Ardent Leisure needs to learn crisis management

Published on : Friday, October 28, 2016

ardent-leisureArdent Leisure, which owns Dreamworld felt the heat of public criticism since the Thunder River Rapid ride tragedy, resulting in the deaths of four visitors. The company CEO Deborah Thomas said that she didn’t contact families of victims because she didn’t know how to contact them.


However, any incident which results in loss of lives, calls for immediate contact with the victim’s family. This is one of the top priorities of crisis management. Sandy Hollway, Australia’s one of the most respected experts has set “ten commandments” in dealing with crisis events. These commandments are relevant to all tourism businesses and destinations seeking to restore their reputation after a crisis.


Ardent Leisure owns many tourist attractions in Australia and other countries. In 2012 the company won the Risk Management Advancer award for its dedication to risk management practice. Legal requirements under occupational health and safety laws require public attractions to strictly follow protocols for safety of all rides for public. However, even in the most protected attractions, fatal accidents do occur. Ardent Leisure has much to learn from these ten commandments to restore its reputation as a safe and family friendly attraction.


Ardent Leisure needs a good crash course on crisis communications and an emergency like this needs leadership and control. Victims always come first and there should be no excuse for contacting immediate families of victims. All tourism businesses should know that. The Queensland government is determined to close Dreamworld until there is a full investigation of the incident. The UNWTO has also pointed out crisis management as essential for all tourism businesses.



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