Travel Advisories: Safety for Tourists – Problems for Destinations

Natural disasters, political crises or terrorist attacks may affect popular tourist destinations. As Frauke Wendler and Alin Rößler report, foreign ministries issue country specific travel advisories in order to ensure the safety of tourists. Such advisories have significant consequences for the tourism industry, particularly in the destinations affected by the travel warnings. Even though it can be assumed that the main criterion for issuing such warnings is the safety of the tourists, economic and political interests may also play a role. In some cases, advisories may not be sufficiently differentiated or may be inaccurate, due to lack of information on the specific situation in various parts of a country.

When tourists change their travel plans due to travel warnings, some destinations may benefit while others suffer. The economic situation in crisis areas may be exacerbated and they may take a long time to recover. In order to improve the transparency and accuracy of travel advisories, an independent international organisation has been suggested that would assess the situation in the respective countries in an objective manner and avoid a political or economic bias.

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