More visible security measures is just one of the ways to ensureguest safety, says Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, head of the InternationalCentre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research."International hotels frequented by Westerners in conflict zones,or countries adjacent to conflict zones, are becoming secondembassies," he tells GlobeSt.com. Failure to understand the threatand creatively harden international hotels could lead to loss oflife, property and business, he says.

Take for example the Marriott Islamabad, which was destroyedwhen a truck bomb exploded and killed more than 50 people on Sept.20. In a report about the attack, Gunaratna said this hotel was theworld's most protected, having withstood at least two otherterrorist attacks since 2004. However, even with more than 60security officers protecting the 290-room hotel, the attack wasstill mostly successful.

Despite these losses, there is a spirit in the hospitalityindustry to fight back. A Marriott spokesman says tells GlobeSt.comthat his firm is still proceeding with strong pipeline growth inmarkets such as the Middle East and Asia, including India. In theMiddle East alone, the company expects to expand its currentportfolio of properties from 26 to 65 by 2011. "The Middle East isnot only a rapidly expanding center of commerce, but also athriving tourist destination," said J. W. Marriott Jr., chairmanand CEO of Marriott International, in a statement in April.

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