Does terrrorism deter holidaymakers?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Is perception of terrorism in Turkey misplaced?

Most people wouldn’t hesitate before answering yes to that question. Then they would be quite likely to say that it wouldn’t affect them personally because if they did then that would be giving in to terrorists. They quite understand that some people would be affected.

But there is a feeling that it does. Wouldn’t you be more likely to be deterred from travelling somewhere if you were concerned for your family? So the unspoken thought is that regardless of what you say, terrorism does have an effect on holiday choices.

We have seen declines in tourism to Paris after the terrorist attacks, to Turkey after unrest there, to Madrid after the train bombing killed dozens and after the attack in Brussels.

IPK International has conducted a special survey on “Terror Threats and Tourism” in over 20 major markets around the globe. The study revealed that for 45 per cent of international travellers the threat of terror attacks will have an influence on their travel plans this year, which compared to 2016 represents an increase of six percentage points.

Travellers from Asian markets such as South Korea, China and Japan as well as Russia are more sensitive to terror threats and more likely to let instability and terror warnings influence their travel plans. In contrast, travellers from European markets such as Denmark, Sweden and Finland are less sensitive to the threat of terror attacks. Singles are also relatively unimpressed by terror warnings, whereas people travelling with children are more cautious.

Overall, destinations with the weakest safety image are Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Tunisia, whereas Canada, Switzerland, Australia and Scandinavia were perceived as safest.

Compared to 2016, the safety perception of some travel destinations has further declined. A country perceived as being dangerous may not be as dangerous as we think. Turkey, for example, has had relatively few attacks in the last year yet the study shows  64% of the respondents rated Turkey as “unsafe“. In 2017 the figure rose to 76%.

What would be the attitude to London or Manchester after the recent attacks? Would it stop or make you pause to think before you visited either of those cities.

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