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Tourism In Crisis: Managing The Effects Of Terrorism

Sevil F. Sönmez, Yiorgos Apostolopoulos, Peter Tarlow

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While tourists are free to avoid destinations associated with risk, the consequences of disastrous events on tourist destinations are inescapable and can be profound. Terrorism that targets tourism can be viewed as a disaster for a destination and ensuing events can create a serious tourism crisis. This article argues that tourist destinations—especially those vulnerable to politically motivated violence—should incorporate crisis management planning into their overall sustainable development and marketing/management strategies to protect and rebuild their image of safety/attractiveness, to reassure potential visitors of the safety of the area, to reestablish the area’s functionality/attractiveness, and to aid local travel and tourism industry members in their economic recovery. Recommendations include having a crisis management plan in place, establishing a tourism crisis management task force, developing a crisis management guidebook, and partnering with law enforcement officials.