The Impact of Terrorism and Violence Uncertainties on Tourism Internationally

Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter introduces the subject matter of this paper. The topic is on the impact ofterrorism and violence uncertaintyon tourism around the globe. As well, the chapter will present a brief outline of the research question, objectives, and aims. Thereafter, the paper presents a developed hypothesis to further guide the study.

1.1 Topic Presentation

Terrorism is today one of the greatest threats to humankind around the globe.One of the reasons why its effects on the tour and travel sector are so enormous is that it occurs rather unexpectedly. As well, tourism is not only a sensitive industry but also, a fast growing area internationally (Arana and Leone 2008, p.299).The holidaymaking sector is always caught up in the midst of these violent and uncalculated threats. The effects of terrorism are enormous since the tourism industry is a significant contributor to a country’s economy.For instance, it leads to a drop in tourist arrivals affecting other related industries such as hotels and airlines. Thus, governments are greatly concerned with the stability of the sector.To further understand the negative consequences of terror activities to the business, this paper takes the case of Middle East countries. Tourism has for a long time suffered low tourist turnover due to the rampant incidences of terror attacks (Hume et al. 2016). Further, in countries such as Somalia, Africa, touring remains a nightmare. The nation has been war-rocked since time in memorial thus diverting travelers away. As a result, economic development and international relationships with other states is completely derailed.

1.2 Research Questions

This paper takesfour approaches to the research question.

  • First, thestudy looks at how terrorist activities impact on the tourism sector as a whole. This entails analysis from the international and local perspective.
  • Secondly, the study will look atits effects on various tourism businesses.These influences include changes in advertising and marketing strategies, the economic impact, and demographic variations.
  • Thirdly, the study will focus on how the individual tourist is affected by these fears. For instance, what arethe security precautions the vacationer takes? How does the traveler come to a decision on their preferred tourist destination? Where do they access authoritative and advisory information from?
  • Lastly, the research will also focus on the impact of terror activities on the public perception. Such views include theholidaymakers’ behaviors and their assessments of the risk involved.

1.3 Aims and Objectives

Further, the study aims at establishing the relationship between terrorism activities and tourism around the globe. It also looks to find out the adverse effects of these fears on the stability of the tourism industry and all its key players. As well, the research seeks to identify how administrative forces such as the State and other related agencies influence tourism activities whenever violence occurs or is speculated. The paperalsotargets to establish the current trends in the sector. These include travel bans to specific countries that are considered ‘hotbeds of terror’ and their impact on the tourism industry (Mutiga 2015, p.4). Afterwards, the studypurposesto find the best solutions to handle violence activities thus reduce their effects on tourism.

1.4 Methodological Approach

The methodological approach of the researchprimarilyentails the exploration of secondary and primary data.This study analyzes the collected information both qualitatively and quantitatively. The secondary data sources entail evaluating particular case studies around the world on terrorism and their impact on the various aspects of tourism. Such information sheds light on the overall effects of violence uncertainty to the whole industry. In order to gather the impact of terrorism on travel businesses, individual tourists, and current trends in the sector the research employs the survey method. Since the scope of the study is broad and involves gathering data from all over the world, probes were conducted through electronic media. This ensures participation by respondents across the globe. On that account,an online questionnaire was administered through emails and social media platforms. The emails mostly targeted tourism businesses such as hotels, travel agencies, and shops. A total of fifteen positive responses were received back through emails.Publishing these questions on social arenas targeted mainly the university and college groups. As a result, fifty responses were gathered.

Additionally, questions were presented in a quantitative setting including both Likert-scale method and multiple choice answers. These techniques allow for cross-tabulation of the collected data which is first represented in Microsoft Excel. Thereafter, calculating tests and Pivot tables are used to prove the relevance of the data. The study further sought to test the following hypotheses:

H1: There are no positive impacts of terrorism on the tourism sector.

H2: Governments, the media, and other travel agencies contribute to negative publicity of travel destinations that have a history of terror attacks.

H3: Fears of violence divert tourists to alternative destinations where they feel safer.

H4: In most cases, terrorist mostly target tourists and travel activities.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

This chapter looks at terrorism, the negative impacts on tourism, and current international as well as local trends in addressing violence extremism.In other words,this section considers the history behind terrorism, theoretical frameworks on how such past is associated with tourism activities, and the influence of current happenings to the tourism sector.

2.1 Meaning and History of Terrorism

Terrorism had existed long before the word was actually coined during the period of French Revolution in 1789 (Capper 2010, p.98).  Terrorism is any violent act intended to cause death as well as severe damage to civilians and the human body. Further, such deeds are naturally and contextually aimed at intimidating a given population. They could also seek to compel a particular Government or a Global Organization to engage or refrain from taking certain actions (Ben 2008, p.50). Similarly, terrorism involves destroying government or civilian property without the approval of the State. This suggests that these individuals act independently in line with their beliefs and convictions to try and impose a specific political agenda (Capper 2010, p.106). Whichever the definition, there must be inclusion of reasonable political claims and examination of a range of justifications, exceptions, defenses, and excuses. The perpetuators of terror activities are usually groups of individuals who engage in crime against humanity and the local government. Some of these terrorist groups include the Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, ISIS, Boko Haram, Hezbollah among others.

From the ancient times, individuals and groups of people have been known to use violence in order to fight for what they consider right. Terrorism is simply not a modern phenomenon” (Capper 2010, p.10). However, cases of international tourism became more rampant from the 1960s. The United States and Europe in general, for instance, experienced intense political unrest in 1968 after the assassination of President Martin Luther (Hays 2008). Around the same time, a historical hijacking incident took place involving the diversion of an El- Al plane from Rome heading to Algiers. For forty days, the plane was withheld by Palestinian revolutionaries.

Further, the Pan Am flightbombing in Scotland shook the world (Hays 2008). Certain perpetuators of terror attack may not necessarily be affiliated to a specific extremist group.The RFA (Red Army Faction), for example, made international headlines by targeting NATO, industrial companies, and political parties of Germany. The team was set up in 1970 by four extremists namely Ensslin Gudrun, BaaserAnreas, Meinholf Ulrike, and Mahler Horst. They employed the Marxist-Leninist ideology which entails the use of armed conflict against a fascist nation. Towards the culmination of 1977, the RFA killed 34 people in what was referred to as the “German Autumn” (Hays 2008).Another incidence involving the Red Brigade terror group resulted in loss of 350 lives to kneecapping, assassination, and kidnapping. It was set up in Italy around the year 1972 and emerged as one of the most notorious in Europe. However, tough policies that were instituted in the 1980s enabled the capture of about 250 militants together with their sympathizers (Hays 2008).

The September 11, 2001 case is perhaps one of the most significant terror attack the world has known (BlinandChaliand 2007, p.63). The World trade Centre, New York was bombed down. The Al-Qaeda extremists seized four airliners and used them to execute the violence. Sources indicate that nine terrorist-sympathizer groups were involved in the crime. Of the four planes, two were directed towards the twin tower, one was flown to hit the Pentgon, Washington D.C, while the last airline crashed in Pennsylvania. The impact of the 9/11 violence was tremendous. About 3000 lives were lost comprising of about 400 police officers and fire fighters in both Washington D.C and New York (Goodrich 2001, p.98). As a result, the United States government had to employ significant measures to curb terror activities as well as define George Bush’s presidency. The Al-Qaeda was established by Osama Bin Laden in 1988 after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. His capture and murder occurred during President Obama’s era. The incident had severe effects to the tourism industry particularly the hotel, travel, and restaurant businesses. Similarly, the Muslim nations were adversely affected by the attack as their tourist turnover declined drastically. Currently, Al-Qaeda operate multi-nationally in over 16 countries (McCormick 2014, p.19).

Some countries have since the ancient times been marred by terror activities making tourist activities almost impossible. Somalia, for instance, is one of the States in Africa that has over a long time been under the Al-Shabaab extremist attacks. The group has since claimed connection to Al-Qaeda (Cohn 2010, p.6). Efforts by the United Nations and neighboring countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to deploy troops into the country to contain the situations, have not borne fruits. On the contrary, the Al-Shabaab organizes retaliating threats to revenge against any attempt to restore peace in Somalia. As a result, the terrorist group has launched numerous attacks in Kenya. For example,in 2013 the militants attacked the WestGate mall, Nairobi, leaving 67 people dead (New York City Police Department 2013).As noted, the incidence targeted mostly non- Muslims. This was an enormous strike-back since the bombing of the United States Embassy located in Nairobi. The attack which is believed to have been executed by the Al-Qaeda group led to 212 deaths. These incidences have negatively affected tourist activities in the country as seen in sharp traveler decline over the years. Other war-torn nations include civil wars in Syria and terrorism in Iraq.

2.1.2 Types of Terrorism

For this paper to respond appropriately to the subject of terrorism, there is great need to look at the various types of terrorists.

Religious Terrorism

            This is a kind of terrorism that is motivated by religious faith or ideologies. Also, it is at times called “Holy Terror” or Jihad (Grothaus 2014, p.6). Currently, Jihad is considered one of the most dangerous terror threat since it is based on religious fanaticism. The uniqueness of this category is that they are always willing to sacrifice their lives through tactics such as suicide bombing. As well, this suicidal behavior is promoted through radicalized Islamic teachings. This indoctrination justifies its acts of terror by promising spiritual rewards. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Al-Shabaab are some examples of religious terrorism. These groups follow the Islamic Extremist theory that the “Holy Chief” is not only a political leader but, is also religious. The existence of this ideology is grounded on the fact that some radicals manipulated a few sections of the Islamic laws to defend their activities (BlinandChaliand 2007, p.72).

State Terrorism

This is where Governments impose terror on its subjects to control them systematically. Likewise, States can fund terror groups. Historically, most tyrants employ state terrorism to exercise control over the civilians(Sandler 2014, p.69).

Left and Right Wing Terrorism

Left-Wing terrorism is driven by the obsession to overthrow capitalist democracies. It, therefore, looks to establish a communist or socialist government with their main objective being to eliminate social-class boundaries. Examples of such groups are Red Brigade and RAF. On the other hand, Right-Wing Terrorism entails fighting of liberal governments in order to restore traditional orders and values. The activists are mainly motivated by racism such as Neo-Facists as well as Klu Klux Klan.

Pathological Terrorism

This category of extremists is propelled by the joy of hurting and terrorizing other people. Such radicals are commonly referred to as “Lone Wolves” with no political motive but rather, engage in serial killing and shooting especially in schools(Grothaus 2014, p.8).

Separatist Terrorism

            This group is involved in separating a country into several states. The minorities take advantage of such terrorism to segregate themselves from the majority usually due to discrimination. The case of Basque Country and Freedom (ETA Basque) separatists is a prominent example in Spain (Grothaus 2014, p.10). Thefragmentation of Eritrea from main stream Ethiopia is another example in Africa.

Issue-Oriented Terrorism

These are environmental terrorists whose aim is to address ecological or social concerns. Some examples of such cases are the whaling ships assaults as well as the bombing of clinics engaging in abortions (Grothaus 2014, p.12). 

Narco Terrorism

Such type of terrorism engages in the sale of illegal drugs for the purpose of funding their violent activities. This category thus differs from the rest and is rampant among the Mexican cartels who employ violent techniques focused on intimidating populations. People are tortured through mass burials and beheading to compel them not to work together with the authorities(Grothaus 2014, p.14).

2.1.3 Recent Trends in Terror and Tourism Related Activities

Questions have been raised concerning the role of social media in promoting terrorism. Studies have shown that ISIS extremists recruit new society members using the internet. They have taken advantage of the social networks to radicalize the young generations and implore them to act on behalf of the group. Currently, the world is putting up with such offline consequences. The process of hunting for new recruits allows for disruptions, leaves the society in fear, and vulnerable to terror attacks (Putra 2016, p.76). Further, ISIS airs its propaganda through the internet making it difficult to trace such activities. The media contributes to additional publicity by amplifying the ISIS messages blindly. Unfortunately, most of the potential recruits get the information about these terror groups from the media. They then proceed to seek out more information from the social media. The five-point strategy employed by ISIS is discovery of potential recruit, creating a micro-community, Isolation, a shift to privatized communications, as well as identification and encouragement of action (Putra 2016, p.89). The social arena hence is actively involved in propagating terror activities. 

Further, the Presidency of Donald Trump in the United States has seen the proposal of certain drastic policies to curb terrorism. He attempted to ban six Muslim countries in Africa and Middle East from travelling to the U.S. These include Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia (Foster 2017, p.43).The argument was based on the public notion that terrorism is associated with the Islam religion. Further, the travel ban was triggered by the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack as well as the nightclub shooting at Orlando. The President considers such immigrants as threats of terrorism despite the fact that they are fleeing their countries to seek refuge and avoid abuse. Upon approval, such a travel ban would have negative effects not only to the tourism of the stated countries but also, their economies and the national unity.

2.2 Possible Causes of Increased Terrorism

One of the greatest contributor to increased terror activity is dissatisfaction by the society members (Baker 2014, p.30). In general, terrorism emerge where rebelgroups exist and anywherethere are major concerns and complains.Further, such rebellious behavior is contributed by recessions in the economy and the introduction of fragile and new economic and political structures. Other triggering factors to the rise of terror activities are technological growth, making it easier to access weaponryandmass communication (Capper 2010, p.104). Besides these causes of violence, religion is regarded the leading contributor in history.

Moreover, terrorism provides an opportunity for the minority or weak groups that feels excluded from the rest of the population. Such groups also feel that they are not taken seriously hence engage in terrorizing the majority in order to achieve their objectives. In other words, the lack of space for political participation as well as economic globalization results in inequality within and among states. Additionally, dissatisfaction and economic anxiety bring about economic depression and recession which result in breeding terrorism (Baker 2014, p.30). Also, factors such as globalization and modernization lead to the disruption of social structures and present numerous significant challenges. Currently in Europe, there are fears that massive increase in the number of refugees into the region interferes with the privacy, respect for the old patterns, and social interactions with the new emergence of social groups.Such immigrants moving into Europe originate from Iran, Syria, and Iraq. Notably, these are Islamic states.Consequently, the public perception in Europe associates terror attacks with this religion.The citizens, therefore, associate the increasing refugee numbers with the rise in terror activities. Historically, any indication of modernization attracts terrorism treats with the example of the World Trade Centre, New York (Baker 2014, p.30).

2.3 Relationship BetweenTourism and Terrorism

Ironically, tourism and international tourism are interconnected in that they both involve the crossing of national boundaries, employ communications and travel technologies, and entailcitizens of diverse countries (Graefe and Sonmez 1998, p.72). However, the rift between the two emerged internationally in 1972 during the Olympic Games in Munich. The Palestinian militants attacked the Israeli athletes leaving eleven individuals dead. Over 800 million television viewers were introduced to global terrorism (Graefe and Sonmez 1998, p.77).Further bombings such as the 9/11 attacks and drowning of travelers in bathtubs in the United States alarmed tourists of the existence of this relationship (Bobbitt 2008, p.46).These occurrences in turn, contributed to a sharp declining in tourist turnover in Europe. Such a discussion brings to light the reasons why tourists are a soft target for terrorists. First, travelers are easily identified as the enemy’s symbol. Secondly, most traveler destinations are a perfect strategic location for targeting attacks (Pierson and Giddens 1998). In a nutshell, the connection between terrorism and tourism is a complex one and has numerous dimensions. The close relationship, as explained, hence increases the sensitiveness and vulnerability of the tourism industry predisposing it to terror attacks.

2.3.1 Effects of Terrorism on the Global Tourism Industry

The global impact of violence is that it leads to a national downturn in tourism activities. The short-term effect is the decline in the microeconomic index whereas the long-term impact is the drop-down of macroeconomic values (Sinclair and Blake 2002, p.20). In response, most governments engage in formulating counter-crisis policies as well as security strategies that prepare them to fight back the consequences of terrorism. An example of such long-term effects is one caused by terrorist activities in Basks group, Spain.Studies indicate that the state loses in excess of 10% of its yearly GDP (Sinclair and Blake 2002, p.31). To make matters worse, there seems to be no foreseeable remedy to the problem.

Nevertheless, the tourism industry is ever expanding and contributes greatly to the international development. Today, people travel more than they used to in the past. However, the rate of travel varies depending on the level of fear of terror attacks and the risk factor involved in touring the desired destination.

2.3.2 Impact of Terror Activities on Tourism Businesses

Hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, airlines, and other touring-related business operators are greatly affected by such publicity. They hence come up with new strike-back marketing and advertising strategies of their services and products. For instance, they could use the advertisement technic to send a positive message through the media or internet. Also, they could assure potential travelers that they would be safe to visit the country. Secondly, these companies are economicallyaffected in that, around the period when the attack occurs, the tourist turnover is considerably low (Kutan and Drakos 2003, p.640). If fight-back policies are not formulated and enacted promptly, these economic downfalls may prolong. The businesses and the nation at large thus experience a loss in foreign currency.Further,terror attacks disrupt the behavior of a population leading to demographic variations. Such violence may induce migration into and out of the country as well as reduce the inflow of tourists into the affected country. Such changes influence the destination of tourists, the type of travelers, their place of origin, the activities they engage in while in transit, and the required accommodation.

2.3.3 Impact of Terrorism on Individual Tourists

            Terror attacks impact hugely on individual travelers.Such influences are with regards to the tourist’s safety, the risk involved, decision making, and external forces.The risk and safety guarantee given to the traveler influences the security precautionsthey take. The figure 1 below shows the “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.”The illustration indicates that safety needs should be attained first before self-fulfillment requirements such as holidaymaking and leisure (Chapman 2001, p.62).

Esteem needs
achievement, status, responsibility, reputation
personal growth and fulfilment
Belongingness and Love needs
family, affection, relationships, work group, etc.
Safety needs
protection, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.
Biological and Physiological needs
basic life needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

Figure 1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,byMcCormic,Palgrave Macmillan,2014

The levels of terrorism in particular countries also influences vacationers’ decision on the preferred place of visit. Moreover, concerns have been raised regarding the source of travel advisory and authority on touring the most suitable destinations. The sources of such information vary depending on the tourist. It could come from a friend’s advice, travel agencies, federal policies such as banning travel, or tourism-related businesses.

2.4 Influences of Terrorism on the Public Image of a Tourist Destination

            Violent activities tarnish the name of the affected countries which are in turn nicknamed “hotbeds of terror”(Mutiga 2015, p.5). This leads to negative publicity in the global market. Consequently, a public perception may emerge where the attacked countries are termed unsafe and have a higher risk of terror attacks.

2.4.1 Role of Governments and Travel Agencies in Promoting Tourism Slur

            On a global scale, terrorism promotes national disunity concerning thehandling of after-crisis events. Such happenings include formulation of policies that are unfavorable to the travel industry of the attacked countries. The State and related tourism advisory agencies could issue orders that influence travel activities and decisions (Foster 2017, p.34).

2.4.2 Role of the Media in negative publicity

The visual, audio, and print media can contribute to instilling negative perceptions in holidaymakers. As well, the social media today significantly influences the decisions of many travelers. The media can spread lies aimed at de-popularizing a given country that had suffered a terror attack terming it as unsafe to visit. The influence of the media cannot be underestimated. Further, if they engage in blind broadcasts, they could exaggerate particular issues that could adversely impact on the tourism of a given nation. An example of such a case is when CNN had to apologize to East- Africans, for reportedly referring to it as terror-rocked. Such a statement was considered a tourism slur to the affected countries (Mutiga 2015, p.7).

Chapter 3: Methodology

3.1 Research Instruments and Methods

This paper used the data from GDP, FDI, levels of terrorism risk, and the United States travel statistics. The information was then used to test the degree of negative effects of terrorist activities on tourism. Further, the data was recorded in a cross-sectional table between the year 2009 to 2013.The presented hypotheses were each tested by comparing one against another using the appropriate variables. The administered questionnaires provided a first-hand source of information which was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The primary data augments the secondary sources by factoring in the current trends and giving more updated information. As well, the study involves several geographically and socioeconomically diverse countries all over the world. The use of social media platforms and other electronic media such as emails facilitated the universal nature of the information collected. These include the United Kingdom, Russsia, Kenya, India, and Egypt among others.

Descriptive Statistics for this paper supported the qualitative data analysis involving the examining of the stated hypotheses. Further, the GDP and FDI data were extracted from the database of the World Bank as well as the statistics from travel agencies. Such information as the number of flights and travelers came from the Department of Commerce, United States.Additionally, records concerning the levels of terrorism risk were obtained from the terrorism risk map compiled by Aon. This research hopes to explore meaningful data that can be employed in further research. Such is achieved through assessing the level of negative impact of terror activities on tourism.

Chapter 4: Findings and Discussion of Results

4.1 Impact of Terrorism on Tourism as a whole


4.1.1 Data on Gross Domestic Product

Tourism is a significant contributor to the GDP of most countries despite its high sensitivity and vulnerability to terror activities. In the year 2005, the WTO (World Trade Organization) posted the following statistics on the sector’s scope (WTO 2005, p.6):

– The sector contributes of 3.6% to the Total World Product

– Business value stood at 7.2 trillion U.S dollars

– 4.2% yearly growth rate

– About 800 million tourists are attended to every year

– The whole industry has employed over 338 million individuals

These results are a clear indicator of the significance of tourism to the world economies. As well, the range of services offered by the travel industry and the number of travelling destinations are growing tremendously. Besides, countries such as Maldives, whose 77.5% of GDP lies in the touring sector, depend wholly on tourism activities for sustenance (Buneman 2009, p.58).Figure 2 demonstrates the total contribution of the tourism and travel sectors to the GDP in percentage share over the years. The information is extracted from (WTTC) World Travel and Tourism Councilwhich is a platform dealing with global analysis and representation of the private sector globally.

Figure 2: World Tourism and Travel Contribution to GDP,by Hays,2008

On the hand, terrorism remains a great threat to stability and growth of the GDP. First, insecurity resulting from terror causes unemployment. This is in the sense that, whenever the various tourism sectors are not performing due to low travel turnover, members of staff are laid off. As well, the related companies such as travel agencies and shops that render tourist services and products fail to recruit new staff due to low profit margins(Kosenkov 2015). Secondly, fear of violence causes low wealth creation. Developers for instance, prefer a secure and favorable environment for them to invest their capital. Whenever there are terror attacks or speculations of security unrest, such investors run away from the affected regions. In turn, economic developments becomelimited. Thirdly, heightened extremism lead to low generation of exports. This is because industries are reluctant to generate products citing high risk of property destruction and market uncertainties. As well, the relationship with the trading countries is negatively influenced as such states become economically reluctant.Also, high terror acts lead to low boosting of taxes. As a result, inflation comes in and the long-term and short-term effects cripple a country’s economy (Kosenkov 2015).

4.1.2 Travel Data

Data from the American Air Carries was collected and recorded in the table below for a period between 2009 to 2013. The records show the number of flights taken by American travelers to four different countries. These states are not only randomly selected but are also, geographically diverse.

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Brazil 1,432,998 1,713,990 2,003,403 2,243,923 2,484,721
Egypt 130,053 153,898 76,165 72,532 70,216
India 566,083 529,608 529,747 455,519 476,438
Russia 255,528 273,763 346,903 409,645 481,347
UK 8,075,692 7,842,021 8,360,462 8,448,342 8,565,401

Table1.American Vacationers Flight Data-by Griffiths,Annal of Tourism Research,1998.

For this analyses, this study assumes that the number of flights is directly proportional to the sum of vacationers. The data stipulates that Americans fly more to countries that have consistently recorded low terrorist attacks. Since 2013, Brazil has experienced a steady increase in the number of American travelers (Air Carriers 2015).Within the given period, the country received a 73.4% increase in the number of travelers. Likewise, Russia recorded an 88.4% increase in holidaymakers. The statistics for United Kingdom remained rather steady for the specified period with only a 6.1% increase. On the other hand, India registered a slow decrease in the number of visitors. It saw the figures reduce by 15.8% between 2009-2013. Egypt reported a severe declinein the sum of tourist registering a 46% drop. These statistics further prove that fears of violence and terror impact negatively on the touring industry. The deteriorating situation in Egypt is as a result of worsening terrorism activities that the country has been experiencing.

The case of the 11th September 2001 terror attack on the World Trade Centre in New York is no exception. The bombing of the twin tower presented a number of challenges to the travel sector among them being a sharp fall in the number of visitors to the United States (Looney 2002, p.23). The impacts of the attack were so immense that the recorded traveler figure is the least the United States has ever documented. The figure 3 below illustrates a smooth tourism activity from 1996 to just before the 9/11 terror attack. Following the violence, a sharp fall was realized. It was not until towards the end of 2003 when normalcy was restored.

No. of tourists (millions)


figure 3: Number of Tourists Prior and Post 9/11 Attack,by Hume et al.,CNN,2014.

It also presented a major disruption to the economy. First, it led to significant losses and massive destruction of infrastructure. The monetary cost assessment revealed that over 80-billion-dollar worth of resources was lost. These include workers’ wages, compensation, as well as reduced commerce. Further, the FDI (Foreign Investment) is diverted, public investment declined, security, and society is hampered (Sinclair and Blake 2002, p.12).

It took the touring industry one and a half years to bounce back. Many businesses were crippled, individuals cancelled their planned trips, and travelers were afraid to move about because of the attack. Being one of the largest tourist market, the United States tour and travel companies lost up to 2 billion US dollars within a period of two weeks from the day of the attack. In addition, the rate of employment fell acutely by 5%. The local airliners lost approximately 100 million US dollars. As a result, the overall GDP cost stood at 27.27 billion dollars. The after-effects of the attack were even more severe. The labour market suffered a major blow as over 335, 000 persons lost their occupations within the 2001-2002 period. Statistics indicate that 93, 000 of the affected workers operated in the accommodation industry whereas 141,000 of the total workforce engaged in the air travel unit. As a whole, the tourist sector lost 34% as of October 2001 (Sinclair and Blake 2002, p.15).

4.1.3 Assessing Hypothesis 1

            As to whether the first hypothesis 1, there are no positive impacts of terrorism on the tourism sector,holds water, information from figure 2, 3, and table 1 is paralleled.According to figure 2, terror activities limit the travel activities and businesses and their contribution to the GDP. As well, other aspects related to the generation of revenue for the affected states such as creating employment and boosting investments are crippled. Likewise, figure 3 indicates the aftermath of a terror attack. In this case, this paper assumes the case of 9/11 bombing in New York, US. What follows such a violent act is low tourist turnover not only to the affected nation but also, to the world at large. Moreover, a long recovery period to the sectors growth is experienced. Table 3 is an indicator that travelers are more likely to tour countries that are deemed safe from terror attacks than those experiencing continued war and violence. The persistent decline in the number of tourists in Egypt can be attributed to such fears.

However, terror attacks too have some positive implications. For instance, they present new opportunities for the sector to re-evaluate itself regarding security and economic development. Safety precautions have been enhanced in most countries and travel industries. These measures not only control potential acts of terror, but also, prevent other crimes from occurring.As well, most of the new markets such as Croatia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates are currently exceling in tourism. Discouraged travelers could cancel trips to the United States, Europe, and the Middle East resulting in a boom in these new destinations (Korolev 2007, p.54).  In light of these studies, this paper establishes that the negative aspects of terrorism outweigh the few positive contributions to the touring industry.

4.2 Impact of Terrorism on Touring-Related Businesses

4.2.1 Marketing and Advertising Strategies

            In line with figure 3, this paper ascertains that there is need to go back to the drawing board after a terror occurrence. This isbecause of the violence scare to the vacationers, authoritative advisory not to visit the affected destinations, and high risk concerningthe travelers’ safety (Tarlow 2002, p.52).Further inputs resulting from the conducted surveys point out the need to come up with effective strategies to market the tourism brand after a terror attack. First, most respondents felt that acts of terror tarnish the image of the affected business. They were of the opinion that the sector’s management should up their game in containing the situation and developing a strike-back mechanism. Thirdly, the participants suggest that the government,together with the relevant tour agencies and companies have a responsibility to guarantee potential travelers of their safety. This paper further, introduces the “4 R” concepts of managing a crisis for tour operators in table 2. The illustration suggests an ideal procedure for the sectors’ management team to control a terror crisis.

Table 2: The “4 R” concepts of managing a crisis-byFoster, 2017

In the past regime, the topic of tourist safety was a dark secret. Governments and travel companies feared that the open discussions of these sensitive issue would scare away possible travelers.On that account, the topic of security was never mentioned or publicized in marketing campaigns.However, in the world today the topic remains a significant aspect in the drafting of a marketing strategy. Since the market is considered volatile, bankers and investors demand higher premiums and tougher terms respectively. Additionally, the hotel businesses, for instance,take great precautions going forward (Tarlow 2002, p.55).

To begin with, Reduction forms a transition from a crisis to a point of recovery. It marks the start of the management process that seeks to identify the risk involved and reduce the impact on the tour operators. A SWOT analysis should be conducted to identify the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats to the company (Beirman 2016, p.112). Basing on the assessment, the business can reduce the impact and develop counter strategies such as continuity and contingency plans. Despite the limitation of services and restriction of access to the aftermath, the reduction process is considerably crucial.Moreover, this soft re-launch initiative requires the evaluation of losses and the summoning of all stakeholders to formulate the way forward.

Secondly, a situational approach is taken in addressing the possible threats and risks to the tourist destination. Contingency plans are prepared and documented demonstrating the company’s preparedness. Safety and health measures should be put in place to guarantee the wellbeing of both the facilitators and travelers. Thirdly, response to a particular terror crisis primarily involves the timing. Wherever alternative business operation strategy has been put in place, such operators can comfortably resume their functions.Additionally, recovery may require the affected company to design alternative marketing and advertising tactics (Beirman 2016, p.110).These include:

  • engaging in intensive campaigns and coming up with socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable regaining programs.
  • The tour operators may also be obliged to come up with value added incentives with low costs and high awareness value.
  • Other tourist motivating methods may involve discounting of products and services. This in turn boosts the number of visitors as well as hasten the bounce-back process.
  • The travel businesses could as welldiversify their target markets, products, and services to cover a broader region. 
  • They may also be required to co-operate with emergency services and the relevant government agencies.
  • The establishment of false and negative perception would help the operators to focus on eliminating or reducing their impact in the market.
  • Harness the media which is a significant advertising tool. It should be treated as an ally other than a threat.
  • The management of the destination should take the opportunity to re-image and re-brand the facility.

Afterwards, the business should engage in monitoring its progress closely to identify what works and what does not. This allows for the sealing of the identifiedloopholes (Beirman 2016, p.101).

4.2.2 Economic Returns

For the tourism sectors to recover from acts of terror, it takes about 13 months as compared to other disasters such as recuperating from natural calamities. This is according to information from the World Tourism and Travel Council. Regions such as Egypt that have been under continued political and terror unrest, their tourism sector suffers greatly economically. This is because the impacts are more adverse and take longer to fade away. Over the last decade, Egypt has been marred by terror activities. As a result, the country’s tourism sector has been declining by 18.5% annually from the year 2010 to 2014. In Spain and Greece, for instance, a decrease in foreign investment reduced immensely in 1992 due to these violent acts. Figure 4 illustrates the long recovery period as experienced by three countries Egypt, Tunisia, as well as Kenya. As discussed in these cases, therefore, terror activities result in a reduction in the number of tourists arriving in a given state. In turn, these regions end up losing foreign currency from potential travelers. A reduction in the market share of the targeted states is hence experienced (Kutan and Drakos 2003, p.630).

Figure 4: Recovery Period after Terror Attacks-by Hays,2008.

Further, terrorism brings about regional spillover (Schneider 2011, p.122). For instance, the civil wars in Syria have brought about the spread of violence to the neighboring Arab world. Such conflicts which originated from Syria have spilled over to Iran and Turkey which are currently engaging in regional fights. This study has identified that this spillover was caused by the emergence of Islamic extremists groups like Salafi Jihadists who are affiliated to ISIL. These radicals have resulted in Syrian Civil War spillover or “Arab Winter”(Solomon 2016, p.11). The final challenge entails national disunity whereby the affected countries create political conflicts. The peace levels and business interactions among such states decreases and consequently lowers international travel activities. 

4.2.3 Demographic Variations

            The table 3 below shows the analysis of demographic changes and their speculations upto year 2020. Some of the selected countries were studied to provide relevant information regarding source markets include Germany, Japan, and Italy. The data also helps in the identification of the interface with touring activities. The table further allows for the assessment of how demographic variations affect the relationship between terrorism and tourism (Grimm et al. 2009, p.9).

Key data on demographic change up to 2020     Demographic developments   Feature Germany Abroad   Population development (volume) To date: moderate increase, In future: slight decrease Marked differences between the various federal stat es Overall: rise (particularly sharp in the emerging markets), decrease in Japan and Italy   Migration of the population More immigrants than emigrants Conurbations grow, structurally weak areas lose highest proportion Net balance of migration in the top 10 countries positive, in the emerging markets negative   Age structure More older people, fewer children More older people (esp. in the top 10 countries and particularly in Japan)   Gender Slightly higher no. of women will decline somewhat in future Top 10 countries similar to Germany, emerging markets opposite trend   Educational structure Increase in formal education Increase in formal education (except in Italy, Austria and Japan)   Household structure Households will become smaller, fewer households with children Overall, households will shrink; marked differences between the various countries   Household income To date: rise, in future: no data available To date: rise, in future: no data available

                  Table 3:Key data on demographic change up to 2020-by, Sandler,2014.

First, this paper looks at the migration variations of the population. It further speculates a higher level of immigrants than emigrants. This is currently evident in the great number of people sailing through the dangerous sea from Syria and particular Arab countries to Europe (Pawelczyk 2015, p.30). Such upsurge in the population of refugees is as a result of terror activities in their native countries as they seek shelter in safer locations. Illegal immigration poses a threat to the tourism industry. It denies the host country foreign exchange that is charged whenever proper travel channels are used while crossing borders. Secondly, it poses a security threat to the nation and vacationers are discouraged from visiting these destinations. In the long run, the number of tourists goes down (Pawelczyk 2015, p.31). Fears of violence influence the travel of a family unit. Parenting travelers are more likely to leave their children in the native country citing safety concerns. They also engage more in domestic tourism as they are more comfortable within the region. As well, the older people are likely to travel more than the younger generation (Grimm et al. 2009, p.19).

4.2.4 Assessing Hypothesis 3

In assessing the third hypothesis, fears of violence divert tourists to alternative destinations where they feel safer,data from figure 4, table 2 and 3 is used. Table 2 recommends that drastic measures should be taken to woe travelers back to the affected destination. This is a clear indicator that visitors are likely to divert to other safer locations.For the same reason, it takes years for the tourism industry to bounce back to stability.This is indicated in figure 4. Table 3 shows that immigration has negative impact and image towards the affected nations. This in turn directs travelers to other destinations.

4.3 Influence of Terrorism on Individual Tourists

4.3.1Terror Risk Data

The table 2 below illustrates the number of tourist visiting the given countries and the parallel risk associated with violent acts. The records are obtained from Aon database from the year 2009-2013. The degree of fear by tourists is classified into low, negligible, medium, high, or severe (Aon 2009-2013).

Terrorism Risk Levels 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Brazil Low Negligible Low Low Low
Egypt High High Severe High Severe
India Severe Severe High High High
Russia High High Medium Medium Medium
UK High High Low Medium Low

Table4.Terror Risk Levels-by Griffiths, Annals of Tourism Research, 1998.

Countries such as Brazil recorded low terror risk levels and consequently high travelers’ numbers for the period under study. Travel agencies and other advisory bodies use such kind of analysis to offer recommendation and instructions to holidaymakers. On the other hand, Egypt, India, and to some extent Russia experienced medium to severe degree of violence risk. In turn, they received a fewer number of visitors. The UK data remains uncategorized based on the dramatic nature of the level of risk. Drawing from the data, the higher the terror risk levels, the lower the number of travelers received. In other words, fears of violence are inversely proportional to the progress of the tourism sector. Therefore, tourists travel more to destinations where they feel secure.

4.3.2 Assessing hypothesis 4

Another perspective to the risk involved in touring is that terrorist mostly target tourist related activities and destinations such as hotels and the transport sector. In assessing hypothesis 4: In most cases, terrorist mostly target tourists and travel activities, studies were carried out. Tourism is regarded as “a soft target for terrorism”(Mutiga 2015, p.3). Areas that are mostly targeted include movie theatres, malls, themed events, and tour terminus. Terrorist attack these areas to send signals to the local government and attract huge media coverage internationally (Griffiths 2013).

4.3.3 Travel Advisory Information

Based on the above stated results, it is clear that safety is one of the key concerns by holidaymakers. In that case, they take several precautions before, during, and after the vacation. First, governments have over the years been issuing overblown statements regarding safety advice. This is due to the increased terror index across the globe. As a result, vacationers have become more paranoid as to whether or not it is safe to travel (Godfrey 2017, p.15). They, therefore, depend on the information obtained fromthe local authorities, the government, travel agencies, the media, and holiday destinations to make decision on their preferred country of visit. Also noted is the increasing popularity of the use of the internet to access such advisory. According to the results of questionnaire used by this paper, 75% of holidaymakersget this information online. They visit related websites, research on travel trends, send enquiries through chats, and email media. As well, 65% of respondents stated that they use their smartphones, tablets, and computers to identify the most suitable destination. Besides, 68% of the participants indicated that they acquiredirectory from social media platforms.Additionally, 60 % of those interviewed acknowledged that they receive referrals and influence from friends, colleagues, as well as relatives. Thus, technological advancement plays a significant role in promoting the tourism sector with regards to accessing travel directives.

Taking the recent case ofBarcelona’s attack on August 2017, this study demonstrates some further sourcesof advisory and authoritative information (Godfrey 2017, p.52). The question that is left lingering in the minds of vacationers is whether it is safe to tour Barcelona, and if enough measures have been put in place to avoid further attacks.Following the injury of several people in the incidence, the British Government’s Foreign Travel urged visitors to keep off the Las Ramblas area citing insecurity. Moreover, the administration advised travelers to follow instructions from the local authorities, UK Foreign Office, and Spanish Authorities. Such orders are usually relayed to the public through publications in the relevant websites and the media (Godfrey 2017, p.56). In response, the various tourism sectors chipped in to boost confidence into potential holidaymakers. First, the UK Airlines assured the public that flights heading to Barcelona such as British Airways, EasyJet, and Norwegian Air were still intact. These travel agencies go ahead to guarantee all their clients of their commitment to ensuring safety, compliance with the Spanish Authority regulations, condole with the affected families, and continued operations.

Also, in light of the rise in terror activities, tourists are today taking more precautions relating to their wellbeing. Such safety measure may in the long run prompt vacationers to change their preferred destination. As well, they could spend a lot of resources acquiring insurance policies that cover them against terrorism thus limitthe number of places to visitand spending ability. As a safety measure, however, travelers are encouraged to register their tours with the government, carry their phones, familiarize with the local police uniforms, and acquaint themselves with relevant location details (Godfrey, 2017, p.23). Also, visitors constantly monitor the global and local news to keep abreast with the prevailing situation. This paper established that 72% of vacationers visit websites such as Mapping Meganfor travel advisory on how to travel safely during the present age that is marred by terror activities.

4.3.4 Assessing Hypothesis 2

In evaluating hypothesis 2: governments, the media, and other travel agencies contribute to negative publicity of travel destinations that have a history of terror attacks, results from the administered questionnaire were used. Similar results were obtained as the ones highlighted in the sources of travel advisory. About 75% of those interviewed accepted that the stated authorities and the media contribute as much to promoting negative publicity of particular destinations as to issuing directives. First, respondents indicated that these bodies participate in spreading exaggerated information regarding the attacked nations. They also issue misleading travel orders barring potential holidaymakers from visiting such states. The public domain is thus left with the perception that it is unsafe to tour certain places at a given time.

Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendations

In conclusion, tourism is broad sector which contributes significantly to the socioeconomic growth of countries worldwide. The industry contributes to the global GDP, FDI, national unity, employment opportunities, boosting of taxes among other factors. This makes it a major concern for most governments. However, the fact that tourism connects numerous countries especially through the transport sector and international policies makes it vulnerable and sensitive. For many years, terrorism has remained one of the most immense and complex threat to the tour and travel industry. Further, acts of violence have been on an alarming rise in the recent past. Wherever such attacks occur or are speculated, they result in adverse effects touching almost all aspects of the tourism sector. These impacts are felt at the global, business, and individual tourist level. Such negative aspects include regional spillover in war, low holidaymakers’ turnover, and negative publicity. Touring companies are forced to change their marketing and advertising strategies as well as adapt to demographic variations. They alsoregister lower profit margins, incur huge losses, and take a long time to bounce back into normal operation. As a result, affected companies are required to employ intensive management techniques which are an expensive affair in the long run. Despite the few positive implications of terrorism such as creating new business opportunities in the United Arab Emirates, the negative repercussions are direr.

Moreover, the individual vacationers are affected by acts of terror in a number of ways. First, they are the direct victims of violent incidences hence suffer deaths and injuries. Secondly, tourists tend to change their preferred destinations depending on the how safe the location is and the level of external influences. This paper has established that governments, the media, travel agencies and advisers contribute greatly to the decision making by travelers. The study hence recommends that the national and local authorities should make guided judgements when issuing statements to the public and formulating policies affecting tourism.Further, the media should desist from publishing exaggerated messages but instead, focus on promoting positive information.Such communications by these stakeholders should aim at assuring tourists of their safety and creating credible awareness internationally.


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