It is often said that the tourism industry is the most affected by the threat of tourism because tourism is a fragile sector that relies heavily on security, safety and hospitality of the destination, and terrorists know this. So the tourists will always be one of the main targets of terrorist.
In the past couple of year, terrorist groups and suicide bombers have been on rampage with the most recent and notable incident being the November 13, 2015 Paris Attack that left 130 people dead. There have been attacks on planes, hotels, stadiums and commercial buildings, among other places. Last week, it was reported that there is a planned repeat attack in France during the Euro 2016 football championship; however, the explosives and weapons to be used are yet to be discovered by the authorities. Not a day passes without reading about an attack being carried out or a plan being foiled. It seems like terrorism has become part of life.
But in the wake of such heinous assaults and threats, to what extent has tourism been affected?
The aim of a terrorist is to instill deep fear into the minds of their targeted victims. But what if that objective is not met? What if, instead of being terrified, the supposed victims go about their normal activities without letting terrorism affect their plans or behavior?
Majority of tourists don’t want to give terrorists a false sense of victory
It is interesting to note that the majority of tourists remain fairly defiant in the face of real threat of terrorism. A recent study conducted by a courier company called Send My Bag revealed that only one on 5 travelers are put off by the actions of terrorists. Most Americans and Europeans don’t want to have their lives dictated by the actions of a minority as that would directly mean that the terrorists have won. Many would rather risk their lives than be subjected to the terrorist’ scare tactics. After all, as some people argue, there are so many ways one can die and being attacked by a terrorist represents just a fraction of what constitutes a threat to our lives. You can as easily die from being struck by lightning while seated in your backyard as you would if you were hit by a bomb while on holiday. It would interest you to find out that you are 9 times more likely to be killed by police than by terrorists. Indeed, terrorism in not the leading cause of death.
But one would ask, aren’t people being so careless with their lives here? What happened to caution? Apparently, this has nothing to do with carelessness. It has everything to do with principle. People have got to take a stand. The effects of allowing terrorists to win would be more devastating than the risk of standing up to them.
Having said that, we can’t sit here and claim terrorism has had no negative effect on tourism. Many tourists have had to cancel their flights as governments issue travel advisory. The threat of terrorism is real, but we shouldn’t let it dictate our behaviors.