Survey of Consumer Patterns After The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Towers
Survey Results presented Graphically
Store Owner Interviews
The Impact of the Terrorist Attacks on New York City: One Year Later Chapter 1
The attacks on the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001 threatened the American People's sense of security in a way that had not been felt since the attack on Pearl Harbor. To say that the attacks changed the lives of many people would be an understatement. The attacks literally brought the country to a halt for nearly three days. It can be expected that these events would have an immediate and drastic effect on people's behaviors and the economy. However, the true test of the effects is if they have had any lasting effects on people's behavior and on the economy. This research will examine the question, "What are the effects on people's behaviors and tourism in New York City one year after September 11, 2001 attacks?"
This research hopes to achieve several objectives:
To identify the damage made on that tragic day by looking at various Sectors related to the travel and tourism industry.
To establish which businesses, if any, have been completely ruined, consequently ruining the industry,
To examine how this will change people's perspective of doing business in the future and whether they are hesitant at starting a new business in a busy city like New York.
To evaluate people's behavioral changes and whether they believe that day will have an impact on the rest of their life. I will encourage people to discuss with me their weekly typical life and compare it with an average week before the attacks, for example.
To examine how this business loss and slowdown has affected the global economy by looking at various industries individually.
To draw clear conclusions on what actions can be taken to restore the city to the way things were, and whether there is a chance things will never be the same, and whether the city's structure is debatable to permanent change.
This research will support the thesis that the financial impact of September 11, 2001 will have a lasting effect on people's lives, but that the financial impact will be decreased over time. It is expected that permanent change will occur in people's lives and that these changes will not effect their habits in a significant manner. This research will shoe that these changes will not have a long-term devastating effect on businesses. Businesses need only survive the short-term effects in order to survive long-term. This research will support the above hypothesis.
It is expected that this research will be of benefit to businesses in helping to predict future trends and marketing strategies. Identification of methods to restore consumer confidence, particularly in tourism and entertainment sectors of the city will help businesses to establish strategies to survive the short-term impacts and set goals for rebuilding future business.
Determining steps that can be taken to rebuild the lives and businesses in New York is a proactive step to recovery. As confidence is restored in New York, so will confidence be restored in the rest of America as well. The first step in developing a plan is to identify what needs to be done. This is the purpose of this research, to identify the effects on people's lives and businesses and to assess what consumers feel would help to restore their confidence. The target audience of this report is marketers and administrative personnel responsible for long-term projections and goal setting.
The effects of September 11, 2001 have been a subject of study for many in Psychology and social sciences. Many financial analysts have made predictions and forecasts on how these events would effect people's lives and ultimately the economy. It is generally believed that the entertainment and tourism sectors would be the hardest hit. Many of these predictions were made directly following September 11, 2001. It was generally felt that the impact on the economy would be severe and sudden, but that over time things would eventually stabilize and return to somewhat normal. Literally thousands of articles have been written on the subject. The following literature review will attempt to consider only the most credible and noteworthy sources on the subjects.
In article published by the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaris, Brian Wesbury stated the economy has largely recovered from the attacks (Wesbury, 2002). According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. had officially been in a recession since March of 2001, six months prior to the attacks (Wesbury, 2002). According to Wesbury, 45 days following the attacks the aggregate demand had recovered to its previous trend before September 11. The real gross domestic product (GDP) fell less than it had in the previous quarter. The airline and hotel industries are still experiencing a slow down, but Wesbury is quick to point out that other spending has recovered and is working to offset the travel-related losses.
Wesbury further explains that there are several reasons why the U.S. economy was able to rebound so quickly. One of the first reasons is that the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates three times in wake of the attacks. Second, President Bush signed a bill cutting taxes for both businesses and individuals. The third reason stated by Wesbury for the recovery is that productivity continued to grow eventhough the country was in a recession, which strengthened the GDP. He also points out that measures had been taken to aid recovery of an already lagging economy before September 11, 2002.
The events of September 11, 2002 did have drastic immediate impact as America lost 1.1 million jobs. According to the Bureau of labor Statistics (in Wesbury, 2002) 70% of those lay offs were in the travel and air transportation industries. Other industries rebounded in October to offset losses in September. The retail industry is one example of this. Auto sales soared in October 2001, partially due to the institution of 0.0% financing. Movie theaters also set record highs in Late 2001 and early 2002. New home sales rose as did electronics and appliance sales.
Consumer Behavior and Risk
The questions posed by this research essentially are trying to make a prediction about consumer behavior. Consumer behavior is a complex subject and there are countless variables that will effect the final outcome. The essence of the question concerns motivation. Primarily, what motivates consumers to spend. In this research "spending" will encompass travel, and activities associated with spending such as going to public places, eating at public restaurants, and attending entertainment activities such as sporting events, concerts, or plays. This definition of "spending" is not concerned with monetary motivation, only activities associated with it.
Many studies have been conducted concerning what motivates people to perform a specific activity. Whatever the activity, in order to perform it, the person weighs the perceived costs with the perceived benefits of the activity (Atkinson,1957). In order for an activity to be performed, the benefit must outweigh the "cost" in order for the person to be motivated to do it. If the perceived "cost" is too high, then the person is unlikely to perform the activity. In this case, "risk" is the same as "Cost."
Specifically, when we are talking about the risk of becoming a victim of a terrorist attack, the perceived threat must be relatively low for the activity to be performed. The risk must not outweigh the benefit. When we are talking about the entertainment industry, it is a generalization that for most people, the risk of attending must be extremely low to gain a perceived benefit. It is assumed that most people will not risk their lives for entertainment purposes. This is the root of the question that marketers must now solve to regain the losses in consumer spending on entertainment. They perceived risk of terrorist attacks must be lowered in order to increase consumer spending in these areas.
Terrorism and Consumerism in the Melting Pot
America has been called the great melting pot and is made up of largely people who were immigrants or descendants of immigrants. New York is the center of cultural diversity and this creates a unique situation when members of one ethnic group launch an attack on a population of persons of mixed culture that even included members of the attacking group themselves.
Swaidan, et. al (2001) attempted to determine what effect acculturation would have on immigrant consumers (Swaidan., et. al., 2001) The U.S. Bureau of Census (1997) reported that about 26 million U.S. residents, one in every ten, were born abroad. However, few studies have been conducted to determine the spending habits of nearly…