Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The killer effect of terrorism

Terrorism is one of the great blights of the world but particularly for tourism. Attacks can have severe effects on how destinations are perceived and leave long lasting scars that take time to heal. Over the last year it has been Europe that has felt the pain resulting from terrorist attacks.

It is estimated that international arrivals in France during 2016 have fallen by around 5% to 7%, according to the French tourism board. The Louvre reported that it had received 15% less visitors and occupancy rates have been hit hard in Paris during 2016. Turkey has had an even rougher year, seeing arrivals fall by 31% year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2016.

Turkey is suffering more because of it has a combination of issues. Multiple attacks from different groups, mass refugee inflows, political instability and a major war on its southern border are all weighing down tourists’ perceptions of the country. Academic research has largely concluded that it is the frequency of incidents that causes the most reduction in arrivals, with recovery usually experienced within six months to a year if there aren’t further incidents. So, if France can continue to avoid major attacks in the immediate future, then it should already be on the way up. However, for Turkey it looks like the road back to the tourism numbers of three years ago is going to be a much harder, and longer, process.  

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Alex Hadwick
Head of Research, EyeforTravel

Sources: Tourism-Review.com, Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism