Skip to main content

Tourism conference highlights security challenges

October 10, 2007

Most people prefer not to discuss worst case scenarios, disaster preparedness, or the risks associated with large gatherings and venues. But event planners, tourism industry officials and security professionals learned the value of open dialogue and collaboration on these issues during last fall’s inaugural Arizona Tourism Safety and Security Conference, and are coming back for more.


The Arizona Super Bowl XLII public safety team will kick-off the conference, hosted by the Megapolitan Tourism Research Center at Arizona State University, on Nov. 8.


Regional operations, fire and police officials working with the NFL will discuss how to avert disasters during high-risk, high-profile events, and how to model a commitment to safety and security, topics of vital interest to Arizona’s $17 billion tourism industry.


A parade of security, risk management, tourism and meeting planning experts, including Leesa Berens Morrison, director of Arizona’s Department of Homeland Security; Cam Hunter, bureau chief, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Arizona Department of Health Services; and Bruce McMillan, CEO, Meeting Professionals International will cover topics ranging from how a pandemic would affect Arizona tourism to effective crisis communication.


“Over the next few months, greater Phoenix will face a perfect storm of risk,” said Steven A. Adelman, Esq., a conference presenter whose presentation will cover how public facilities can document their work without exposing safety measures to the “bad guys.”


“Our annual winter population explosion will combine with a series of high profile events that will make the Valley the center of attention for the entire nation, if not much of the world,” he added. “Arizona State University’s tourism and public administration faculty are providing a huge public service by bringing people to the table to discuss these issues and develop collaborative relationships among tourism and security officials."


Tim Tyrrell, conference chair, tourism economist, and director of the ASU Megapolitan Tourism Research Center notes, “Discussing these edgy issues and sharing best practices not only raises the level of awareness but directly affects the safety and security of our visitors and residents.”


The conference will be held at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas and the $99 per person registration fee ($129 after Oct. 20) includes meals, a mini tradeshow and conference materials. Tourism, meeting planning and security professionals can register for the conference at (602) 496-0161 or


Sponsors include the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas.