Consumer travel confidence for such destinations declines impacting the local economy and leading to economic recession, unemployment and deflation.
Listed below are the key trends contributing to terrorism and conflict and the impact on travel and tourism, as identified by GlobalData.
Land disputes have always been one of the leading causes of conflict and the impact these can have on tourism can be widespread. The opposing views held by two countries over the ownership of an area of land can escalate the dispute to physical conflict.
The dangers of such situations are high especially if the land in question is an attractive destination for tourists. The reputation of the destination may still be tarnished even after the tensions have eased and tourists may still be hesitant to visit having wider economic implications.
The Palestine and Israel conflict over the ownership of Jerusalem city is an example of the impact land disputes can have on the travel and tourism sector of the location and the wider area.
The global war on terrorism
The global war on terror is an international military campaign launched following the 9/11 attacks on the US in 2001. It is still ongoing and is a consistent threat to the travel and tourism industry. The territories experiencing the deleterious impacts of the global war on terror often have a high level of natural beauty and sites of tourist interest so the impact on the tourism potential of the country is high.
The tourism market will remain non-existent in the countries affected by the conflict since terrorism is one of the main reasons for these wars. Tourists will continue to seek a safer destination unless the tensions ease and the conflict ends.
Famines have led to localised conflict
Safety is of most importance for majority of the tourists and is often what they look for when selecting a destination. Areas suffering from the disastrous effects of a famine or civil war will not see any benefits of tourism, although it could be seen as a key recovery process. Tourism could be a key component in the recovery plan of an area once the threat of conflict has reduced. The support of an area and voluntourism combined with the visitation of touristic areas could be a vital pathway to recovery for some countries.
A relatively new, silent, threat to travel and tourism has been the prospects of trade wars occurring between nations and the impact these could cause on the flow of goods and people between two or more nations. These conflicts are not violent or directly harmful to individuals but have indirect effects on the travel and tourism industry. A trade war can have the same consequences as a conflict as it is a disagreement between two nations that leads to tariffs and restrictions.
Nuclear weapons have always been an existential threat around the world and are often used as weapons of mass destruction. Many countries continue to invest in nuclear weaponry and have them operationally ready meaning they are still a threat to the travel and tourism industry if conflict were to commence.
The illegal drugs trade controlled by large criminal organisations has led some territories to become unsafe places for tourists to visit. The violence between groups and the struggle authorities have in containing the outbreak had led to thousands of deaths, endless conflict, and a risk to tourists. Authorities will continue to push criminal groups out of their existing locations into new places as the trade of illegal drugs continues, which could pass the problem onto another area that could have previously benefitted from tourism.
Many governments insist on travel restrictions to these areas due to the risk of being caught up in drug gang conflict and this has resulted in a paucity of tourists. The looming threat to the travel and tourism industry will remain unless the illegal trade of drugs ends.
This is an edited extract from the Impact of Terrorism and Conflicts on Travel and Tourism Industry – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.