In the protection industry, our goal is to keep the client as safe as possible, but what if they want an experience that is daring?
Extreme tourism is the act of traveling with the intention to participate in higher-risk activities including visiting areas that aren’t normally known as “tourist-friendly.” Over the past few decades, extreme tourism has evolved to encompass other subcategories of adventure tourism such as “Dark Tourism,” “Disaster Tourism,” “Slum Tourism,” or “War Tourism.” The intent of this article is not to examine each category but provide insight into challenges that security teams face if a client participates in such events.
Some examples of extreme tourism are sports such as bungee jumping, base jumping, scuba diving, rock climbing, or skydiving. Touring physically dangerous locations or areas that are known for tragic events such as the Chernobyl exclusion zone would fall under the category of Dark/Disaster Tourism. One specific example is Pablo Escobar tours in Medellin, Colombia. The tour company takes visitors to various infamous locations like the house Escobar passed away in. Depending on which country hosts the location a client wants to visit, safety and security standards can vary wildly on both ends of the spectrum.
Such tourism trends appeared to be a growing niche prior to the COVID 19 pandemic due to the influx of media attention and may see an even bigger growth as travel begins to open back up. After a long period of staying indoors, people seem to be restless and craving unique adventures. As an executive protection company, it is our job that high-security standards are maintained through every moment of travel, higher-risk activities and travel included.
Let’s say the client’s extreme activity of choice is wind sailing in the Sea of Cortez. The first layer of protection would be protective intelligence. ESOC would conduct a preliminary search on the vendors for the activity, geospatial intelligence, location assessment, past incidents, and safety information. Analysts can investigate the windsail company the client is renting from, their safety and COVID-19 standards, their past incident record, their business registration validity, etc. The area choice will be scrutinized for criminal activity, maritime incidents, weather, etc.
Then the analysts would provide this information to the client and/or the client’s security team in a manner that is preferable to them. Analysts can create a deliverable in the form of a presentation, paper, or cater to other preferences for information dissemination.
The second layer would be a physical security presence if necessary. With a wide network of agents around the world, PFC Safeguards will always aim to provide agents best equipped and familiar with the activities. When traveling to a unique destination, PFC Safeguards strives to equip the protective detail with at least one individual that is deeply familiar with the area.
During the activity period, ESOC analysts can monitor the area as well as ensure the next plans in the travel flow smoothly. ESOC’s concierge service is an asset to both the clients and the executive protection team. When traveling to foreign countries a lot of the communication is best conducted in person, but ESOC can help find the best numbers to call, find addresses, the fastest route and secondary route, the owners of a company, and previous experiences with that vendor.
The reality is a traveler is more likely to experience bodily harm through accidents than by the hands of another person. PFS Safeguards seeks to staff the protective detail with agents trained in trauma care and life-saving skills. That is why protective agents are much more than simply bodyguards. For the worst-case scenario, ESOC live maps the closest trauma center, airports, and details medivac capabilities in the area.
No matter where your destination takes you, PFC Safeguards has you covered.