There is evidence to prove that terrorism as with tourism has evolved, as have the terrorists who no longer care for how politics and public opinion are affected by their actions, which is why he suggests that terrorism is becoming increasingly severe. The reason behind terrorist actions being so severe is that the targets of terrorism are not the victims of it, but in fact those at home viewing their actions through the media, tragically, the easiest method of attracting the media are the shock tactic that is common place in modern tourism. Tourism has been an increasingly popular target for terrorism due to the high number of potential casualties, which draws in the media.
There is a copious amount of evidence to support the argument that the September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S.A. had a significant impact on tourism around the whole world. This can be seen through the study of Bonham, Edmonds and Mak (2006) in their analysis of tourism in the U.S.A. and Hawaii post September 11th; they recognise a significant decrease of inbound tourism, particularly from Japan. The question remains how do Japanese people in Japan know what happened in New York on September 11th? The answer to this can only be through media reports of the incident, thus adding substance to the idea that the media are knowingly assisting terrorism, unless you are naive enough to believe they are unaware of the symbiotic relationship that can be seen to exist between the media and terrorism.
Should you think back about your personal experience of mediated information regarding terrorism, you may conjure up such images as; flattened buildings, wounded women and children as well as a figure representing the number of people injured or killed. The media have notoriously been linked historically as vessels for political propaganda, specifically in America during elections. Many academics believe the state to control most of the world media; if this is the case then it stands to reason that the state would produce negatively emotive language and images of terrorism and then condemn it thus gaining popularity.
Terrorism does not necessarily cause a nativistic mindset in tourists to not travel, however many authors believe that most tourists simply avoid destinations affected by terrorism, Bonham et al. provide evidence to support this argument too in relation to the increase of inbound tourism in Hawaii after the September 11th attacks. Another such example can be seen in relation to the Arab Spring in 2010, which saw inbound tourism in North Africa decline but increase in the Mediterranean. Terrorism is therefore an external factor that influences the tourist population density of affected destinations negatively but positively influences destinations seen as an alternative.
Perceived risk is noted as a key factor in the motivation of tourists by several authors, including Nacos (2002), who suggests that the media could be utilised to be detrimental to the desired effects of terrorism on tourism, through methods such as readiness programs and diplomatic initiatives, surely if you were prepared and believed the government were prepared you would have a reduced level of perceived risk when travelling.
Disinformation is the final significant method by which the media could be seen to influence your personal view of terrorism. This can be accomplished by providing false information through the media for the terrorist organisations to intercept, thus reducing their ability to attack tourism. However it may be used more sinisterly by governments, who a selection of authors suggest provide their own country with false information in order to reduce national hysteria after incidents such as September 11th. Hall, Timothy and Duval (2003) exemplify this strategy in their review of tourist media and the way that when tourist executives were asked about September 11th they would talk about rebuilding and recovery, not fear.
This paper has shown you how terrorism and the media are symbiotic, in that terrorism needs the media to spread their messages further, whilst the media need terrorism to generate shocking new headlines. It should also be clear to you that currently terrorism is presented by the media in a bias manor, showing only the worst images and using emotively negative language, usually for the benefit of the state. There are methods through which the media could reduce terrorism's impact on tourism; however that would not be in the best interest of the state and subsequently terrorism can only be a negative influence factor of the tourist.
Bonham, C., Edmonds, C. and Mak. J. (2006) The Impact of 9/11 and Other Terrible Global Events on Tourism in the U.S. and Hawaii. Economic Series. 87, pp. 4-5.
Hall, C.M., Timothy, D.J. and Duval, D.T. (2003) Safety and Security in Tourism: Relationships, Management and Marketing. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing. 15 (2-4).
Nacos, B.L. (2002) Mass-Mediated Terrorism: The central role of the media in terrorism and counterterrorism. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers