Reports that international visitor numbers dive and stay low for a protracted period after terrorist attacks have been borne out by new data released in Britain.
Travel data company Forward Keys analysed flight reservations for You and Yours, a British consumer affairs radio program broadcast on the BBC’s Radio 4.
Bookings to Turkey are projected to be halved this year, with bookings for September to December likely to be 52% down on the same period last year, the program reported. Turkey has been subjected to numerous bombings and an attempted coup.
Bookings to France have slumped by nearly 20% over the same period, a trend that has already drawn much comment in Paris, one of the world’s prime tourist destinations. See: ‘Industrial disaster’ warning as Paris tourism nosedives
Tourists seeking southern European holidays seem to be diverting to Spain, Portugal and Italy.
France has suffered a series of high-profile Islamist attacks and atrocities. The Charlie Hebdo shooting deterred international arrivals and the trend worsened after the Paris Bataclan Theatre shootings in November 2015, according to Forward Keys, which said France had suffered an accumulated year-on-year decrease of 5.4% between August 2015 and July 2016. Paris was hardest hit, down 7.5% over the same period.
Olivier Jager, co-founder and chief executive of Forward Keys, said travellers created a situation when they decided to visit alternative destinations. Operators and airlines then switched their aircraft to other routes to fill their planes.
On the upside, Tunisia is starting to recover, with Russians filling some of the beds left empty as tourists from countries like France and Germany stay away.
Written by Peter Needham