New Insights on Travel Safety

The head of the NIT (Institut für Tourismus- und Bäderforschung in Nordeuropa), a vital source of tourism research in northern Europe, Prof. Dr Martin Lohmann’s work in tourism market research and consulting has been presented in a vast range of universities and institutions. Back at ITB Berlin to present his latest research findings, we asked him to assess the current security situation and its impact on the tourist industry.

SECURITY AND TRAVEL: GERMANS’ TRAVEL PLANS IN 2017

Category: ITB Marketing and Destination Workshops Day 2

Date: March 9, 2017 Time: 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Location: Convention Hall 4.1, Room Regensburg

The global security situation has not become worse or better in the last year compared to prior decades. For tourists, safety and security is an important condition for travelling, however for many tourists the actual political situation has not been a major issue in choosing a destination (think of Spain in Franco times, or Italy with Berlusconi, the rise of Arab Emirates as destinations and so on). Terrorism is surely a threat, however. Mainly due to terrorist attacks early in 2016, Turkey has exper ienced a sever e drop in tourist numbers, e.g. from Germany, the decline is 30 percent. The remarkable decrease is based both on tourists not wanting to take the risk, and reduced capacities offered by tour operators as a precaution. Thus, for the destination the impacts of terror attacks can be severe.

How much of the perceived danger is just media hype?

Surely it’s still more dangerous to walk down the street in downtown Chicago than it is to take a holiday on the beach in Turkey or Tunisia? Definitely. A tourist’s knowledge about terror attacks or the actual political situation in a destination can only be based on what the media reports, and this information mostly comes with an emotional interpretation. A bias in risk perception may be what follows, even a bias in the perception of statistical data. At the end this may even play into the hands of the terrorists, as they wanted to destabilize this specific destination