New Trends in Travel Security
The use of closed-circuit television (CCTV), for years a mainstay in hotels in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, and the Philippines, is on the rise. McIndoe predicts the spread of intelligent video surveillance to properties in regions with moderate risk levels, such as Dubai, within months. It’s also possible that the elaborate surveillance systems, including face-recognition software, now used to prevent robberies in Las Vegas hotels and casinos, could be disseminated to other American properties. Several experts, however, question the efficacy (and cost) of such systems and endorse human surveillance instead. Indeed, in recent years, there’s been a notable increase in hotels’ use of private security—a trend that will surely continue. “In some regions, it’ll be guards conspicuously uniformed, and armed, if that’s within the local law,” says John Seddon, operations manager for travel-security services at Control Risks, a London-based business-risk consultancy. “In the West, say the United Kingdom or the United States, it’ll have more of a customer-service packaging, but chances are it’ll fulfill, at least in part, the same role”—i.e., some of those smiling bellhops greeting you at the door might actually be security personnel, hired to keep an eye on entrances and visitors.