Underestimating Risk

Travel FoundationThe is a UK tour operator funded charity that runs environmental & livelihoods projects overseas to demonstrate how sustainable tourism can work. They commissioned a qualification development and training project in Egypt based on the recommendations of a EuropeAid funded project, to raise professionalism in the snorkeling instructors. While a benefits analysis had been conducted and stakeholders had continuously and publicly supported the concept, risks were underestimated.


A qualification was designed to provide environmental education to guides so they would interpret the value of marine environments and reduce coral breakage. However in recruiting snorkeling guides for the qualification it was found that a large percentage could not swim and fewer had any understanding of first aid, despite being employed regularly. The scope of the project had to change dramatically in going from concept to actual field practice because of vested interests from different stakeholders in only divulging information when put under pressure.


A risk represents an uncertain event that could have an effect on the project objectives. This uncertainty is measured in terms of the probability of the risk and the possible impact the threat or opportunity might have on the project.

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