2017: Towards equal tourism participation and inclusive working environments: access, security and wellbeing  >  The politics of tourism securitisation: citizens, tourists and terrorists


Terrorized Tourists

Written by: Acheaw, Priscilla

University: Lincoln

Terrorised tourists
Tourists usually travel to destinations that have a good reputation or come across with good impressions. Choosing travel destinations is a complicated decision to make thus, why tourists tend to visit familiar or nearby destinations to avoid unsafe and unfamiliar environments. The impact of terrorism of the travel and tourism industry can be detrimental thus, why safety and security is given the greatest importance to tourists. Having said this the perceptions of safety and security may influence individuals’ destination choice. An analysis of tourist behaviour, travel decisions and the way tourists perceive risk is something that will be discussed below.
Keywords: Risk, Destinations, terrorism, safety, Decision making, perception, tourism

When tourist travel they are faced with many fears when they travel one being risk. Other examples are health concerns, terrorism, crime, and natural disasters (Garg, 2015). Before travelling tourists use information gathered from different places such as media, word of mouth or past reviews to form a perception of a destination. There are many factors that shape the behaviour of tourists, this often influences travel and choices of that destination. Terrorism is considered one of those risks.
According to Sonmez and Graefe (1998) tourists compare tourist destinations from benefits against cost. They explain the cost to be expenses of travelling, this includes the cost of the risk included when travelling. Thus, tourist will perceive this as an urge to search for an alternative destination, which is safe and trustworthy. Therefore if it came down to a choice but, both destinations were different with similar benefits, the less costly one and safer one likely from threat is going to be chosen. However, Swarbrooke and Horner (2007) argue against Sonmez and Graefe (1998) and say that the decision making process is much more complex than initially thought.
Existing arguments express that there are different views for safety and security for tourist choosing where to travel to. Often when tourists have previously visited a destination there is no major concern of safety or security (Rittichainuwat and Chakraborty, 2009). This could be because, the tourists has been to the destination and created a bond or connection thus, the risk decreases and the attitude toward the destination changes (Rittichainuwat and Chakraborty, 2009).
Risks and uncertainty is changing and the lines between the two are becoming blurred. Taylor and Wilson (2009) argues that the world is so big that it is hard to identify what risks are and how to overcome those risks. This reflects behind the ideas of terrorism for example how terrorism is an uncertainty and uncontrollable. Terrorism mimics unforeseen events such as tornados and floods or a hurricane, having said this when these events take place does it lessen the interest in the destinations. Many say that tourists should forget these events too place and just move on to more positive ideas surrounding the destination.
Although, moving on and forgetting seems best fit it is not that easy. Due to external factors influencing tourists though such as media and outside opinion all play a role in influencing tourist’s perceptions. The media has a very important affiliation with tourism as it has a substantial influence on the image of prospective tourist destinations and so affecting potential tourist’s destination choice (Amara, 2012). Today people live in the information age (Paletz et al., 2011). Destination image is a component that represents the push and pull thus, negative media and images often deter tourists from choosing the destination.
To conclude it is clear that a variety of outside influences affect the decision and behavior of tourists thus, it can affect the destinations. However, should a loved destination be penalized for negative information? Should tourist overlook negative attention and be judged by what it has to offer rather than the events that occur within it? Looking at the above travelers are easily persuaded to think and do certain things hence why there is a lot of uncertainty these days as to what is right or wrong. However, it is clear that terrorism is a subject that has been discussed vigorously in the tourism industry but, has made very little impact to change the industry itself.

Garg, A. (2015) Travel risks vs tourist decisions making: A tourist perceptive. International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems. 8 (1) 1-9
Rittichainuwat B N and G Chakraborty (2009) Perceived travel risks regarding terrorism and disease: the case of Thailand. Tourism Management 30, 410-18
Sonmez, S., and Graefe, A. (1998) Influence of terrorism risk on foreign tourism decisions. Annals of tourism research 25(1) 112-144. Available from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222502966_Influence_of_Terrorism_Risk_on_Foreign_Tourism_Decisions?enrichId=rgreq-d2cf6c2f4ad2dcc3629cf2669f5c21f2-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzIyMjUwMjk2NjtBUzoxMDExODM3MDAwNzg1OTZAMTQwMTEzNTQ4MzMwNA%3D%3D&el=1_x_2&_esc=publicationCoverPdf [accessed 12th May 2017]
Taylor B. S., Wilson C. D., (2009) Managing the Threat of Terrorism in British Travel and Leisure Organizations Organization Studies; 30; 251, Published by sage

Terrorized Tourists

Written by: Lappalainen, Jenny

University: Lincoln

The commentary for this conference paper was chosen because I have also considered on what affects example fear has on tourism and to tourists. It was interesting to see others views on similar topic.

This conference paper discussion provides a detailed argument about what kind of destinations are seen to be desired ones among tourists. The author argues how tourists compare tourist destinations to each other keeping the benefits and cost in mind. Like the author outlines, tourists are seeking for a destination which is trustworthy and safe. Other authors have also found that tourists consider safety in the destination as one of the biggest factors whether to travel there, tourists are very conscious about their own safety (Bonham, Edmonds and Mak, 2006).
The author tells how there can be numerous reasons whether to travel to destination. The desired destination can still be seeing as a safe one whether there has been a terrorism incident before because tourists who have visited the same destination in the past might feel connected to the destination.

In this discussion paper, the author outlines how incidents such as terrorism and natural disasters (Tsunamis and Tornados) are uncontrollable and how, in some cases, they can be hard to overcome. Because of all the possible external risks, tourism is often viewed as fragile industry (Bonham, Edmonds, Mak, 2006). Tourism employment suffered a sudden drop in 2002 which is why it came to everyones knowledge that to be able to survive from external factors that might occur, firms need to be able adapt (Vergne, Depeyre, 2016).

Like the author argued in the discussion paper, when a terrorist attack or natural disaster has occurred, tourists should move on to some more positive ideas surrounding the destination. To support this, it has been found that after few years of the attack, only few percentage of the participants in one particular survey showed negative attitudes towards travelling and tourism destinations (Staats, Panek, Cosmar, 2004)

The fear towards travelling has argued to fade away after few years since the event (Staats, Panek, Cosmar, 2004) However, the author in this discussion paper found that social media has a huge impact on tourism and tourists and makes forgetting such horror, more difficult.

The author also provided some good follow-up questions like whether the destination should be judged by what it has to offer rather than by the negative events that has occurred there.


Bonham, C., Edmonds, C., Mak, J. (2006) The Impact of 9/11 ND Other Terrible Global Events on Tourism in the United States and Hawaii. 45;1, 3-7.

Staats, S., Panek, P., Cosmar, D. (2006) Predicting Travel Attitudes Among Faculty After 9/11. 140;2, 121-132.

Vergne, J., Depeyre, C. (2016) How Do Firms Adapt? A Fuzzy-Set Analysis Of The Role Of Cognition And Capabilities In U.S. Defense Firm’s Responses To 9/11. 59;5, 1653-1680.

The Concept of Fear and the Tourist

Written by: Talbot, Kelly

University: Lincoln

I have chosen this discussion paper as, although is similar to my own research, it is different in the sense that it looks at tourists in particular rather than the local community. I was also interested to read further into the concept of fear within tourists, as I touched upon this within my own work.

In relation to the strand, this discussion paper addresses the key issue of fear and the effect of it on tourism destinations, together with the idea of securitisation. It can be argued that the aim of this paper is to understand and explore how a supposed lack of safety and security affects a tourist’s choice of destination. It is important to appreciate that the paper does not only use terrorism as a risk, but also the issues of health concerns, crime and natural disasters. It can be very easy just to relate destination safety with man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks and crime, and it is important to understand that people choose not to travel to locations for a various and wide range of reasons.

According to Breda and Costa (2005), lack of safety is one of the main five issues causing change within the current tourism industry (Breda and Costa, 2005). The discussion paper makes a good point in that tourists now compare destinations, and are more likely to choose the safer option with a good reputation and lower risk. Yet there is more that can be researched here, perhaps involving comparison between domestic and international travellers as this could fill further gaps in the literature (Reisinger and Mavondo, 2005).

Within my research, I found that terrorism attacks and acts of violence act as a major deterrent to affected destinations because visitors are unsure about the safety and the security of these areas (Ãrana and León, 2008). To further the research carried out within the discussion paper in question, one particular risk could be chosen and further in depth information could be gathered using primary research, for example via interviews or questionnaires to the general public. It could also be useful if particularly badly targeted areas were researched thoroughly, for example looking at the risk of terrorism in Turkey or the rising crime rate in Egypt as tourism-reliant destinations.

The author of this discussion paper provided a wealth of information within their data and have opened the floodgates in relation to the prospect of further research within the topic.

Ãrana, J.E. and León, C.J. (2008) The impact of terrorism on tourism demand. Annals of Tourism Research, 35(2) 299-315.

Breda, Z. and Costa, C. (2005) Safety and Security Issues Affecting Inbound Tourism in the People’s Republic of China. In Y. Mansfield and A. Pizam’s (eds.) Tourism, Safety and Security: From Theory to Practice. Oxon: Routledge, 187-208.

Reisinger, Y and Mavondo, F. (2005) Travel anxiety and intentions to travel internationally: Implications of travel risk perception. Journal of Travel Research, 43(3) 212-225.

The perceived image of safety and security of a destination impacting tourist behaviour

Written by: Kivela, Martta

University: Lincoln

I chose to comment on this discussion paper because the topic is related to my thesis “The utilization of safety and security in tourism development: Case study of Finland”.

The discussion paper gives an interesting view of the impacts that safety and security have on tourists behaviour. The importance and signification of this topic can be well argued referring to the authors Pizam (2010), Ritchie (2009), Morgan and Prichard (1999) literature. Pizam (2010) states that safety and security are themes that will modify and impact the whole tourism industry and WTO (1996) recognised right to safe travel as fundamental right. Safety and security aspect has a vivid impact in the destination image (Ricthie, 2009), which is considered important to a destination because destinations are rarely chosen through physical comparing process and often the decision is based on the perceived destination image (Morgan and Pitchard, 1999).

Pizam (2010) and Ritchie (2009) agree that without peace, safety and security a destination cannot successfully compete regardless, even they have other aspects of competitive destination. When considering the impacts of security and safety incidents in tourist behaviour, the evaluation of duration, level of damage and source of security/safety threat of the incident is vivid aspect to be considered (Pizam, 2010). In macro level the impacts can been seen directly in tourists’ arrivals and tourist receipts. Tourist behaviour concerning security and safety in destination have direct impact in bookings, cancellation, avoidance unsafe destination, evacuating to safer alternative or returning home (Pizam, 2010). However, Beck (1996) offers a theory arguing, when tourists travel they take more risks than in their daily life; when travelling tourists’ resilience towards risk grows. Pizam defines the motives for security incident to five categories: (1) political, (2) religious, (3) social/ economic, (4) hostility towards tourist, (5) publicity seeking and destruction of an area’s economy.

The discussion paper highlights the importance of mass media and how tourism destinations can be considered as a target. Pizam (2010) divides the target groups inside of tourism field into five groups: (1) tourists travelling to the destination, (2) tourists in the destination, (3) tourism/hospitality installations some facilities, (4) strategic/non-strategic transportation facilities servicing tourists and (5) all services/business serving tourists. Ritchie (2009) adds the importance of control of crises and disaster communications. However, other vivid aspect to be considered is the involvement of the host government; the responsibility of a host government is to monitor and manage the changes in security, the governmental security policies towards tourism, direct/indirect involvement from operational, financial and marketing aspects.

In conclusion, the discussion paper gives a broad view of the relationship of safety/security incidents and tourists behaviour providing an interesting analytic discussion. Suggestion for further research could be: (1) to identify the level and area of the security risk or impact, (2) with the support of literature, provide a case study of a post-conflict destination and research how the destination has built resilience or rebuilt its destination image.

Suggested further literature:
Beck, U. (1996) World Risk Society as Cosmopolitan Society? Ecological Questions in a Framework of Manufactured Uncertainties, Theory, Culture & Society, 13 (4) 1-32. 

Morgan, N, Pritchard (1999) Tourism promotion and power: Creating Images and Creating Identities. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Pizam, A. (2010) Tourism, security and safety: From theory to practice (the management of hospitality and tourism enterprises). Edited by Yoel Mansfeld. Burlington: Elsevier Science & Technology.

Ritchie, B. (2009). Crisis and disaster management for tourism. 1st ed. Bristol: Channel View.