Tourism rides storm of terror attacks

In the immediate aftermath of the Barcelona terror attacks, the city has united in solidarity in the face of the perpetrators. We’ve seen this sort of mass-mourning an unfortunate number of times this year, as London was subject to two attacks, in Westminster and London Bridge, as well as the attack at a pop concert in Manchester. 

Citizens of the cities which come under attack have little choice but to stick together and continue with their everyday lives, but it would be understandable if due to the growing frequency with which these attacks occur, they were to feel unsafe in their own city. Unsurprisingly, in the first week after the Borough Market attack, flight bookings from abroad to London were down 12 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to ForwardKeys, a travel data and software group. 

However, the long-term effects of terror attacks on tourism are less severe, in fact the number of visitors to the UK rose to 3.5 million in June, up 7% from the same month last year, with the falling value of the pound thought to be the main reason, as tourists coming from Europe and America now get more for their money in Britain. The number of visitors from North America shot up by 34%.

The best month for London tourism so far this year was April, just after the Westminster attack, with 3.7 million visitors coming to the UK – up 19% from 2016.

Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread, said: “If I take the Westminster and Manchester [attacks] as an example, both of those saw a drop in the days following the attacks and then a very rapid rebound.” She added that London and Manchester are recovering faster than other cities which have been subject to terrorism. 

So, in light of the tragedy in Barcelona last night, do people feel less safe living in a big city, and has it affected their attitudes to booking holidays in other European cities? Let us know on our Twitter account.




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