 7 July: Tourism Industry Response Established crisis management plan Information from official sources only Holding statement Agreement by TIER to not be drawn into providing comment or speculating on impact Briefed overseas offices and monitored perception Started gathering 3 rd party statements

12 7 July: Tourism Industry Response TIER meetings held on 8, 13, 27 July and 12 August Oxford Economic Forecasting commissioned to provide definitive impact assessment Consumer reassurance statements developed and distributed via VisitBritain’s web platform which operates in 40 international markets, in 20 local languages, and by 12 overseas call centres Impact in overseas markets mixed

13 7 July: Tourism Industry Response – STRENGTHS First real opportunity since FMD to test TIER Management of speculation on impact Lack of sensational headlines and reporting Use of third party statements and PR opportunities – first China ADS trip and ABC ‘Good Morning America’ Strong industry communications Recovery marketing led by Visit London

14 7 July: Lessons Learned An external crisis will sometimes have serious implications for staff so they must be briefed as a priority An external crisis will sometimes have serious implications for staff so they must be briefed as a priority Staff have to be updated regularly as required eg. updates on travel disruptions and alternatives such as car-pools and accommodation Staff have to be updated regularly as required eg. updates on travel disruptions and alternatives such as car-pools and accommodation Regular updates will encourage staff to stay off the internet to avoid a system slow-down which will impact on communications Regular updates will encourage staff to stay off the internet to avoid a system slow-down which will impact on communications Updated voic s crucial! Updated voic s crucial! Staff have to be prepared to drop everything to assist Crisis Communications team Staff have to be prepared to drop everything to assist Crisis Communications team

15 Avian Flu 1 case of avian flu in Britain 1 case of avian flu in Britain Avian Flu is a disease of birds not humans. Does not pose a direct threat to the tourism industry Avian Flu is a disease of birds not humans. Does not pose a direct threat to the tourism industry Measures imposed by government departments and media reaction could create a crisis for the industry Measures imposed by government departments and media reaction could create a crisis for the industry

16 Avian Flu Priority is to understand what response from government at all levels will be Priority is to understand what response from government at all levels will be VB has monitored situation for 18 months, prepared reactive press statements, Q&A, consumer fact sheet. Disseminated through TIER and national tourist boards VB has monitored situation for 18 months, prepared reactive press statements, Q&A, consumer fact sheet. Disseminated through TIER and national tourist boards Prepared scenario response plans alongside DCMS Prepared scenario response plans alongside DCMS Media and consumer response REACTIVE ONLY. Avian Flu is a disease of birds, it should not be a tourism issue. Media and consumer response REACTIVE ONLY. Avian Flu is a disease of birds, it should not be a tourism issue.

17 Human Flu A new strain of human flu does not exist yet, important to keep perspective Business continuity planning and common- sense hygiene the best line of defence


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