Study Explores Travelers' Views of Terrorism, Political Unrest

 

Dr. Yeganeh Morakabati

In light of the recent political unrest in Thailand and the attempted terrorist attack in New York’s Times Square, Bournemouth University, UK, research looks at the effect man-made conflict (political unrest, terrorism etc) can have on tourism.

Research undertaken by BU’s Dr. Yeganeh Morakabati— an expert in tourism disaster management, impacts and recovery— and Professor John Fletcher, explores travelers' risk perceptions toward man-made conflict and how these perceptions influence destination choice.

Aimed at helping tourism policy makers to reduce the negative effects of travel risk aversion, the research discovered that:

*    Contrary to the opinions of the media and tourism experts, when choosing where to travel, travelers showed more concern for financial security (credit-card fraud etc) than terrorism or political unrest.
*    Travelers' perceptions are significantly influenced by ‘travel-warnings’ that tend to be dominated by politics rather than actual incidents.
*    Political unrest/terrorism affects tourism flows regardless of their intensity.
*   
Frequency of incidents is a major determinant of the magnitude and nature of impacts (frequency acting as a proxy for likelihood of future attacks).
*    The magnitude of an incident, combined with the level of tourism development, is a significant factor in determining recovery periods.

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