The terrorist attacks in Paris and the Sinai airplane crash affect everyone – tourism as well. Do vacationers feel insecure? Here’s an appraisal.
Terror attacks in Paris, Brussels on the highest level of security alert: the tourist industry is feeling the effects. Terrorists have struck in popular tourist destinations this year.
But despite the shock, the tourist industry is not expecting people to cancel their holiday plans due to a fear of further terror attacks. Experts say they don’t expect terror to have long term effects on the number of vacations booked but people will choose alternative destinations.
Effects on Paris
The demand for city trips fell temporarily last week following the attacks in Paris but now the number of bookings is equal to those of the previous year. Thomas Cook says only a small percentage of vacationers took advantage of the offer to rebook or cancel trips to Paris free of charge until 30 November .
One company, DER Touristik, does report an increase in enquiries by worried customers who have booked a vacation in Paris. Some took advantage of the offer to rebook or cancel trips but most people still plan to travel. TUI reports a decrease in bookings for the French capital but city trips to Paris are never in high demand at this time of the year.
Alternative travel destinations
Bookings for winter vacations in Egypt are also down as people show an increased interest in the Canary Isles. A TUI spokesperson says the overall demand for vacations remains high.
Egypt is affected by the ban of flights from Russia after the recent plane crash in the Sinai peninsula It is assumed that the plane crash with 224 deaths was caused by an IS terror attack. Until now Egypt was a top tourist destination with Russians. Some three million Russians visited Egypt in 2014. Cairo now expects millions in lost tourist income every month due to the flight ban.
Expert Martin Lohmann says tourism in Tunisia is still affected by the June attack in Sousse which cost 38 lives. But terrorist attacks, natural disasters or war do not deter people from travelling as a whole. “After all, Turkey, which neighbors on Syria, has enjoyed a tourist boom,” says Lohmann, director of the Institute for Tourism Research in Northern Europe.
Germans still love to travel
Recent figures confirm the industry’s optimistic mood. Sales were up by around three to four per cent compared with the previous year. Turnover for German tourist companies reached a total of more than €27bn.
The tourist industry could however be seriously affected by reports of increased unemployment and lower incomes, with one expert citing Greece as an example, where people can no longer afford to take a vacation, even in their own country. But there are no signs of a slump in Germany as the economy here remains healthy. Summing up, one expert says people will continue to travel and won’t be prevented from taking holidays. They will however remain vigilant and choose their destinations with care.