In recent years, terror attacks start to happen in different countries from time to time, and Middle East countries are especially the biggest victims. Not many people will choose to travel Middle East countries since usually their very first impression to them is the unsafety problem caused by terrorists’ highly focus. Tourism becomes one of the mainly affected industries that people would think of when they talk about terrorism. Every now and then, once the terror incidents happen, the place’s tourism industry will obviously decline, and terrorism also brings people fear of the threat.
Not only fear but also the vulnerabilities of tourism lead to the decreasing of tourism industry. Through the 911 event, we can examine the reason why tourism becomes the target of tourism and how tourism industry is affected by terrorism.
First, we have to clarify the connection between terrorism and tourism, so we can know what’s the important link that causes a series of effects. The most influential characteristic is the international factor.
Terrorism and tourism are both cross border and related to citizens of country, what’s more, they both make use of the communication technologies, such as social media (Baker 62). The difference is the result that brings to people: tourism lures people to visit the country via the advertisements and makes money, while terrorism spreads the threaten videos and execution videos to introduce terrorism to the world and makes panic among the people. Tarlow claims that terrorism is the opposite of tourism, that is, they are paradoxically connected.
If terrorism is the “medieval societies,” then tourism is definitely the “modern societies.” Terrorism has the classical features of medieval societies; for example, the debasement of women, the rejection of capitalism and the rejection of individualism. They may use women as a form of gaining power, but after they gain power, women are devalued by male domestic. The religion they believe in make them regard the economic gain as “unholy,” and they tend to fight wars against “whole peoples.” Whereas tourism is an industry which women play a major role in, and it is actually quite a large industry in the world, which is why it also holds a nation’s iconic treasures (83). Thus, this leads to the reason why the terrorists take tourism as their target.
What’s worth noticed, tourism accounts for a big part of a country’s economic sources, which means it is a national economy. National economy of course is closely related to transportation hub, and if transportation centers were attacked, they must be reported by media, and at then, terrorists reach their goal broadcasting their message (Tarlow 84, 85). Once the terrorists control or mess up the national treasure, the country’s economy could be screwed up. Tourism also has some vulnerabilities that make it the target of terrorism. It is volatile, open, and easily being attacked where has lots of people because of the anonymity and people’s low guard and attention. These features are exactly the weaknesses that allow the terrorists take actions. “[F]rom the perspective of terrorists who seek to create economic destruction, simply the reaction to terrorism functions as a secondary form of terrorism, [and] the reaction is often based on perceptions and fears” (Tarlow 85). Fear and anxiety are easily created as long as there is a dangerous atmosphere appear, and they cause terrorists’ desire of economic destruction. Terrorists also clearly know the fact that the repetition of news about the victims’ suffering videos will increase the fear, and it is known as “horror re-enforcement.” This is exactly the consequence that they pursuit (Tarlow 85). But what is the purpose of terrorists to arouse the economic destruction through tourism? Terrorists’ ambition is not just merely in national identity or territory, “they have a ‘global’ ideology; and their aim is to disable the market state by causing mass deaths and creating terror among the civilian populations” (Baker 61). Plus, by targeting tourists, they can win public’s attention and guaranteed exposure by media reports and increase its circulation and ratings. After realizing terrorists’ intention, we shall take a look at how serious the tourism is affected by terrorism.
There are actually positive and negative effects to the international tourism. A place where was attacked by terrorists might lose many visitors, but on the other hand, the visitors might instead choose to travel other countries where did not suffer from the terror attack. Thus, the alternation happens among the global makes the place where was free from the horrible attack instead gains the increasing income in tourism industry. Although terrorism frightens people, it brings business opportunities to the tourism related industries, such as security and insurance companies. Due to the fear of violence, people tend to invest more on personal safety and insurance, and thus the defense industry and various support industries might benefit from terrorism. However, most of the impacts that terrorism beings are usually negative. For instance, loss of human lives, the bereavement that their beloved ones had to accept, decline in most of the economic industries, loss of foreign investment, and so on. Moreover, the smaller companies suffer greater economic loss than bigger companies because they have less capital and market to recover from the damage (Shapiro). It seems that most of the countries that had been under terror attack did not escape from the aftermath of terrorism. Yet normally, there is an exception of being affected by terrorism, that is the US. Shootings in the US kill more people a year than terrorism; however, there are still lots of people passing or travelling to the US because “the effects may vary depending on factors specific to a given country,” such as “the intensity and the persistence of terrorist activity, or the country’s level of political stability” (TRT World).
Terror attack happened on September 11, 2011, shocked the whole world. This terror attack took place from the air arouse the air travel issues. Through the 911 event, we can easily realize why the terrorists chose to conduct the attack via hijacking and bombing the skyscraper from the air. Because attacking from the air can simply gain everybody’s attention, plus airline industry plays a significant role in US tourism and economy. After the attack, there must have negative influence on the air travel. The terrorists completed their goal announcing their existence. Even the big nation like United State, the tourism was still strongly influenced by the terror attack. Consequences are in the expectation: “an increasing demand to cancel travel or holiday plans particularly just after the 9/11 terrorist attack,” “an immediate and precipitous drop in arrivals of international visitors, particularly from those flying in from overseas” (Baker 62). But US as a huge size nation, it has larger and more stable economic system to help it recover from the disaster sooner. “The negative post-9/11 trend in arrivals eventually began to rebound during the 2002 to 2007 period” (Baker 63).
In conclusion, in the modern society that every kind of profession is rapidly progressing and growing, we should keep an alarm that the terrorism and its impacts are also continuing to grow. “Terrorists are improving their sophistication and abilities in virtually all aspects of their operations and support” (Baker 64), and so are the tourism industry. Under the circumstances that both terrorism and tourism are advancing, what happens to the world may also deeply related to our life, so knowing more about the relationship between terrorism and tourism can help us aware of what is happening in our world and how it may influence our nation.