Terrorism, political instability and Trump administration policies are the top three reasons scaring huge numbers of tourists away from the traditional and popular destinations.
According to the travel analysts, visitors are worried that the big, wide world is not as safe anymore which is why they prefer to stay close home. The trend threatens to undermine years of strong growth in global tourism — which topped out at 1.2 billion trips in 2016.
The avoidance in the selection of travel destinations is clear in European countries, which had alarming headlines about terrorism. Adding to it is the regional refugee crisis which resulted in fewer international visits to Western Europe in 2016. France, which has been the top global tourist destination suffered from 4% drop in visitors’ number following the high-profile terror attacks and strikes by air traffic controllers.
According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourists to the Middle East dropped by 4% in 2016. The worst affected country was Egypt. Straddling between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey saw 29% plunge in visitor’s number.
Zika fear affected the Latin American tourism sector and saw a lot of cancellations.
Lastly, United States witnessed major changes in the existing tourism policies during its first 100 days of Trump administration. A 90-day freeze on visas for citizens of six Muslim-majority countries was a major blow as tourist arrivals from Middle Eastern countries fell by 9.5%.
Tourism, being a dynamic sector, has however a lot more to offer. The major alternatives are Iceland, Canada, Spain and Mexico.