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The Impact of terrorism on UK tourism

This research project examines the impact of terrorism on United Kingdom tourism industry. Tourism is the fifth largest and fastest growing industry in UK economy and the world’s sixth largest destination for tourists. The UK destinations are very popular for overseas tourists. Terrorism is the biggest threat to UK tourism industry, because the UK has a very deep and sad history of terrorist attacks in past. The past decade has been one of the missed opportunity and decline, because overseas tourists coming to UK has fallen, despite an increase in the global number of tourists. The fall in tourism caused by September 11 2001 terrorist attacks and July 7 2005 terrorist attacks. These attacks have cost UK economy over £20.5 billion deficits, because decline in international tourists arrival in UK and UK tourists preference to go for holidays abroad.

This study focuses on the short and long term impacts of past decade terrorist attacks (September 11 2001 and July 7 2005) on UK tourism industry, which caused huge, losses to UK tourism and related industries. These attacks caused temporary shock to local and international tourists and change in the image profile of UK destinations especially London. Moreover, it was found that London experienced strongly negative impacts on its image and attractiveness than other UK destinations. The September 11 2001 attacks have not just effect on tourism industry, it also has strong effects on hotels, transport and London local economy. The hotel industry is highly dependent on local and international tourists in UK. However, the data from variety of sources shows that few months after September 11 and July 7 terrorist attacks have strong impacts on London and other UK cities hotel occupancies, due to sharply fallen in tourists demand in UK. The other worst effected UK industry which was directly affected by decline in tourists demand was transport industry. September 11 2001 caused huge decline in international tourists’ arrival in the UK from abroad and travel outbound from the UK and July 7 2005 had impacted both domestic and international tourists, which have directly impacts on local transport system and airline industry.

The second part of this study focuses on the framework, that managing the effects of terrorism and how tourism industry can get benefits from this framework. Using existing literature as the secondary source of information, the research findings show that tourism industry is very sensitive and incidents like terrorism have severe impacts on its demand. For the purpose of this research, the combination of news broadcasts, number of articles, newsletters, study relevant records and reports are selected to review the impacts of terrorism on tourism industry. The incidents selected for this study are London bombing 2005 and September 11 2005 terrorist attacks on New York.

The conclusion drawn from this study is that, we can not stop terrorist attacks from occurrence but we should prepare ourselves to deal with them in order to reduce the impacts on tourism industry. Recommendations, which are also likely to reduce the chances of terrorism incidents occurrences but adopting these recommendations, may help tourism industry to deal the aftermaths.

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