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


Impact of terrorism on tourism in Antalya, Turkey

Written by: Hiltunen, Joel

University: Lincoln

Summary of the conference paper

Abstract: The aim of this conference paper is to discuss on how terrorism effect tourism in Antalya, Turkey. The paper also reviews and suggests frameworks of securitisation for Turkey and Antalya to implement, in order to fight the effects of terrorism in the tourism industry.
Tourists are unfortunately often the target of terrorists, because they are seen as ‘soft targets’. They are regarded as the ambassadors of their countries and therefore attacking tourists will cause a wide international media attention (Sönmez and Graffe, 1998).

Key words: Terrorism, Tourism, Turkey, Antalya, Security framework.

Turkey has been one of the world’s most important tourist destinations, ranking 6th in the number of tourists it receives. However, since the wave of terrorism struck Turkey from October 2015 forward, the tourist numbers have plummeted from 37 million annual tourists to just 25 million (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 2017). Antalya is regarded as the capital of tourism in Turkey. It is situated in the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and it too has also lost great deal of tourist flow due terrorist attacks happening in the other parts of the country.

When tourists choose a destination, its stability and security are important aspects of making a decision (Boujbel, 2016). An instable state has direct and indirect effects for the tourism sector, such as choice of destination and duration of the stay will be negatively impacted. Also, the image of the country, development and maintenance of the infrastructure suffers. An instable state no matter how it presents itself will have a negative impact on the perception of the destination (Boujbel, 2016).

To ensure a secure destination, tourism officials must coordinate their work with other government officials such as the operational part of tourism and the media (WTO, 1996). Tourism is tightly bound with security. Meaning tourist behaviour and destinations are greatly affected by the perceptions of risk, security and safety (Hall et Al, 2004). Tourism is said to bring peace, since without peace there is not great amount of tourism.

In order to manage the impact of a terrorist attack, Hull purposes immediate and decisive action by the government to develop emergency plans that would minimise the effects of terrorism to tourism. These actions could be tax breaks and more investment to the tourism industry, security and infrastructure (Hull et Al, 2004). Turkey did exactly this, and invested to the tourism industry after the terrorist attacks, in the hope for minimising the effect. Other examples of risk managing could be the concept of ‘Holiday and Security’, which follows the steps of first, coordination, secondly, safety and prevention of accidents, thirdly hotel safety and security and finally safeguarding the tourist environment (WTO 1996). Governments also should take action on decreasing the entry of criminals into the country. Borders should be better controlled, while still allowing minimum number of obstacles to legitimate travellers. A great concept of securitisation is the risk based decision support framework (Stewart and Mueller, 2012). The process of assessing national risk is essential element of risk management. That how resources can be invested into the right places (Mueller and Stewart, 2011). Also, quantification of security risks is important for robust decision making (Stewart and Mueller, 2012).

The power of tourist perception of the destination is absolutely vital for the success of a tourist destination. Political instability has a severe effect on tourism (Saha and Yap, 2014). An example is Norway, which is very stable politically and the terrorist attack which took place in 2011 was done by a ‘lone wolf’. This terrorist attack did not affect the tourism industry in Norway (Wolff and Larsen, 2014).

Security theatre is one way of counter terrorism. It makes security measures that will make people more secure, while simultaneously adding nothing concrete to security (Schneier, 2009). An example of security theatre is the added security in airports, with soldier presence and heavy regulations on what one can bring to an aircraft (Stewart, 2014).

Turkey will be most likely to suffer from the recent terrorist attacks for a long time. WTTC study forecasted that it will take Turkey over 13 months to recover. Turkey and Antalya needs to take action on preventing more terrorist attacks from happening by using the frameworks mentioned in the conference paper. Turkey also needs to tackle the current tourist perception of its destinations by marketing itself as a safe destination. In the case of Antalya, a more discrete version of security theatre could be implemented among other frameworks, in order to minimise the impact of terrorism affecting tourism.


Schneier. B, (2009) Beyond security theatre: we need to move beyond security measures that look good on television to those that actually work, argues Bruce Schneier. New internationalist.

Sönmez, S. F., & Graffe, A. R. (1998) ‘Influence of terrorism risk on foreign tourism decisions’ Annals of Tourism Research, 25 (1), 112-144.

Stewart. M, Mueller. J, (2012) Terror, Security, and money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Critical Infrastructure Protection. 5th International Conference on Reliable Engineering Computing

Securitisation of the case study Antalya, Turkey.

Written by: Andersen, Henrik

University: Lincoln

The commentary for this paper was chosen because I have written about security frameworks for another destination caused by terrorism and find it interesting to provide knowledge from a paper that is similar in the context of security frameworks.

The paper directly provides the reader with the tourist numbers from Turkey decreasing from 37 million visitors to only 25 million tourists since 2015. Moreover the author is presenting the case study chosen in the city Antalya, and moreover, an interesting fact is that the author chose a destination that has not experience any terror attack but has been affected by a loss in tourist flow after terror attacks in other destinations of Turkey. Additionally, the author indicates that destinations tourist numbers can be affected by terror attacks from other destinations. Experts agree with for example 26 June 2015 in Tunisia, 38 tourists was killed by terrorists, and it affected the tourism industries in North Africa, Morocco and Egypt as many visitors dropped their travels (Abougabal, 2015).

The author also indicates that tourist behaviour and destinations are affected by the perception of risk, safety and security, and this statement shows that security frameworks are essential for destinations. The reader is provided with the knowledge of a fundamental concept of security framework a destination could adopt, and this is risk-based decision support framework. This concept is an element of risk management, and it could be discussed if risk management is the most suitable security framework as there are significant weaknesses linked with risk management such as the resources of risk management are left with uncertainty and unattended (Ericson, 2006). This means that wrongful decisions could be implemented, the author argues well by showing the example of how tourist perception could be a success by using risk management with the Norway 2011 terror attack example.

The author of this paper has mentioned the concept of security theatre, and it could be agreed that the security theatre could be implemented to the destination of Antalya. As well organised security theatre could be matched with real security and according to Vaudenay (2008) well organised security theatre could be what we need to feel more secure as tourists or residents. Also, the author suggests security theatre among other frameworks could be suitable for Antalya to implement, and furthermore a mixed method of security framework is appropriate for minimise the risk of terror attack.

This paper is interesting, and the author has presented an excellent case study of Antalya with the use of different security framework and good examples.

Reference list:

Abougabal, H. (2015). Tunisia massacre to affect neighbours. Middle East Economic Diggis, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 59 (26/27) pp.7

Ericson, R. (2006). Ten Uncertainties of Risk Management Approaches to Security. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Toronto Press, Canada, 48 (3).

Vaudenay, S. (2008). Progress in Cryptology-Africacrypt 2008: First International Conference on Cryptology in Africa, Casablanca, Morocco. Business & Economics. Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp.76.