Security in the Tourism Industry

Last June 2, 2017, the world was shocked when a lone gunman attacked the Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Pasay City Philippines. 37 people lost their lives during this incident.


The government officials blamed the incident to an “emotionally disturbed individual”. The gunman tried to carry out a robbery, by shooting at TV screens and setting on fire properties inside Resorts World Manila casino, suffocating many of the victims.

Here is the CCTV footage of the attack on RW Manila:

Police chief Oscar Albayalde said on Sunday the family confirmed the man’s identity as Jesse Javier Carlos, a former employee of the Finance Department. The assailant’s family said he was US$80,000 in debt “due to being hooked in casino gambling”.

An Eye-opener to the Tourism Industry

Many things can be learned from this incident. This case can help improve the security of hotels, casinos and other tourist destinations around the globe. Despite having over 3,100 CCTV cameras and employing a security force this incident was not prevented.

The Philippines National Police launched a probe on the security provider and management of Resorts World. Here are the lapses that were identified according to the PNP:

  • There was only one security guard stationed at the place where the gunman entered the scene. This was shown on the CCTV footage. The entrance could have been hampered if there were two security personnel guarding the area.
  • The gunman entered through the exit door and there were no physical barriers to slow him down.
  • The security guard had no training on mall security
  • The uniform worn by the lady guard was not prescribed. This prevented the office from issuing a firearm.
  • The CCTV monitoring team abandoned their post when the gunman attacked. This was according to report from a television broadcast. If the monitoring team stayed, SWAT and the police could have used the real-time footage to track the gunman.

Lessons Learned from this Incident

From this tragedy, we can learn a lot from it. This highlights how vulnerable tourism spots can be. Imagine how much damage could have been inflicted if this was triggered by a terrorist group. Here are tips that we believe we can learn from this experience:

  • Security force training– make sure your team gets the appropriate training for the venue. When you check the security footage, you can see how unprepared the security guards were in dealing the crisis.
  • Do not abandon the monitoring center– make sure your security team will not abandon the monitoring center. Someone needs to keep an eye on that CCTV camera and make sure they help the security team and police during the emergency.

Lives could have been saved. They could have warned the fire department that there were guests who were stuck in the rooms. They could have made evacuation plans to rescue them from suffocation

  • Security company compliance– security team should comply with the laws of the country. They could have prevented the assailant from entering the area if they had firearms.
  • Review Fire Plan– if you check the security footage you will notice that the fire spread rapidly because of the gasoline and carpet. The fire alarms and sprinklers were working. We recommend that for hotels, put cards that demonstrate the proper way of evacuating in case of fire. First aid of fire and smoke suffocation would be to cover your body with wet towels and try crouching on the floor. You will get air enough to escape the room.

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