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.