The Diminishing Impact of Terrorism

“Terrorism is an unfortunate “fact of life” that has plagued society throughout the whole of the last two millennia. However, in recent years an increasing number of attacks, across a wider part of the world, have led to a changing dynamic in relation to the impact of such attacks. Since January 2015 there have been, on average, two terror attacks and fifteen people killed every day, and that is excluding terror attacks in warn torn countries like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. And yet you are still 5 times more likely to die from falling out of bed than a terror attack”, said David Harper.

In his research paper, first released at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum 2017, David Harper, provides some unique research on the impact of such terror attacks, with the help of hotel trading statistics and analysis, carried out by STR. The impact of terrorism on the hotel and resort market in Africa has been substantial over the last few years, making the need for careful analysis of the phenomena essential.
The research bears out a number of important conclusions, including the following:

  1. The impact of terror attacks across the world is lessening

There is much evidence for this including:

  • the average number of deaths per attack in 2015 was 20.2 – in 2017 so far (January to September) it is 4.3.
  • The average recovery time from a single large attack is between 3-4 months, depending on the type of market. In the 1970’s – 2010 the average recovery time from a large attack was 2 years.
  1. Recovery time depends on the profile and scale of the market place
  • This is shown by comparing recovery times from various types of hotel location, including leisure destinations like Tunisia (which is predominantly leisure destination and that has not as yet recovered from the Sousse attack in 2015), compared with business, conference and leisure destinations like London (it took 4 months to recover from the &/& attacks in 2005, and there was no impact from the 3 attacks experienced so far in 2017) or Nairobi.

Other conclusions include:

  1. Frequency of attacks has a greater effect than the severity of an attack
  2. The coverage in the media has an important impact on the impact an attack has
  3. The impact varies by political regime, income and tourism intensity
  4.  Political unrest has a larger impact than terror attacks
  5. The long-term impact depends on the public’s perception of safety and how capable the authorities are deemed to be in that location
  6. The impact of a terror attack is felt in the whole region and not just on a countrywide basis – there is a financial (as well as moral) obligation on surrounding countries to try and stop such attacks happening

Source: Hotel Partners Africa.

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