2022 Conference
All Conferences
TSVC | Tourism Students Virtual Conference

How do tourists and resorts cope with terrorism threats?

How do tourists and resorts cope with terrorism threats?
Author: Benjamin Mugglestone
3 Commentries
This paper looks at the problems caused by terrorism in the tourism industry and what tourists and resorts are doing in order to deal with the threat of terrorism. This paper also looks at the possible link between tourism and terrorism and also the effects of tourism after the September 9/11 attack and other terrorist attacks in Kenya.

The term terrorism can be defined as follows: The calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.' (worldnetweb)

Both tourism and terrorism are very closely linked and have been for a very long time even as far back as biblical. 'There is a logical connection between terrorism and tourism, indeed, travel has been associated with increased vulnerability to all types of crime from biblical days. Being a traveller implies being away from one's familiar environs and contacts, which also necessitates greater expense so tourists are likely to carry more money and spend it more awkwardly than they would at home.' (Medlik, 1991).

When you look back on previous terrorist attacks around the world they all seem to have one thing in common and that is that they affect tourists and the tourism industry. 'When world events are analyzed, terrorism may be seen primarily as affect¬ing tourism and tourists. In other words, the sectors that are targets of ter¬rorism often are those that have thriving tourism. Indeed, the one thing that terrorism and tourism have in common is that both deal with human beings. While tourism is associated with peace and humanism, terrorism is associated with antihumanistic and blood-spilling acts.' (Kucukaltan 2006).

One of the biggest attacks in history and the biggest attack ever to take place on American soil, was the 9/11 Twin Tower Attack. This attack had massive repercussions on the rest of the world and on the global tourism industry. The effects of 9/11 have been felt all over the world and on many different scales.
'For example, the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the USA created widespread negative images of international travel, and one immediate beneficiary of this was the growth of domestic tourism in many countries.' (Page, 2003).

There is prove that terrorist threats and terrorist attacks due affect tourism, the statistics that are available show that there is a link and that it does take time for some resorts to gain back there reputation and to prove to tourists that there resort is safe. 'Statistical research reveals that tourists react very sensitively to such calamities when making their choice of a tourist destination. A single terrorist attack can have a strong influence in a tourist spot or a whole tourist country. Where terrorist actions take lives of tourists the recovery of tourism is very difficult.' (Karavasilev 2010). Statistical research backs up what many reports and authors have written about and predicted. Tourists are affected by terrorists and their actions and can be affected even by a small threat to a destination.

An example of how terrorists have changed tourist's views on a destination is Kenya. 'Today, Kenya's economy is in decline in large part because of terrorism. The bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi in 1998 and of a beach hotel in Mombasa in 2002, as well as an unsuccessful missile strike against an airplane chartered by Israeli tourists, have forced governments around the world to warn their citizens that Kenya is unsafe for tourist travel, which by some accounts is costing Kenya at least one million dollars per day.' (Essner 2003).

As the tourism sector is perhaps the most affected when it comes to terrorism effects that cause crises, it is something that resorts need to look into to try and cancel the threat that their destination has from terrorism. This is important as tourists need to feel and be safe and if this is not the case then tourists will simply not travel or go to another destination. Now a days there is a lot of technology that can be used in order to prevent terrorism and the threat of terrorism but this technology is not cheap. Some poorer countries that rely heavily on tourism, like Kenya for example will simply not be able to afford the same sort of technology as the United States for example.

'New technologies such as biometrics (the use of technology that recognizes passengers' unique features based on physiological characteristics such as the eye, fingerprint or iris pattern) are being trialled, along with passenger profiling by crime detection agencies.' (Page, 2003). Advances in technology and constant investment in development could lead to a reduction in terrorism as more and more planned attacks.

Page, S. (2003) Tourism Management: Managing for Change. Published by Butterworth-Heinemann Oxford Great Britain.
Kiicukaltan, D (2006) Tourism and Terrorism An Experience of Turkey and the World. Published in the USA by luniverse books.
Medlik, S. Managing Tourism published by Butterworth Heinemann. Printed in Oxford, Great Britain.
Does terrorism stop us from travelling?
Author: William Yick
This summary has a very similar theme to my paper regarding terrorism within popular resorts and how they have gone on to affects tourists. It has made some interesting points about how terrorism has a direct impact to the tourist industry in general.

However I feel that the case of 9/11 is a rather weak example, we all know that the attacks of 9/11 left devastating impacts on tourists around the world, however the economy was quick to recover. You mentioned the attacks created a negative image for international tourism. However, Bianchi's (2006) survey showed that 87% of people carried on travelling after 9/11. People believed that holidays are a vital part of their lives and were determined not to give in to these terrorist attacks (Soundararaja 2006).

More significant to note, 'tourists have recently become a frequent target of terrorist acts in order to provide the perpetrators with a higher profile in the media' (Cooper 2008: 198). This had had a huge impact in terms of tourism. Majority of the terrorist's attacks around the world have played on the decision making of tourists, a generation of fear and sense of insecurity to tourists. This in turn creates a major obstacle to travel and therefore leading to a limitation to the growth of the industry. As well as the explicitly fear of personal harm, there can also be a short of interest in travelling, which masks this fundamental fear of terrorism (Toolis 2004).

Nevertheless some countries are affected by terrorism more than others, as you have noted in your paper how terrorism is costing the Kenya industry around one million dollars per day. It was found that Kenya attracted worldwide media attention during the terror attacks and as you noted governments around the world warned tourists against visiting the country (Various BBC reports). It is also important to note that Kenya is known as an 'undeveloped country', countries like Kenya do not have the resources to invest heavily in marketing campaigns to play down the attacks and give tourists immediate reassurance and in turn it takes these countries much longer to recover from a terror attack ( Gilbert 2004).

I am unsure how with new technologies and careful planning, we can defy terrorism as it is an external pressure that is just uncontrollable. The causes of terrorism are varied, what is more important is to try reducing the worry that tourists have so they continue to travel. In addition, it is significant to bear in mind that although some destinations lose out from terrorism, neighbouring countries and indeed, other tourist destinations are potentially gaining as tourists visit somewhere else (Sloboda, 2003).

As we have seen terrorism is happening everywhere around the world. But are we going to stop travelling?


Bianchi, R & J, Tribe. (2006) Tourism and the globalisation of fear: analysing the politics of risk and (in) security in global travel. Tourism and hospitality research 7, 1, 64-74
Gilbert, D & Cooper, C. (2004) Tourism: Principles and Practice, London: Financial Times Prentice Hall
Kepel, G. (2002) Jihad: the trail of political Islam, Cambridge: Harvard University Press
Soundararaja, R. (2006) Impact of terrorism on Jammu and Kashmir tourism, India: Kalpaz Publications
Terrorism-a serious issue for the f tourism industry
Author: Kamila Skwiercz

This work shows some of the issues related to terrorism and tourism. The paper demonstrates that the author incorporated independent reading on this subject, some of the areas of this work are written in an interesting way.

The paper outlines that terrorism and tourism are closely related to each other however the link between those two phenomenons could be expended more in depth. The author of this work mentioned that the connection of terrorism and tourism existed from the biblical times but he did not explore this issue more widely, he just included the quote of the Medlik, (1999) and brought Küçükaltan`s (2006) statement that tourism and terrorism deal with people. The link between terrorism and tourism is a much broader topic which could be described more extensively. Küçükaltan (2006) introduces at least five reasons why terrorism is closely related to tourism. One of the major relationships between those to phenomenons is that tourism brings media attention and one of the terrorist`s main hopes is to send a message to the world regarding their activity and claim.

The fifth paragraph includes information regarding negative impact of terrorism; it also includes information about recovery of the destination and the safety issues. The author in this section quotes Karavasilev (2010) who states that when terrorism attack is directed in the tourists then consequences will be severe for the whole tourism industry. However the author does not introduce any case studies of terrorism attacks on the transportation links such as in London or Spain which also have had an impact on the tourism industry. In those cases the tourism arrivals have increased (Cooper et al, 2008). Lack of this information impoverishes the value of this paper.

Although the author of this paper described a case study of Kenya where terrorist attacks caused a drop in tourism arrivals however he does not clearly state that this situation was partly caused by bad publicity of the media. Moreover he did not mention other countries who suffered from bad publicity of the mass media. It is worth to mention the case of Bali and Egypt where travel advisors and media from countries such as Australia, USA and UK discouraged their residents to visit those places while encouraged tourists to visit their countries post attacks. With the help of the mass media United Kingdom did not indicate a decline in the amount of tourism arrivals (Cooper et al, 2008).

In terms of safety the author underlined the importance of tourist`s protection and their impression in regards to safety and security. Highlighting this issue is a benefit for this work as according to Maslow`s hierarchy of needs safety is the second most important factor determining the willingness of every humans action (Ryan, 2002). Without fulfilling the basic need of safety none of the tourists will be eager to visit a particular destination post a terrorist attack.

One of the most interesting points made in this paper was the material regarding usage of technology to prevent terrorist attack. This part of the work was very stimulating and made this paper far much valuable for reader which is interesting in the topic of tourism and terrorism.

To conclude this piece of work was quite interesting, however at some points it was noticeable that the author did not expand his work sufficiently; also the participle lack of conclusion was a major disadvantage of this paper.


Cooper, C., Fletcher, J., Fyall, A., Gilbert, D. And Wanhill, S. (2008) Tourism principles and practice. 4th ed., London: Prentice Hall.

Küçükaltan, D. (2006) Tourism and Terrorism: An Experience of Turkey and the World. iUniverse.

Ryan, C. (2002) The tourist experience. Cengage Learning EMEA.

Tourists beating Terrorism
Author: Lucy Johnston
This paper has been chosen for commentary because it links closely to the first comment which has been made on another paper. Terrorism and tourism is a very interesting topic and is quite controversial which makes for interesting discussion.

The discussion paper starts by stating that terrorism affects tourism and tourists. This statement is true, but why does terrorism affect tourism? Terrorists are aiming for the country's economy, as described by Frey 2004, and a way of getting at the Government, not innocent tourists. However, it is tourists and local people who seem to suffer more from the attacks taking place. It seems that terrorists are trying to get to the economy by affecting the tourism industry, if this suffers the country's economy will start to suffer too.

The paper goes on to show that countries can recover from terrorism over time. Much research, including Keefer 2008, will show that more developed countries are able to recover much quicker and to a high standard than poorer, less developed countries. This is possibly from the obvious that they have more money in order to help themselves recover. However, there is also the reputation of more developed countries. Richer countries are known to be more luxurious and safer, as terrorist attack can put just a small crack in the image of these places.

There was an example used of Kenya, which describes how the country's economy is in decline as a result of terrorism. It was noticed from the description given by Essner 2003, that there have been several terrorist attacks in Kenya. In other countries where there has only been one attack it may be possible to recover easier. If terrorism recurs tourists will view that destination as unsafe and will be less inclined to want to go there. For example, New York has only seen one major terrorist attack, and has proved that they can recover from it and tourists are now returning there. But if another attack were to take place it would soon change people's minds again.

The paper discussed the new technologies used for beating terrorism such as body scanners and iris. However, is this technology enough to defeat such powerful people? Terrorists are brainwashed people determined to accomplish their goal. They have so far found ways of getting around almost every new type of security bought in. It would only take a few trips through an airport and some very clever people to beat such things. Or they will find other ways of doing so, using a different method other than airlines.

In terms of preventing terrorism affecting tourism, the use of media could be the main way of reducing the effect. If it weren't for the media then tourists and the public wouldn't be so aware of everything that was going on around the world. If terrorist attacks were only reported once they reach a certain level of danger then more countries would seem safer and people would still be inclined to go there.

Essner, J. (2003) Terrorism's Impact on Tourism: What the Industry May Learn from Egypt's Struggle with al-Gama'a al-Islamiya.

Frey, B, S. (2004) Dealing with terrorism: Stick or Carrot? Edward Elgar publishing.

Keefer, P. And Loayza, N. (2008) Terrorism, economic development, and political openness. Cambridge University press 2008.