The tourism sector in recent years has been exposed to many relevant environmental events: wars, terrorist attacks, medical emergencies, etc.. All these events produce great uncertainty among traders, because of the difficulty predicting the volume of demand, with relevant consequences on organizational structures and behaviours. Shock events and shift events are the names used to describe the main topic of the present study. Shock events refer to sudden turbulence which are difficult to predict, both regarding the time of their occurrence and their consequences on firms. Otherwise, shift events do not produce a state of emergence for the organization or a high pressure, and they often may be predicted, allowing a longer period for analysis and decisionmaking. In the present paper we describe a theoretical model revealing three distinctive features to distinguish shock events and shift events, which therefore require different behaviours by operators: the predictability of the event, the rapidity of its manifestation, the rapidity with which operators must react to the event. Our analytical model describe a relationship between environmental events and organizational skills, suggesting the need for a proactive approach by the organization, in order to predict and anticipate the events and to exercise more control over them.
Keywords: Tourism sector, environmental events, uncertainty, organizational skills