Tourism hotspots at risk of terrorist attacks

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption London attracts over 30 million tourists a year, making it the most visited city in the world Six of the world’s most visited cities are on a list…

Tourism hotspots at risk of terrorist attacks

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption London attracts over 30 million tourists a year, making it the most visited city in the world

Six of the world’s most visited cities are on a list of 25 tourist hot spots at risk of terrorist attacks, according to a new study.

London tops the list, followed by New York, Washington DC, Paris, Las Vegas and Tokyo.

The report from consultancy firm Oxford Economics, commissioned by security firm Carnivore, focuses on tourist risk beyond the “environmental offence value” of potential attacks.

The threat is even higher in the American, French and German capitals.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption New York leads the list, followed by London, Washington DC, Paris, Las Vegas and Tokyo

If it is combined with the four safe havens of Switzerland, Sweden, Hong Kong and Singapore, then only London and Shanghai miss out on top place in the overall global ranking of 25 most-attended destinations.

Using open source information and visitor information from the various countries, Oxford Economics explains that it counts “all tourist-related incidents of immediate concern such as homicide, suicide, chemical, biological, nuclear, and radioactive incidents, the risk of terrorist attacks and protests, military action, weather-related disruptions and nuclear disasters”.

Its analysis found that terrorism accounted for just 1% of the over 250 million people who visited the world’s metropolises in 2018.

The report concludes that the perception of terrorism in the tourism industry – especially in some of the world’s most-attended destinations – is “far greater than what is present on the ground”.

“Due to the perceived risk,” the report continues, “visitors to the world’s metropolises remain highly concerned that terrorism will occur.

“In fact, more than half of all of the world’s most visited destinations are rated as having very high” risk of terrorism, it says.

Image copyright Oxford Economics Image caption The overall global threat for tourists is higher than the overall threat for the global economy

Since 1975, no more than one percent of visitors to any destination has died in an attack. However, in 2017 the global tourist industry suffered more than $90bn in losses from safety incidents.

“The billion tourists who visit the world’s tourist attractions each year, regardless of the destination, place a great value on their safety,” the study says.

“Over the past 40 years the understanding of the global economy’s economy’s exposure to terrorist attacks has evolved rapidly, but no terrorist attack has materially affected tourism.”

Image copyright Flickr Image caption Tokyo has long been considered a destination at risk of terrorism, and last year’s typhoon brought even greater worries

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