Hotels have certain characteristics that create a significant challenge in designing security and protective counter measures:
- They are open to the general public
- They host large numbers of local and foreigner guests
- Guests are accompanied by luggage of significant size and weight
- Functions such as conferences, parties and weddings attract even more guests who visit the hotel for a short period of time
- Hotels routinely receive large shipments of supplies (both in volume and quantity)
- The hotel employees a large number of permanent and temporary staff.
The imperative of the hospitality business is to provide a warm, open and welcoming environment which is clearly an anathema to the security establishment. Hotels typically offer free access to their public areas and rely on external clientele for a significant part of their restaurant and café revenue. This is particularly acute in the case of hotels which are part of large commercial or tourist centers and therefore attract significant transient visitors to its public areas.
The hotel and hospitality industry has, unfortunately, become prominent targets and recent terror attacks against tourist centers include Taba (2004), Bali (2002 and 2005), Amman (2005), Sharm al-Sheikh (2005), Jakarta (2003 and 2009), Kabul (2008), Mumbai (2008).
M.I.P. Security deals with risk management and mitigation and works extensively in the hotel and hospitality industry where traditionally, security is focused on prevention of crimes such as theft, fraud, harassment and disturbing public order. Despite the attacks of recent years, it is still relatively rare that a hotel’s security is aimed at countering terrorism.
M.I.P. Security tries to create a balance between the need to enhance security and the requirements of the hotel as a commercial, private and competitive environment.