How Terrorism Affects the International Tourism Industry Research Paper

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Terrorism Affects the International Tourism Industry

There is an undeniable relationship between terrorism and tourism. This is because of the industry power tourist sites are attractive avenues for terrorists to cause unprecedented magnitudes of economic and social disruption. The 21st century economy is dominated by three sectors namely information technology, tourism, and telecommunications. Tourism generates ten percent of international employment with a surplus of 30% in the Caribbean region. World tourism organization estimates that over two hundred million people across the world will be employed in the industry by 2015. The tourism and travel sectors have expanded by 700% in the last two decades (Gabbay & Ghosh, 2013). It is further projected that tourists will spend twice as much in foreign nations on tourism activities. For most developing nations, tourism is the leading source of income in terms of GDP thus a key influence in the economic growth. The issue with most of these developing countries delves in the form of political instability, which might be a potential catalyst to terrorist attacks. This may arise because of diverse political and religious opinions or property ownership.

Terrorist actions on tourist destinations will cause adverse impact on the economy of affected countries. World tourism organizations recognize that the constitutions of travel and tourism to developing and industrialized nations are immense: any downturns in activities might be a possible cause of concern. This leads to repercussions that extend beyond and over activities directly connected with tourism, among them hotels, catering and airline industries supplying final or immediate goods purchased by companies in the industry. As a result, this affects all sectors of the economy in diverse ways. This show how the multiplier effect works in terms of global impacts of terrorism. For instance, a decline in tourism could cause adverse impacts on homelessness, employment, crime, and other social and economic implications triggered by crime, terrorism and closure of borders (Pforr & Hosie, 2009).

Supporting case studies exist where terrorist activities have led to numerous problems in the tourism industry. In countries such as Egypt, Kenya, and the U.S., tourism has been affected due to bombings. In terms of the multiplier effect, tourism industry was able to manage the effects of terrorism to a point where the New York terrorism attack revolutionized the relationship between terrorism and tourism. Before the New York attack, the industry had experienced a significant decline. For instance, during the Gulf War, tourism activities declined from 25% down to 5%. However, soon, this improved to 15% in a period of two years from 1991-1993 (Kucukaltan, 2011). The impacts of the September 11 attacks were much dramatic because the industry was at its peak and considerable tourism operators were successful. This affected the U.S. tourism industry and the global tourism sector prompting economic problems across the world because of the multiplier effect.


This paper seeks to evaluate the phenomena of terrorist activities, how terrorism affects international tourism and strategies to combat terrorism activities. The issue is that terrorism acts instills fear in the society. This paper will address the following questions:

I. How does terrorism affect the rate of tourism activities?

II. Does the frequency or severity of terror attacks cause a significant effect on tourism and hospitality industry?

III. What government procedures and policies are effective in mitigating the effects terror attacks in the tourism industry?


Terrorism is a predominant issue in the social order and is developing because of the expanded number of terrorist movements and the measure of resources they have the capacity to get. A prime illustration of the commonness of terrorism is the suicide bombarding that occurred at Domodedovo Airport in Russia on January 24, 2011 (Huggett & Pownall, 2010). Although a few articles exist, textbooks and thesis readings that address the issue of terrorism, there is constrained examination that breaks down its impact on tourism. Some literature on hospitality has a short focus on its impact on tourism although extremely expansive and ambiguous. These are both from secondary and primary sources. The defined themes of interest that will be examined are if the intensity or recurrence of terrorist acts has a bigger effect on tourists, the choice to travel or not, and how organizations or government substances commission a plan of action to handle an emergency of this sort in the future. An alternate subject is the means by which the media emphatically and adversely supports throughout this time of uncertainty. This study is additionally intended to profit the researcher or reader that runs across this paper by giving them knowledge on inspirations behind terrorism.


In the previous decades, we have seen increased volumes of research about the terror phenomena in relation to the society. However, researchers demonstrate that this subject remains relatively unexplored. Even with the increase in research, especially in the wake of post 11th September attack, over 200 research have been conducted on the effect of terrorism on tourism and hospitality industry. This study seeks to analyze the terrorism phenomena and its impacts on the tourism industry. Based on literature review, this paper defines terrorism and factors facilitating its existence. The paper links terrorism and its impacts on the tourism industry and prescribes recommendations to the phenomena.


Beirman (2013) defines terrorism with the accompanying statements: The American Department of State describes terrorism as planned, politically persuaded violence propagated against citizens and unarmed military workforce by sub-national movements mostly proposed to affect a group of people. Global terrorism is described as including nationals or the domain of more than one nation. An investigation of the environment where terrorist movements are shaped and where they exist serves to furnish a comprehension of terrorism. Environmental conditions are heading pointers of what that environment will generate. An affluent and wealthy environment will in all probability yield professionals and scholars citizens while a slum will in all likelihood produce gangs, and a steady wrongdoing component. Nations battling with disease, hunger and other socioeconomic and natural issues further confounded by the populace development have a mix of challenges that may nurture terrorism. Terrorist entities can effectively enroll members by offering better conditions to individuals living in undesirable circumstances. This takes place in underdeveloped countries.

Effects on Tourism Industry

When looking at the impacts of terror activities on the hospitality and tourism industry, it is appropriate to identify the negatives. This annihilates the motivation of tourists to travel. For example, the bomb explosions in Bali on October 12, 2002, which killed 202 individuals, destroyed the picture of the island being a serene and wonderful area to visit (Treverton, 2008). In that moment the notoriety, this vocation site worked tirelessly to have been wrecked. Accompanying the strike Bali was recognized to be a nation of political instability and a target for terrorist organizations. In a week of the attack, tour operators rapidly withdrew their vacation programs from Bali and resorts all through Indonesia as the high season for tour lovers from the Northern Hemisphere was about to kick. Levels of hotel occupancy plunged from a normal of 75% to 14% (Hitchcock, King & Parnwell, 2009). Although those numbers finally recouped, it took practically two years to arrive at levels that were seen prior to October 12, 2002. Besides occupancy in hotels, there was a 23.45% reduction in tourists going to Bali between the months of June to September the year accompanying the bombing (Laws, Prideaux & Chon, 2007). Tourism and vacations are perishable products and cannot be saved and put shelves to be used later. Terrorism acts have a waiting negative effect on income that cannot be recuperated. Indeed, after time passes and visitors choose to proceed with general vacation travel, not all the organizations that were once open will be operational. Local suppliers without the financial flow to maintain such a business activity such as the corporate substances will be compelled to close their doors. As a result, local representatives depending on tourists for their salary will be rendered jobless and fail to accommodate their family and will turn to some different means of survival.

International Tourism and Terrorism: Emerging Evidence

The exploration that dissected the explanations for terrorism has controlled its consideration regarding two primary perspectives: economic developments and civil liberties. Nations that are spotted in a halfway position between political flexibility and a tyrant administration are more subject to additional terrorist hazard. Elevated amounts of democracy government, livelihood, and openness in source nations decrease clash although the opposite happens if these qualities are available in end nations. Investment outcomes have been examined from both a macroeconomic and microeconomic viewpoint. From a macroeconomic view, the effect of terrorism on development is minor, particularly in advanced nations (Page & Connell, 2009). This is not the situation when the nation or district experiences an enduring terrorist fight. The point when investigating terrorism from a microeconomic perspective the exploration was focused on the investigation of effect on particular commercial ventures, for example, tourism, global exchange, and remote immediate venture.

Terrorists target worldwide vacationers…

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