When Castro seized the Hilton: Risk and crisis management lessons from the past

Alexandros Paraskevas, Mary Quek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Studies on crisis management in tourism have made valuable contributions to the sector in terms of ‘lessons learned’ offering contextualisation, analysis and synthesis of factors that influenced the development of the crisis and the organisational or destination response. Very few, however, provide information on how tourism organisations attempt to manage risk proactively and how they manage a crisis reactively. Using information from multiple sources and archival material from Hilton Hotels, this study identifies associations between the company's actions in the 1950s before the Havana Hilton's nationalisation by Castro and modern-day principles and concepts of risk and crisis management. The chronicling of the organisation's proactive actions and reactive response to that crisis richly illustrates the contemporary concept of ‘organisational resilience’ in practice. Based on this analysis, the study proposes a five-stage resilience management framework for tourism organisations which distinguishes risk from crisis management and identifies specific activities within each stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
JournalTourism Management
Early online date20 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Business history
  • Crisis management
  • Cuban revolution
  • Havana Hilton
  • Resilience
  • Risk intelligence
  • Risk management


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