Impact of Terrorism on the Travel & Tourism Industry

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  • 0:00 Terrorism, Travel & Tourism
  • 1:12 Terrorism's Impact
  • 3:53 Industry Resilience
  • 4:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

The travel and tourism industry can be affected in the wake of terrorist events both domestically and abroad. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the industry and how it is impacted following acts of terrorism.

Terrorism, Travel, and Tourism

When a terrorist used a truck to crash into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, in July 2016, over 80 people lost their lives. In the wake of that tragedy, it was not only the loss of life that affected the French population and community.

After a terrorist opened fire in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub a month prior, killing 50 club goers, the sunny vacation spot experienced a post-tragedy reaction similar to that experienced in Nice, France.

Loss of life, heightened security, personal feelings of unease, horror, sadness, and anxiety can affect many sectors of a targeted community. While travel and tourism is not readily thought of in the immediate aftermath of these attacks, this industry is also affected. The travel and tourism industry is one of the world's largest industries and includes businesses such as airlines, hotels, entertainment venues, and restaurants. Let's take a closer look at how acts of terrorism can impact the travel and tourism industry.

Terrorism's Impact

In 2014, the global cost of terrorist acts in the world exceeded $52 billion in terms of lives lost, injuries, and property damage for a single year, according to the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP). Contrast that with the roughly $51 billion in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, said the IEP, and you can see the potentially devastating consequences of each act. Terrorism is clearly not only a physical occurrence with mental and emotional repercussions, but it also has a financial impact.

The impact of terrorism on the travel and tourism industry can't help but be noticed as well. A recent tourism market report indicated that when terrorist attacks take place in areas already dealing with political, social, or economic unrest, the popularity of certain vacation destinations can be particularly affected. A few countries with travel and tourism industries that are suffering include Egypt and Turkey, where political unrest is prevalent.

In France, overnight stays in Paris fell approximately 10 percent following two closely-occurring terrorist attacks. International flight bookings to Nice after the Bastille Day attack dropped by 57 percent compared to the same period from the previous year. Even before the latest attacks - France has been a repeated target of terrorist plots - revenue per hotel room was down, as were first-half profits for the French industry.

In Florida, experts expected a temporary drop in visitors following the Orlando nightclub shooting, resulting in a short-term negative impact on the state's tourism industry. Concern over international travel was more heightened than domestic travel, thanks to a more sympathetic U.S. population willing to continue to support the area. Only the September 11, 2001 attacks had a prolonged impact on travel to the U.S., with visitor levels not returning to their previous figures until 2007.

Experts agree that fear can cause people not to travel and that a variety of factors also influence travel to various locations:

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